Sunday, September 30, 2018

#me(dusa)too

#me(dusa)too
Judy Takács


If there’s one story from Greek Mythology that everyone knows, it’s the tale of Medusa.

I shall refresh your memory in case it’s been a while.

Young, handsome demi-god Perseus was charged with killing the hideous snake-headed Medusa and bringing back her head to an evil king for reasons way too complicated to tell here.

The tricky thing was that if you so much as looked at Medusa, you’d turn to stone immediately. 

Perseus, armed with a mirrored shield (given to him by Athena) killed Medusa by looking only at her reflection, not at her actual stone-invoking face.

All fun and adventure, except that’s not the whole story.

The apocryphal story of Medusa, through a feminist lens, is classic rape-victim-blaming at its most horrific and deadly.

Long before the Perseus beheading story, Medusa was a beautiful young woman. 

Medusa was raped by the God Poseidon in Athena’s Temple.

Athena*, angered that her temple had been desecrated, took vengence on the victim Medusa…not the rapist, Poseidon.  Blaming Medusa’s beauty, Athena made it so no man could ever look at her again. She cursed innocent and lovely Medusa to become a snake-headed gorgon whose glance turns those who look at her into stone.

This rape-victim-blaming story has repeated itself throughout time, and continues through news stories and political events happening right this minute…thus the reason for my rushing this post to publication.

For my painting, I have re-imagined the hideous gorgon and restored Medusa’s youthful beauty and innocence. I have also given her a hashtag stigmata; a merging of Greek, Christian and Contemporary iconography.

Hashtag Stigmata detail #me(dusa)too


The painting is called #me(dusa)too. 




*Athena is cast as one of the evil ones in this story, isn’t she?
Well, fear not, future paintings and blogs will also address THAT myth too… the myth of the powerful queen who does everything she can to keep other women down. This queen bee theme is repeated over and over in religion, mythology, fairy tales and political smear campaigns. It desperately needs retelling…and that’s just what I’ll be doing in the coming months! Stay tuned!

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