I love Medusa, I wish they wrote that she killed Perseus, and got her revenge on Poseidon and Athena and burned down the temple she was raped in.
Actually, there’s a version of the story written by women, where Athena changes Medusa in order to protect her from ever being raped again. Perseus attacked her without provocation, rather than asking for her help, because she was viewed as a monster by men who feared her and couldn’t control her and he believed those men
I was always told there was no provocation, that he was told to go kill her because a king told him too, and then he murdered her while she was asleep, and used her head to get back at the king by turning him into stone.
And like I get the powers thing, but I feel like it’s bullshit. How is that different from telling women to take self defense classes, or walk home with keys between their fingers? Like we have to constantly adapt and change, and endure the heinous impulses of men and they stay the same and we have to change. Fuck that. I want medusa to curse the seas and kills gods. Not be forced hid away in the dark losing her humanity and freedom.
you need some more context to understand why medusa being changed made sense. at the time she was invented, she was meant to be a symbol for the strength of women. her face adorned women’s shelters to frighten away abusive men. her origin story was also completely different, she was originally never a human, nor did she turn people to stone, she was just there to protect women and make them feel powerful.
at this point in time, greek culture was very egalitarian. as men began gaining power and instituting patriarchy, they found medusa threatening so they turned her into a beautiful young woman who was literally punished for being beautiful by being raped by poseidon as a way of putting women in their place and instilling fear. they followed this with athena turning her into the gorgon to discourage women going to one another for help in the case of abuse- because if athena, a goddess wholly representing the idea of a powerful woman, believed that women should be blamed for their own rapes, most women would follow suit. and then they ended up making perseus kill her as a final “fuck you” to the idea of a protector of abused women.
and yes, patriarchy ruined medusa for most women. however, small subsets of women rebelled by making underground shelters where women could go for help, keeping medusa’s head as a protection charm and instead interpreting the story similar to the way amazon mythology was: medusa was turned from a woman to a gorgon not only so a man would never hurt her again, but at the same time becoming a gorgon made her so much more powerful than she was as a human, and women found comfort in the idea that, despite being “ruined” by abuse and rape, they could become powerful as well: though it would obviously be a pretty lonely, scary path and they would lose a lot along the way. women would always be able to recover, though they’d never be the same.
in context it’s very empowering! women retelling a story specifically created for the uses of patriarchy into something helpful to women. it’s one of the original feminist reinterpretations.
well that makes more sense if she was just like that from the beginning, because every other interpretation of her was basically some monster hidden away and then murdered because she was a monster even though she was a victim of rape and betrayal.