Medusa- Tempt Them And They Will Come
This story has two sides to its commentary on female blame. On one hand, Medusa is remembered as a terrible, hideous, malevolent monster. I was among the group that knew nothing about her rape and remembered Perseus “slaying the monster” as something heroic and deserved. This goes along with the modern responsibility placed on women to deal with anything that comes along with their assault (everything from repeatedly defending their side of the story to being expect to carry pregnancies to term). On the other hand, my immediate reaction to this story was to be angry at Athena for punishing Medusa. By focusing my blame on Athena I did the exact same thing I’m trying to criticize; ignored the actions of Poseidon to see if blame could be placed anywhere else. The motivation behind Athena’s transformation of Medusa is never stated and there’s a plausible argument that Medusa was transformed into a monster for her own protection. A lot of commentary on this story relate Athena’s curse to the blame and competition that takes place between women; but there is so much empowerment and support between women, especially between victims. Athena’s curse offered Medusa protection and a defense but even if she did have malicious intent, it doesn’t change the fact that the only unequivocally condemnable action in this story is still that of Poseidon.