The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
December 16, 2017, 01:55:49 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 16, 2017, 01:55:49 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Rape in Greek Mythology  (Read 44839 times)
Juni
Adept Member
*****
*
*
Last Login:May 18, 2015, 04:18:28 pm
United States United States

Religion: Misticism
TCN ID: Juni
Posts: 2302


Strive to be happy.

Blog entries (2)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #30: March 31, 2011, 11:36:15 am »


I'm not a recon and I'm not the most familiar with the Greek myths myself, but I wanted to add my perspective in the hopes it would be useful.

Myths are stories; for a story to endure, it needs to make an emotional connection. There has to be some feeling of truth about it, even if the events aren't real. The stories of a culture are also reflective of the culture, but not necessarily what the culture likes about itself. Reflecting that reality in story doesn't mean it's being glorified or sanctioned- it's just a part of life as we (or they) know it, and so it has a way of turning up. Stories that are rainbows and sunshine are ignored and forgotten- how can we connect if it's unlike any reality we can imagine? If there aren't bad things in the story that we know can happen, we can't believe that the good things could possibly happen either.

I also think a person or a culture can enjoy a story that involves the unpleasant aspects of life without condoning them, just as they enjoy life without condoning the atrocities that make up the news. To use myself as an example- I love crime procedurals: Law & Order, CSI, Without a Trace, NCIS, Criminal Minds. On the surface, someone could look at that and say that I like crime, violence, rape, murder; they might think I condone these things, that I am entertained by them. It's not a hard leap to make. If they actually knew me, though, they'd know that the reason I like those shows is watching the police/investigators get into these criminals' minds without becoming them, and get a step ahead of them, catch them and make the world just a little bit safer. I know the horrible things I see on the shows happen in real life; this connect with reality lets me hope that in the real world, there are good people as smart and dedicated to justice as there are in the stories.

I think I'm rambling, but hopefully there was something useful in all of that!
Logged


.: Eleven-Pm.org .:. updated 30 June :.

"I don't go anywhere without my mutated anthrax! 'Fer duck huntin." - Futurama

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Altair
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:December 18, 2012, 06:59:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan-ish pantheistic polytheist
Posts: 1942


Follow your star wherever it may lead

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #31: March 31, 2011, 06:19:00 pm »

The stories of a culture are also reflective of the culture, but not necessarily what the culture likes about itself. Reflecting that reality in story doesn't mean it's being glorified or sanctioned- it's just a part of life as we (or they) know it, and so it has a way of turning up. Stories that are rainbows and sunshine are ignored and forgotten- how can we connect if it's unlike any reality we can imagine? If there aren't bad things in the story that we know can happen, we can't believe that the good things could possibly happen either.

I agree, Juni; but the mere presence of rape in these stories is not what's problematic for me. (Its prevalence does suggest, however, that rape was widespread back then--as it is now, though much of it is hidden from public knowledge.)

The problem comes in with the third question of my original post. These rapes are committed by gods we are meant to admire; actually, much more than admire: worship. While I find "flawed" gods much more interesting and easier to relate to, this particular flaw--a tendency to cavalierly rape women--rankles my modern sensibilities.

(Imagine a movie that depicted a brutal rape. OK, that's an ugly part of life sometimes; this still might turn out to be a great movie. Now imagine that the rapist is the hero of the story, treated by the filmmakers as if he's supposed to stay likeable, said hero going on to fame and fortune and suffering no adverse consequences. That movie would piss me off royally, and I'd wonder what the hell kind of message they were trying to send.)
 
What I'm finding from the discussion in this thread is that "a tendency to cavalierly rape women" may be an oversimplification. There are problems of translation, interpretation, cross-cultural disconnects, etc. And yet, I'm trying to balance that with my modern-day tendency to feel that there is *no* excuse for rape.

It's making my head spin a little at the moment!
Logged

Juni
Adept Member
*****
*
*
Last Login:May 18, 2015, 04:18:28 pm
United States United States

Religion: Misticism
TCN ID: Juni
Posts: 2302


Strive to be happy.

Blog entries (2)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #32: March 31, 2011, 06:35:55 pm »

These rapes are committed by gods we are meant to admire; actually, much more than admire: worship.

I think you're looking at this from a more modern perspective, though; assuming that the gods are worshiped because they are good or admirable. The gods were worshiped because they were deserving of worship, for nothing more than the fact that they were gods. They were propagated with offerings, in the hope that they would behave in a manner that was beneficial for the offerer, but I really don't think that admiration was the motivating factor.
Logged


.: Eleven-Pm.org .:. updated 30 June :.

"I don't go anywhere without my mutated anthrax! 'Fer duck huntin." - Futurama
sparrow125
Master Member
****
Last Login:July 19, 2011, 06:21:33 pm
United States United States

Religion: pagan
Posts: 328


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #33: March 31, 2011, 09:15:35 pm »

I think you're looking at this from a more modern perspective, though; assuming that the gods are worshiped because they are good or admirable. The gods were worshiped because they were deserving of worship, for nothing more than the fact that they were gods. They were propagated with offerings, in the hope that they would behave in a manner that was beneficial for the offerer, but I really don't think that admiration was the motivating factor.

Why would they be deserving of worship, then? If a god is incredibly powerful and immortal, but still a rapist and jerk I don't know that that would make him (or her) worthy of worship. I guess it depends on how you think of worship, though. I guess I'm thinking of it in the sense that if I knew a politician (or some other influential "big wig") and I knew that he had raped a woman (and gotten off scot free) and was otherwise a real jerk, I wouldn't be like, "you are so awesome sir! Would you please lend me some money for school?" I wouldn't want anything to do with him, and that wouldn't change, even if he threatened to make trouble for me. lol, lousy example, I guess.
Logged
Juni
Adept Member
*****
*
*
Last Login:May 18, 2015, 04:18:28 pm
United States United States

Religion: Misticism
TCN ID: Juni
Posts: 2302


Strive to be happy.

Blog entries (2)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #34: March 31, 2011, 09:18:18 pm »

Why would they be deserving of worship, then?

Because of their very nature- they are a god. I'm not saying it's how I approach religion- it's not- but the Greeks worshiped a lot of deities and heroes whose exploits were not always good or moral.
Logged


.: Eleven-Pm.org .:. updated 30 June :.

"I don't go anywhere without my mutated anthrax! 'Fer duck huntin." - Futurama
Arynn
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:July 04, 2011, 08:56:41 pm
United States United States

Religion: ADF Dedicant; Follower of Persephone
Posts: 73

Gravatar

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #35: April 01, 2011, 09:27:03 am »

Because of their very nature- they are a god. I'm not saying it's how I approach religion- it's not- but the Greeks worshiped a lot of deities and heroes whose exploits were not always good or moral.

I agree with this - almost every Pantheon of Gods from any religion - even the Abrahamic God - weren't exactly perfect, stand-up beings, and people in the past did not follow Them because They were all-good or all-evil, necessarily. Doesn't mean we should ignore Their faults and praise Them anyway, now, in a modern setting; for me, it means questioning and exploring Their natures until we can find out why They might have done what They did, or how we can understand that better now. 

When I still belonged to a Jewish community, we would discuss in Hebrew school for hours why we should trust a God that once flooded the Earth and killed everyone save one man, and some animals. Yeah, He promised not to do it again, but Gods promise a lot of things, and They are all powerful and can really do what They please, as this question of rape has proven. In order to come to terms with some of the awful or troublesome things Gods do is to simply question and discuss why They might have done said things, and then to trust Them anyway, if you still can. (This is how I approach it, anyway)

I truly believe, partly anyway, that Gods would not exist if we didn't continue to believe in Them. They need our belief as much as we need Their power, watchfulness, etc. If a set of Gods or a God has done something that you personally simply cannot come to terms with or continue to trust, then perhaps that set of Gods or God is not for you. But it's also ok to stick with a God because of some other important aspect you feel connected to, and from there find ways to interpret, discuss, and come to terms with whatever it is that might be upsetting about that God.
Logged

~Arynn~

"...Read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."
Walt Whitman


General spiritual blog: http://greetingnewlight.wordpress.com/

ADF Dedicant blog: http://walkingthehighroad.wordpress.com/
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #36: April 01, 2011, 11:46:50 am »

Why would they be deserving of worship, then?

IMO there's no one good answer to this, and I'd offer two. The first is that the question comes from a completely different worldview, and the asker and worshipper are probably talking past one another. The asker needs a reason beyond the god itself. The worshipper, like Juni said, doesn't need any reason other than the god.

I'm not sure I agree with her that it's something to do with 'their very nature'. I think it's more about the nature of the connection itself - there are some gods you might pray to in passing, but a few others you may feel deeply and viscerally connected to, no matter what. Why there are different kinds of connection I don't know, but I'm pretty sure others here can say they feel connected to some gods more than others. And that the differences aren't attributable to different levels of admirability.

The second answer is that morality isn't the only factor in the way I relate to someone, and especially not with divinity. If 'a god is incredibly powerful and immortal', like you say, that vastness can trigger a sense of the sublime. The sublime isn't a moral feeling. A tsunami, for example, can trigger a sense of the sublime. Mountains, chasms, vast forests and deserts, anything that threatens to overwhelm perception itself. I don't know how other people feel about the sublime but in me it triggers the urge to worship.
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #37: April 01, 2011, 11:49:21 am »

I truly believe, partly anyway, that Gods would not exist if we didn't continue to believe in Them.

I tend to see belief as getting the attention of the gods rather than constituting their existence.
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho
Altair
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:December 18, 2012, 06:59:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan-ish pantheistic polytheist
Posts: 1942


Follow your star wherever it may lead

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #38: April 01, 2011, 03:15:16 pm »

I agree with this - almost every Pantheon of Gods from any religion - even the Abrahamic God - weren't exactly perfect, stand-up beings, and people in the past did not follow Them because They were all-good or all-evil, necessarily. Doesn't mean we should ignore Their faults and praise Them anyway, now, in a modern setting; for me, it means questioning and exploring Their natures until we can find out why They might have done what They did, or how we can understand that better now. 

I agree that the flawed gods--and they nearly all are, in some way--are more interesting. In many instances the flaws are not only revealing of character, but serve to teach lessons, in their own way, that can be quite instructive.

And upon further reflection, it's not so much the god who rapes that presents an insurmountable hurdle for me (a big one, but not insurmountable). It's the myth itself: The treatment of the rape, the values communicated in the myth's structure, its telling, the rape's consequences. Looking back, I can see that clearly in the "what if it were a movie" example I gave a few posts ago. A movie that took an offensive approach to rape would royally piss me off.

Similarly, a myth that takes an offensive approach to rape pisses me off, regardless of what I think of the god who rapes.
Logged

Altair
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:December 18, 2012, 06:59:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan-ish pantheistic polytheist
Posts: 1942


Follow your star wherever it may lead

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #39: April 01, 2011, 03:46:41 pm »

I tend to see belief as getting the attention of the gods rather than constituting their existence.

Drifting a bit here, but I see belief as bringing gods into being by differentiating them. It's a view influenced by quantum mechanics, wherein certain states of matter are undefined until said matter is observed. Similarly, I think we humans perceive the same large-scale metaphenomena--which exist with or without us or our belief in them--but our act of observing them (our thoughts about them, the names and associations we give them, the place we give them in our cultures) helps determine what they are. So Mars and Ares may reflect the same phenomenon, but the act of "observing" them--human belief--has differentiated that phenomenon into different gods.

It sort of splits the difference between hard and soft polytheism. I like to call it Carvel polytheism: semi-soft, with a twist.
Logged

BGMarc
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:August 17, 2011, 09:57:32 pm
Australia Australia

Religion: Stoic (with declining druidic/wiccish hangovers and emergent Hellenic/Kemetic affiliations)
Posts: 1525


Blog entries (0)

Marc Larkin 6marc9
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #40: April 01, 2011, 06:36:36 pm »

...almost every Pantheon of Gods from any religion - even the Abrahamic God - weren't exactly perfect, stand-up beings, and people in the past did not follow Them because They were all-good or all-evil, necessarily..

Not a major point for this discussion, but I have a real problem with statements like this. By what yardstick are they not 'exactly perfect'? It strikes me as the height of hubris for human beings to imagine that there preferences and limitted understanding represent some absolute definition of 'perfect'.
Logged

"If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered" Robin Tyler

It's the saddest thing in the world when you can only feel big by making others feel small. - UPG

Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime. The sentence is death. There is no appeal and sentence is carried out automatically and without pity. Lazarus Long.

BGMarc at the Pub
BGMarc
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:August 17, 2011, 09:57:32 pm
Australia Australia

Religion: Stoic (with declining druidic/wiccish hangovers and emergent Hellenic/Kemetic affiliations)
Posts: 1525


Blog entries (0)

Marc Larkin 6marc9
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #41: April 01, 2011, 06:54:08 pm »



This reminds me of one of my favourite passages from Terry Pratchett's "Hogfather" (or from anything else, for that matter):

Death: Humans need fantasy to *be* human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.
Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?
Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.
Susan: So we can believe the big ones?
Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.
Susan: They're not the same at all.
Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.
Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what's the point?
Death: You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?
Logged

"If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered" Robin Tyler

It's the saddest thing in the world when you can only feel big by making others feel small. - UPG

Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime. The sentence is death. There is no appeal and sentence is carried out automatically and without pity. Lazarus Long.

BGMarc at the Pub
Melamphoros
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:March 28, 2015, 11:01:26 pm
United States United States

Religion: Informed Eclectic with Hellenic Overtones
TCN ID: Melamphoros
Posts: 13621


Kiss My Scythe

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #42: April 01, 2011, 06:57:38 pm »

This reminds me of one of my favourite passages from Terry Pratchett's "Hogfather" (or from anything else, for that matter):

Death: Humans need fantasy to *be* human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.
Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?
Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.
Susan: So we can believe the big ones?
Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.
Susan: They're not the same at all.
Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.
Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what's the point?
Death: You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?

Blasphemer!  How dare you type out Death's dialog in anything but all caps! Grin
Logged



Jesus saves, Allah forgives, Cthulhu thinks you will make a great sandwich.
My Spiritual Blog
BGMarc
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:August 17, 2011, 09:57:32 pm
Australia Australia

Religion: Stoic (with declining druidic/wiccish hangovers and emergent Hellenic/Kemetic affiliations)
Posts: 1525


Blog entries (0)

Marc Larkin 6marc9
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #43: April 01, 2011, 07:09:21 pm »

Blasphemer!  How dare you type out Death's dialog in anything but all caps! Grin

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa Sad
Logged

"If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered" Robin Tyler

It's the saddest thing in the world when you can only feel big by making others feel small. - UPG

Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime. The sentence is death. There is no appeal and sentence is carried out automatically and without pity. Lazarus Long.

BGMarc at the Pub
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #44: April 02, 2011, 05:18:57 am »

Drifting a bit here, but I see belief as bringing gods into being by differentiating them.

Interesting, I never thought of it that way! I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the idea that human perception occurs prior to the gods, but the all-gods-from-one-essence idea does appeal.

Could I ask, in your cosmology, how humans came about?

(Also I should be the one apologising for drift - it's your thread!  Smiley)
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
The Rape of Europa
Music, Television, and Film
LyricFox 10 3368 Last post November 04, 2009, 09:29:39 am
by LyricFox
The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology
Academic Book Discussions
LyricFox 0 1261 Last post February 20, 2010, 04:53:48 pm
by LyricFox
Lithuanian Mythology
Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology
Lemon Verbena 0 786 Last post March 24, 2010, 12:28:14 pm
by Lemon Verbena
Comparative Mythology
Academic Book Discussions
RandallS 6 2762 Last post August 25, 2010, 08:53:16 pm
by catja6
Mythology vs Science
Paganism For Beginners
lokiragnaroklover 9 3176 Last post August 30, 2010, 11:30:02 pm
by Nyktipolos
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.14 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.071 seconds with 50 queries.