Monday, April 7, 2008

Slave girls' Goddesses

So in the U.S. (and lots of other places), we really dig the low-born (and occasionally low-brow) hero. Titanic and Shrek are good examples. But the ancient Greeks had a very different class structure than we do, and you’re really not going to find any good heroes (outside of comedy) that weren’t born seriously aristocratic. The same thing tends to go for women. So when, rarely, we actually see a female slave in Greek myth, she tends to be secretly noble. Like Leucippe and Andromache. Even Briseis - the Achilles’ slave girl in the Iliad - was the daughter of the king of the Leleges at Pedasus.

We rarely see the world from a woman’s perspective, but a lower class woman’s perspective or that of a slave-woman (born a slave) virtually never. Slave-girls were considered to be available for sex pretty much whenever by pretty much whoever (with some exceptions). Whether they were kept concubines, flute-girls (mostly a euphemism), or just unlucky house slaves, sex was wholly outside of their control. Not only were they available to their masters, they were not permitted to form their own sexual relationships without their master’s consent. (27 Pomeroy)

Maybe I shouldn’t even be talking about them, since they are so absent from myth. But they must have grown up with many of the same stories. I wonder, which gods and goddesses they saw as sympathetic. Surely not the aristocratic Athena, but I’d be willing to bet that at least some became supplicants of Aphrodite.


  1. idk how important it is to you, but Medusa was running to Athena's temple to get away from Poseidon and he raped her on the cold stone floor of the building, not consentual at all. Then Athena turned her into the gorgan. That was how i understood it, anyway.

  2. Athena acts like a misogynist not because she has anything against women, but because she doesn't want to be treated like one. The society she's in doesn't let women do anything and confines them to the kitchen (Hestia), the bedroom (Aphrodite), and marriages which they may not even like (Hera). So it makes sense that Athena would want to be "one of the guys".

    No, I don't approve of what she did to Medusa, but with male-bias mindset she must have blamed her for it somehow, thinking something along the lines of : I fought off a rapist (Hephaestus), why can't she?

    Or she may have turned Medusa into a ponster to punish Poseidon. I don't know. Just a thought.

  3. I agree with you. Athena is a bitch and she definately acts as if she wants to be treated as a dude, but she also is way more "female" than Artemis, I think. And she had kinds - like Daedalus, and she sorta loved Odysseus.
    The punsishing Poseidon thing does make sense cuz, I mean, she did hate him. But she shouldn't have taken it out on Medusa at all, but she is a bit hubristic so it does makes sense that she would get seriously pissed when she found out that Medusa and her arch enemy Poseidon were having sex in her temple, factoring in that she is also a virgin goddes so the idea of sex might not appeal to her very much and so she wouldn't really understand the reason anyone would do it, let alone in her temple if yuo get what I mean?
    But, as I said, she also was said to have loved some people and had Daedalus, but some also say that she did that without sex.
    Okay... now i've really confued myslef.

    1. The Greek gods and goddesses did what they had to and Artemis and lady Athena are brave for trying to be more men like. In stories I have read Athena and Artemis were very attractive women and they fought to be more man like so they wouldn't get raped consistently. Artemis would turn men into animals whenever they would creepily stare at her and her huntresses when they were bathing or dressing. Hephaestus is matter a fact a rapist because he did indeed try to rape lady Athena but she vanished before he could cum inside of her she latter got back at him for this. They are not 'bitches' and I do quote they were obviously trying to protect themselves. Posideon also did not try to rape Medusa although she probably deserved it. In the stories I have read Medusa asked for him and disrespectfully had sex with her in lady Athena's chapel.