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Author Topic: Least Favorite Stories from Mythology  (Read 14030 times)
elizwrite
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« Topic Start: March 09, 2007, 04:18:26 pm »

In counterpoint to the other thread, I'm sure I'm not alone in finding that there are some tales in mythologies that I dislike.   Which ones don't you like?

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« Reply #1: March 10, 2007, 06:11:01 am »

In counterpoint to the other thread, I'm sure I'm not alone in finding that there are some tales in mythologies that I dislike.   Which ones don't you like?

Pretty much anything anti-feminine - the blaming of human suffering on Eve or Pandora and the ripping apart of Tiamat to create the universe (Babylonian) spring immediately to mind...

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« Reply #2: March 10, 2007, 11:13:35 am »

In counterpoint to the other thread, I'm sure I'm not alone in finding that there are some tales in mythologies that I dislike.   Which ones don't you like?



Lot (?) offering his daughter to the crowd so they won't bother his angelic visitors, and the parallel one about the visitor offering his companion.  They are ugly, ugly, stories.
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« Reply #3: March 10, 2007, 11:39:09 am »

In counterpoint to the other thread, I'm sure I'm not alone in finding that there are some tales in mythologies that I dislike.   Which ones don't you like?




I've never liked the story of God commanding Abraham to sacrifice Issac, and Abraham nearly does it. 

It seems a lot of us don't like the stories in the Bible much. Undecided
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« Reply #4: March 10, 2007, 02:48:15 pm »

I hate myths that are basically just rape fantasies - like the Hindu myth of how all the animals were created: a god (I forget his name) saw his daughter the Dawn and wanted her, but she ran from him turning into different animals. So he turned into the male equivalent of each animal and raped her in each form, and then she gave birth to all the world's creatures. So the animal kingdom was born of violent incest. Great.

Or any of the Zeus "tryst" stories - because damn, if Zeus wants you, there's no escape. He'll turn into anything, animal or element, and you can't run. He'll even turn into air and penetrate you that way if he has to (ala Zeus and Io). Everyone likes to romanticize these tales and say things like "they're just metaphors," but I'm sorry, those stories are just hideous to me.

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« Reply #5: March 10, 2007, 06:07:15 pm »

(::Braces herself for a barrage of complaints from Hellenics...Roll Eyes

Not really a complaint, just a difference of opinion about whether one should apply modern standards of sexual equality to ancient cultures.
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« Reply #6: March 10, 2007, 06:22:39 pm »

I hate myths that are basically just rape fantasies

Interesting, since I'm in the midst of writing an original myth where a rape is central. I *really* resisted turning this god into a rapist, but in this one instance, he was, and it would be dishonest of me to try to write it any other way.

On the other hand, I'm not sugar-coating it. It's framed very much as a violation of the natural order, let alone of the goddess herself, and it brings horrible consequences for everyone, even those not directly involved. So I guess it doesn't qualify as a rape fantasy.

Still, I'm having a tough time figuring out how to write the rape of a goddess: capturing the awfulness of it, communicating the moment in a way that does justice to what she must have felt. Not being a woman, let alone having any experience with rape, is no doubt part of the problem.

If anybody knows of any good resources on understanding and describing the rape experience, I'd appreciate a shout. I realize it's a sensitive issue.

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« Reply #7: March 11, 2007, 10:11:41 am »


If anybody knows of any good resources on understanding and describing the rape experience, I'd appreciate a shout. I realize it's a sensitive issue.


Have you read Lucky by Alice Sebold?  It's a rape survivor's autobiography and it seems to be available in most libraries (at least here in England).

It seems to me that, whatever the emotional consequences for a human woman (and I don't pretend to understand), and whatever self-destructive behaviours might result, these must be magnified onto a cosmic scale for a Goddess.  But you seem to have this covered in your story by the 'horrible consequences' that follow the rape.

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« Reply #8: March 11, 2007, 10:28:54 am »

Have you read Lucky by Alice Sebold?

I haven't. Thanks for the tip; I'll seek it out.

you seem to have this covered in your story by the 'horrible consequences' that follow the rape.

I hope so. We'll have to see how it turns out once I'm done.
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« Reply #9: March 15, 2007, 07:08:16 pm »

In counterpoint to the other thread, I'm sure I'm not alone in finding that there are some tales in mythologies that I dislike.   Which ones don't you like?



I'll admit I have moral problems with a lot of mythology (as in I wouldn't accept those actions as being moral today). Probably the stories I have most trouble with are from the Bible, where God shows his vengeful side and punishes people. Stories like that of the children who God had killed by bears because they made fun of Elijah's baldness, or Lot's wife being turned into a pillar of salt for looking back at Sodom and Gomorrah burning etc etc.

I can't quite explain why those Bible stories bother me more then the various vengeful/jealous/rapist god/goddess stories in other mythology. I think it has something to do with Christianity's claim that their God is all loving, all perfect, all moral and just in general so much better then any fallen, imperfect, immoral human could ever possibly conceive. I want to shout "No he isn't! Look what he supposedly did here, and here, and here! Moral and all loving God my left butt-cheek!"
 
Somehow, even though gods of other religions are also usually portrayed as perfect beings far above humans, their immoralities don't bother me the same way. Can't explain it, just how I feel.  Huh
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« Reply #10: March 16, 2007, 08:00:04 am »

Somehow, even though gods of other religions are also usually portrayed as perfect beings far above humans, their immoralities don't bother me the same way. Can't explain it, just how I feel.  Huh

Not really true; the concept of an "omni-god" (all-powerful, all-knowing, all-benevolent) isn't especially common outside of the big monotheisms, primarily Christianity.  A good chunk of cultures tended to remove "all' from at least one of those attributes of their gods, and often removed 'benevolent" altogether.  The view of deity as far more wise and powerful than human beings, but not necessarily all-powerful or all-knowing, is common; also common is the idea that the gods, even the ones kindly disposed towards humans (by no means all of them) have agendas other than doing "good" by human standards.

As for the portrayal of godly "immoralities," those stories had a number of different interpretations, including the pious "gods' ways are not our ways."  You also have people like Ovid; a very common reading of the Metamorphoses is as sort of the anti-Aeneid; by emphasizing the behavior of the gods at their cruelest or most ridiculous, he was making fun of established authority -- the Julio-Claudian emperors claimed to be descended from Venus, and so mocking the gods was also a way of twitting the political power structures. 
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« Reply #11: March 19, 2007, 01:47:10 am »

In counterpoint to the other thread, I'm sure I'm not alone in finding that there are some tales in mythologies that I dislike.   Which ones don't you like?

As much as I enjoy the stories of the Contendings between Set and Heru-sa-aset, I really dislike the bits where Aset interferes.  She grates on my nerves SO MUCH in those stories.  I just want to yell at Her to butt out and let Her son take a fall if He can't manage on His own.

I also dislike the myth where Aset creates a snake to bite Ra and will give an antidote to the venom only if He gives Her His true name.

I know Aset is a widely popular deity, but every time I read those myths, I find myself thinking "What a bitch!"
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« Reply #12: March 19, 2007, 05:39:30 am »

As much as I enjoy the stories of the Contendings between Set and Heru-sa-aset, I really dislike the bits where Aset interferes.  She grates on my nerves SO MUCH in those stories.  I just want to yell at Her to butt out and let Her son take a fall if He can't manage on His own.

I also dislike the myth where Aset creates a snake to bite Ra and will give an antidote to the venom only if He gives Her His true name.

I know Aset is a widely popular deity, but every time I read those myths, I find myself thinking "What a bitch!"

Heh. 

I'd have to disagree, obviously. 

In the Contendings, She is doing exactly what She is supposed to be doing as the personification of the Throne and as the Mother of the King.  She must also test Her son just as Set is.  In order to be a King Heru-sa-Aset must learn to cut the apron strings to His mother so he can become ruler.  Once He cuts off Her head in a part of the myth is (I believe) when that happens.   He quits being, as Darkhawk put it, a Momma's Boy, and comes into His own power. 

In the myth of Ra and His Secret Name, there have been a few explainations I have heard over the years about it. 


::sings::  "I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

So take me as I am"
Bitch, by Meredith Brooks
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« Reply #13: March 19, 2007, 04:02:52 pm »

::sings:: "I'm a bitch, I'm a tease,
I'm a goddess on my knees,
When you hurt, when you suffer
I'm your angel undercover
I'm enough, I'm revived
Can't say I'm not alive
You know you wouldn't want it any other way!"

Heh heh, couldn't help myself.  Grin
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Thessaly: Did she answer you?
Foxglove: Well, it felt good at the time. Empowering.
Thessaly: Hmph.
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« Reply #14: March 20, 2007, 01:34:40 am »

Heh. 

I'd have to disagree, obviously. 

In the Contendings, She is doing exactly what She is supposed to be doing as the personification of the Throne and as the Mother of the King.  She must also test Her son just as Set is.  In order to be a King Heru-sa-Aset must learn to cut the apron strings to His mother so he can become ruler.  Once He cuts off Her head in a part of the myth is (I believe) when that happens.   He quits being, as Darkhawk put it, a Momma's Boy, and comes into His own power. 

In the myth of Ra and His Secret Name, there have been a few explainations I have heard over the years about it. 

I'm really not exactly sure what about Aset in these particular myths bugs me so much, but She does.  I think it might be partly to do with the fact that:
 
1.  I myself am really not a maternal-type woman at all, and so Her actions are probably really beyond the scope of my understanding


2.   My mom works in a high school and I hear stories almost daily about parents that think that THEIR kid is SO damn special, the rules don't/should not apply to their pwecious iddle child, and they can do NO wrong.  And you hear no end to them butting in where they shouldn't, trying to manipulate the system for their brats, trying to force everyone to let their child be the best whether the kid actually IS, blaming the teachers for the CHILD'S failures, etc.  Kinda the whole "soccer mom" thing.

I guess where some people might see "strong loving mother-figure" in the myths, I see just "sneaky underhanded soccer mom."
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