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[805a] as well as horses, and who practice it equally. In addition to this I allege the following argument. Since this state of things can exist, I affirm that the practice which at present prevails in our districts is a most irrational one—namely, that men and women should not all follow the same pursuits with one accord and with all their might. For thus from the same taxation and trouble there arises and exists half a State only instead of a whole one, in nearly every instance; yet surely this would be a surprising blunder [805b] for a lawgiver to commit.

So it would seem; yet truly a vast number of the things now mentioned, Stranger, are in conflict with our ordinary polities.

Well, but I said1 that we should allow the argument to run its full course, and when this is done we should adopt the conclusion we approve.

In this you spoke most reasonably; and you have made me now chide myself for what I said. So say on now what [805c] seems good to you.

What seems good to me, Clinias, as I said before,2 is this,—that if the possibility of such a state of things taking place had not been sufficiently proved by facts, then it might have been possible to gainsay our statement; but as it is, the man who rejects our law must try some other method, nor shall we be hereby precluded from asserting in our doctrine that the female sex [805d] must share with the male, to the greatest extent possible, both in education and in all else. For in truth we ought to conceive of the matter in this light. Suppose that women do not share with men in the whole of their mode of life, must they not have a different system of their own?

They must.

Then which of the systems now in vogue shall we prescribe in preference to that fellowship which we are now imposing upon them? Shall it be that of the Thracians, and many other tribes, [805e] who employ their women in tilling the ground and minding oxen and sheep and toiling just like slaves? Or that which obtains with us and all the people of our district? The way women are treated with us at present is this—we huddle all our goods together, as the saying goes, within four walls, and then hand over the dispensing of them to the women, together with the control of the shuttles and all kinds of wool-work. Or again, shall we prescribe for them, Megillus, that midway system, the Laconian?

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