Updated: May 30, 2019
When I was finding stories to tell for this project, Medusa was nowhere on my radar. I didn’t remember much about Medusa but I remembered her as an untouchable, merciless monster (who I always thought was so cool) and never expected to see her on lists of rape victims. In many versions of Medusa’s myth, she wasn’t always a monster; she starts as a beautiful woman and is turned into a serpent-haired monster as a punishment for her rape. Medusa was raped by Poseidon in the temple of Athena. Athena witnesses her assault and transforms Medusa into a monster who can turn people to stone with just a look. This punishment is seen as justified and even well deserved in most tellings. Medusa, who was now pregnant by Poseidon, was beheaded in her sleep by Perseus who then uses her head to turn his enemies to stone.