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In ancient Athens, one’s rights under the law depended on gender and parentage. To be an Athenian citizen, with the right to defend oneself in a law court or vote in an assembly, one needed to be male and have free Athenian grandparents. Slaves, women, and metics (resident aliens) were unable to vote or defend themselves in court. Even participation in religious rituals or attendance at theatrical and sporting events was normally segregated by gender.
An unmarried woman was normally completely within the power of her father or oldest living male relative until she married, at which time she fell under the power of her husband.
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