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Gender Equality In The Aztec Civilization

699 words - 3 pages

An all too commonly trend shared with various nations and civilizations around the world is the mistreatment of women. With very few exceptions, the belittling of women seems almost ubiquitous throughout history. Was this trend practiced in the aztec civilation? Or did the Aztecs understand and appreciate the importance of women's role in their society? Overall, women were unappreciated and were not considered equal to men.
To begin with, the society of the Aztecs were patriarchal ruled by kings and noble lords. Women were considered lower than men. This is shown through the absence of women partaking in government and religious affairs (with the exception of being sacrificial victims).
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In this daunting practice, a young girl or woman would be given to the Aztec priests by her family. She would then be raped by the priests and skinned alive for the priest to wear. This does not display any trace of appreciation for women. The mere fact that females were the only ones to be sacrificed proves that they were considered lesser and held less power.
Local rulers started to demand taxes in the form of cloth, as the kingdoms developed, which was made exclusively by women. Cloth was in high demand because commoners were allowed nothing else to wear. The demand for it continued to increase and men began 'taking' additional wives so that more cloth could be produced by more hands. Thus marriages were more like business ventures and wives were more like property. This led to strained relationships within the family and female slavery increases.
The Aztecs waged war because they needed sacrificial victims, taxes, and slaves. Because of this new found workforce, women were limited to household tasks. Female slaves were also used as concubines and mothered children who...

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