Down the Rabbit Hole - Women Power and the #MeToo Movement Edition (#2)
Today I was circling the idea of women power. As an art student I've been keen on tracking the development of deities and their depictions. And since art ties so perfectly with religion (power), the story behind gods and goddesses replaced by one god only rivals the question of that god being male. After all our society goes in cyclical manner. Early tribes were known to constantly destroy monuments of their idols whenever a crop suffered or harsh winters occurred, only to resurrect it when nature conditions turned towards the better. There are even rumors that at some point we worshiped solely female god/s. Clearly this deserves extensive research, however the potential loss of woman power is striking.
Mary Beard's lecture made me evaluate Medusa and her history. Originally she was one of the three Gorgon sisters. But then :
"In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.770), Medusa was originally a ravishingly beautiful maiden, "the jealous aspiration of many suitors," but because Poseidon had raped her in Athena's temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa's beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn onlookers to stone"
This is fascinating not only because somehow Athena (also debatably a woman who was born out of Zeus's head) punished the woman who was raped, but also because somehow her beauty was taken away to create a powerful monster. And don't even get me started on the symbol of hair as power for women (Louise Joséphine Bourgeois). But then again the Greek make no sense with their myths and tie everything together with Zeus's rape of various women throughout the land.
Which got me thinking about another favorite monster of mine - Lilith, mainly because some versions portray her as the first wife of Adam. One that was made out of Fire rather than dirt (well according to Armenian lore). However she did not feel she needed to submit to Adam. So supposedly God made Adam another wife now from his rib so she was a part of him and subserved him. While Lilith went off to have sex with the demons and in some versions was even the snake that corrupted Eve. Can we just bring back the significance of Medusa's snakes and Lilith as a snake! Ahh it's almost too symbolic to handle.
And among this immense confusion regarding women and power especially when it comes to sex, it was impossible not to reference the #MeToo movement, that frankly I hardly followed along. But This American Life came out with a wonderful storyline about Five Women and their experience with sexual harassment by one man named Don. It was hard to listen to their justifications, yet highly relatable. Especially when it came to strength. Personally I am not as much concerned with males as I am with how females react in the situations. From the justification that arises when uncomfortable things occur to physical protection. I believe that women learn to be accommodating from the very beginning of their lives, which is not a bad thing but derail us from standing up for ourselves. I was fortunate to have my mom teach me to say a true 'No', filled with power. This skill saved me on multiple occasions, yet it did not prevent me from succumbing to dangers of the heart. You know when you like someone and want to please them. Yeah not a good combination. I don't have a conclusion to this except an observation that sex is scarily tied in with power. But I do have advice and that is to practice saying 'No' with vigor and self-preservation.