On a beautiful summer morning, Medusa, whose name means « the Protectress, » stood in the temple of Athena. She had decided to pay homage to the Goddess of Wisdom. As she approached a stick of incense to the flame of a candle, she felt a presence behind her.
She turned around and saw a man. He was ageless. He had the long hair and long greyish-white beard of the patriarchs and sages. He was a man of great stature and could make an impression. Medusa took a step backward, recognizing the being in front of her.
– Lord Poseidon? What…
The King God said nothing, he threw himself on her. She screamed.
– No! Please!
But he remained deaf to her pleas, insensitive to his nails that were plowing her face. Sweeping the objects of worship, he took her violently on the altar of Athena. She called the goddess for help, but she did not appear.
When he withdrew and left her on the ground, her clothes torn and bruised, she screamed out in rage!
– Poseidon, I curse you! And you too, goddess Athena, you did not come to my rescue!
A cold, feminine voice echoed behind her back.
– Why should I?
She turned around, grimaced in pain as her bruised skin touched the cold marble floor.
– Because I am one of your servants, O Goddess!
– I do not recognize you as such!
The blow was dreadful, almost as violent as the rape a few moments earlier.
– But… Why?
– Can’t you see that you have caused your misfortune?
– What did you do?
– Don’t you see how your clothes emphasize your shapes? How your insolent beauty has provoked the King of the Oceans? I repeat, you alone are responsible for what is happening to you… worse than that, you have offended the gods.
– What? But why did you do it?
– Poseidon will have to bear on his conscience what he has just subjected you to, besides the fact that you have defiled my temple…
– But that’s not true! I am in no way responsible!
The goddess looked at her with an evil eye.
– For all this, I will punish you!
An immense anger overwhelmed Medusa, who stood up and faced the Goddess. Her torn clothes, her skin that turned blue or bled in places did not diminish her rage at that moment.
– You are the Goddess of Wisdom but you are not « Wise » in any way. You are simply subject to Olympus, you are the doll of Zeus and Poseidon. You are a coward!
In turn, Athena became angry.
– Poor pathetic thing, poor unsubmissive woman, you’re going to pay.
The goddess reached out her hand to the young woman who felt her bones dislocate, her skin crumble, her hair turn into a venomous snake.
– Thus you are punished Medusa! You will forever be an object of shame, you will cast horror in the eyes and hearts of men!
And in a great tear, Medusa’s body was covered with snake scales and her legs became like the body of a great python. She was discovered and thrown into isolated ruins, far from the world of men.
Later, the hero Perseus will decapitate her to use her petrifying power against the Kraken, primal and wild energy, therefore feminine in the minds of the ancients. Patriarchy turns the feminine power against itself.
The myth of Medusa is strikingly topical. For since those ancient times when the patriarchy spread its claws over the world, very little has changed. In many countries, in many systems of justice, including those of Western democracies, a woman who is assaulted will be held responsible for her aggression.
« You shouldn’t have been there, » « You were badly dressed, » « You provoked »… All excuses and bullshit are good for maintaining old patterns of domination.
#Meetoo initiated a turnaround. And although things haven’t changed in depth yet, a deep rift has set in with millennia of injustice.
For today, many of us believe that shame must change sides and that the guilty party must be called « guilty ».
This has been very well understood and expressed by the artist Luciano Garbati who has just realized the extraordinary statue « Medusa with the head of Perseus ». This statue will be exhibited from 13/10/2020 to 30/04/2021 in front of the Saint Lower Center in Manhattan, not far from the court where the Weinstein trial was held.
As the artist says: « My work echoes the « Perseus holding the head of Medusa » by Benvenuto Cellini (1545-1554). I wanted to ask the following question: Medusa is the victim in history, how can one celebrate the defeat of a victim? ».
The work of this artist can only be praised, both for its aesthetic value and for the strength of the symbol.
For today, the Patriarchate has reason to tremble as Lilith rebellion forces rise as never before. Catherine de Pizan (1364 – 1430), in the City of the Ladies, mitigated the terrible side of Medusa by seeing in her serpentine hair only soft gold curls tossed by the wind. Catherine de Pizan was wrong. The abuses of the Patriarchate have awakened the rage of the victims and their supporters, the hair, source of power, has become snakes with deadly venom. And this poison will gnaw at the Patriarchate, poisoning it until it dies. For today, Medusa slits Perseus’ throat like the pig, agent of the Patriarchate, which he is.