go back to your quarters. Tend to your own tasks,
the distaff and the loom, and keep the women
working hard as well. As for giving orders,
men will see to that, but I most of all:
I hold the reins of power in this house."
The Odyssey, Book 1, lines 409-414. The roles of each gender come into play early in The Odyssey, as Telemachus tells his mother to go into the house and tend to her womanly tasks of spinning and weaving. In the absence of his father Odysseus, Telemachus asserts his position as head of the household and says that men will give the orders. He is responding to his mother Penelope dissolving into tears at the bard’s song "The Achaeans’ Journey Home from Troy" and asking him to sing a different song. Classicist Mary Beard describes Telemachus telling mother to be silent as Western literature’s "first recorded example of a man telling a woman to ‘shut up.’"