I was on a Stoic forum today and someone posted that they are, "thinking about how to combine stoicism with feminism." I made the mistake of scanning the comments and saw far too many people scoffing at the idea. Now, I do not know what "combining" these two ideologies means. Feminism and Stoicism both offer ways to view, interact with, and critique the world and they are both adequate to the task on their own. I'm not certain why mixing is required rather than simply wielding these two different tools at the appropriate time? One can put forth a feminist critique as a Stoic. One can take Stoic actions as a feminist. What I do know is that anyone claiming that Stoicism and feminism are incompatible with one other is objectively wrong. Stoicism is often viewed historically as a proto-feminist philosophy. Feminism, in its insistence that woman should have equal access to society's power and resources, and that a woman's personal autonomy should be viewed as equal to a man's, also comports with Stoicism (when Stoicism is at it's best). Simply stated, Stoicism not only demands that practitioners view all rational/social beings as equals in virtue, but it also expects practitioners to change the world around them until it embodies that truth.
The clearest examples of Stoic "proto-feminism" are found in two talks given by Musonius Rufus, the teacher of the better known Stoic, Epictetus. These talks are titled, from the lecture showing that women also should study philosophy, and, from the lecture on whether daughters should get the same education as sons. The basic argument in each of these lectures is the same; women and men are equal in reason, in their senses, in their bodies, and in their need to properly express human nature; therefore equal education is necessary. The daughters lecture contains the strong Stoic truth that, "it is obvious that there is not one type of virtue for a man and another for a woman." The women lecture ends with a dramatic statement. "The doctrine of the philosophers encourages a woman to be happy and to rely on herself."
Now these same lectures contain views that also show the inadequacy of Roman Stoic thought. There's a reason that they are, at best, proto-feminists or even just inadequate feminists. The Roman Stoics were very married to the idea that people had natural roles to play in life. Their implementation of those roles was rather conservative and lends itself easily to a feminist critique. However, even within that conservative Stoic framework, there are seeds for more expansive thinking. In the fifth paragraph of Musonius' daughters talk, he addresses work. He makes the claim that certain jobs are naturally suited for men or women due to conditions like physical strength, etc. Even within that argument, Musonius says, "but sometimes, when a health condition or circumstance requires it, or when opportunity allows it, some men could reasonably undertake some of the lighter tasks...and women in turn could perform some of the harder ones." Already in 50 CE a Stoic teacher could easily see that work should be done by those who can do it. Broad categories like men's work/women's work might be used as general descriptors but become ridiculous if used to create barriers to simply getting things done. The person who should fill a role is the person who can fulfill the work of that role. The next generation's Stoic teacher, Epictetus, would also point out that the Roman view of women does not stem from a woman’s real potential but from what a woman is constrained to be. In his own talks about women and philosophy Epictetus says that young women primarily concern themselves with beauty and attracting mates specifically because that is the only way they are valued by society. It's a rational choice for them to take up supposedly "frivolous" things. He argues that if women had access to a philosophical education then they would display a philosophical mind.
We do not have any evidence that ancient Stoics did a good job advocating for changes that would have allowed women more access. We do know that their philosophy had room for such change if the possibility had been made clear. The Roman philosophers were not used to structural critiques of power, but the examples of Stoic thought I've given already make it clear that they could have taken in such an analysis and adjusted accordingly. Furthermore we can state with certainty that any belief that holds women as lesser than, or rightfully subject to, men stands fully outside of Stoicism. Human moral and ethical equality is fundamental to Stoic thought. Feminism and Stoicism are compatible. In fact, feminist thought can not only be wielded by the Stoic, but it should also be turned on Stoicism as a lens to show where the philosophy is less than it's best. The critique can only make Stoicism healthier. The whole philosophy was relatively dormant for two thousand years. There's a lot of dust and grime to clean off if it's to become vibrant in the present.