Why does Plato hate the flute/aulos? And what does this have to do with women?
These people, largely uneducated and unable to entertain themselves over their wine by using their own voices to generate conversation, pay premium prices for flute-girls and rely on the extraneous voice of the reed flute as background music for their parties. But when well-educated gentlemen drink together, you will not see girls playing the flute or the lyre or dancing, but a group that knows how to get together without these childish frivolities, conversing civilly no matter how heavily they are drinking (Protagoras 327d).
But what does this have to do with women/femininity? Well, the ancient Greeks thought women’s bodies were immoderate, and that women were incapable of being truly moderate/harmonic (see the “Freedom & Truth” Chapter of Foucault’s History of Sexuality v2 for the relationship between harmony, self-mastery, and masculinity). For example, in the Phaedo, Xanthippe, Socrates’ wife, is presented as immoderately emotional, whereas his male friends are composed. Similarly, the ancient Greeks thought women’s bodies were particularly disproportionate, unruly, and unpredictable: “hysteria,” after all, used to indicate a “wandering uterus.” So women’s bodies and their souls are, like the aulos, disproportionate, and non-harmonizable.