My aim in this paper is to examine Aristotle's puzzling and contentious claim in Politics 1.13 that the deliberative faculty in women is ‘without authority’ (ἄκυρον):
The freeman rules over the slave after another manner from that in which the male rules over the female, or the man over the child; although the parts of the soul are present in all of them, they are present in different ways. For the slave lacks the deliberative faculty (τὸ βουλευτικόν) altogether; the woman has it, but it is without authority (ἄκυρον), and the child has it, but it is immature (ἀτελές).
(Pol. 1.13, 1160a10-15)