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medusa and the female gaze

Project MUSE® In ancient Greek mythology, Medusa is a Gorgon, one of three hideous sisters whose appearance turns men to stone. Medusa is a greek gorgon, goddess and symbol of female empowerment. With warehouses on three continents, worldwide sales representation, and a robust digital publishing program, the Books Division connects Hopkins authors to scholars, experts, and educational and research institutions around the world. Feminists reinterpreted Medusa as a woman who used her anger to avenge herself on the male gaze. © 1990 The Johns Hopkins University Press Medusa was a formidable foe, since her hideous appearance was able to render any onlooker into stone. The story of Medusa is rather late, from OVID. The most common interpretation of Medusa suggests she is an apotropaic symbol used to protect from and ward off the negative, much like the modern evil eye. Books Feminine voices are few and far between in the classical narratives that have formed the foundations of our literary traditions, so by using myths female writers have been able to give the feminine voice an element of authority that is equated, as, with so-called ‘high culture’, putting them on an even playing field with the male voices that have oppressed and silenced them for so long. Go to Table The portrayal of Medusa as a monster becomes the central sexist device of the myth, used to scare women off from casting a harsh gaze on their oppressors … In Dungeons and Dragons editions 3 and 3.5, Medusa is an Always Female species with a humanoid body but serpent skin. are both theoretical and practical, thereby foregrounding the ways in The works of these powerful and popular writers span several decades and multiple genres, from romance and … focused on understanding women's lives. NWSA Journal Medusa was a virgin priestess of Athena serving in her temple. 3.4 Medusa’s Mask vs. Purchase this issue for $44.00 USD. (16) Within this detailed, scholarly, yet … of Contents. With critically acclaimed titles in history, science, higher education, consumer health, humanities, classics, and public health, the Books Division publishes 150 new books each year and maintains a backlist in excess of 3,000 titles. Athena transformed the rape survivor into a monster with hair of snakes and a gaze that could turn men into stone. Women's Studies. In his. When Poseidon raped her, Athena’s wrath focused on Medusa (not Poseidon) and she turned her into a gorgon, hideously cursed with evil looks and left to live out her life as a monster. Alban presents Medusa and other goddess figures as inspirational, repelling evil through the ‘evil eye’ of their powerful gaze or inspirational force; she conversely shows the obverse perspective on women who are condemned as monstrous Gorgons, trapped in enmity, rivalry and rage. Hopkins Fulfillment Services (HFS) Medusa is an instantly recognizable figure from ancient Greek art. When you hear the word Medusa your brain is likely to immediately conjure images of a fearsome and hideous monster no one should look at. It seems less of an ancient myth than a modern reality. Medusa is one of the more unusual divine figures of ancient Greece mythology.. One of a trio of Gorgon sisters, Medusa was the only sister who was not immortal. Once on an even playing field, these female writers are in prime position to question, destabilise and ultimately change the traditional narratives that have been so instrumental in defining and silencing women. field of Women's Studies. Traits Petrifying Gaze: When a creature that can see the medusa's eyes starts its turn within 30 ft. of the medusa, the medusa can force it to make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw if the medusa isn't incapacitated and can see the creature. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is instantly petrified. The Medusa Gaze offers striking insights into the desires and frustrations of women through the narratives of the impressive contemporary novelists Angela Carter, Toni Morrison, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Atwood, A.S. Byatt, Iris Murdoch, Jeanette Winterson, Jean Rhys and Michèle Roberts. HFS clients enjoy state-of-the-art warehousing, real-time access to critical business data, accounts receivable management and collection, and unparalleled customer service. The Medusa figure has been presented by writers and scholars as the symbol of the victimized woman, a figure of both power and anger. Check out using a credit card or bank account with. The female gaze is a feminist film theoretical term representing the gaze of the female viewer. publishes interdisciplinary and multicultural feminist scholarship Medusa Gaze: Female medusae gain the hardening gaze power. In his ‘Metamorphosis’ he refers to Medusa being ‘violated’ and Athena ‘shielding her eyes’. Request Permissions. Male medusae gain the vexing gaze power. which critical analysis can inform action both in and outside of From the cover of her CD “Medusa” (1995), the artist Annie Lennox returns our gaze and presents a remake, retransformation, and retrieval of the Medusa as an image of female, erotic power – and of consumption: The question of who consumes whom ultimately remains unanswered. Shakespeare wrote about her. After centuries of silence, conversations about rape culture began to restore Medusa’s voice. According to Greek mythology, the sea-god Poseidon raped the beautiful mortal, Medusa, in goddess Athena’s temple. They noted that in the myths there was never an instance of Medusa turning a woman to stone. No one could look Medusa … In some variations of the myth, Medusa was born a monster like her sisters, described as girded with serpents, vibrating tongues, gnashing their teeth, having wings, brazen claws, and enormous teeth.In later myths (mainly in Ovid) Medusa was the only Gorgon to possess snake … This item is part of a JSTOR Collection. All Rights Reserved. Petrifying Gaze attack as well as poison bites from the hair snakes come with the package. This paper analyses the visualisation of rape and sexual assault in legal and scholarly language. Studying the female characters as both the bearers and receivers of the “petrifying, nurturing and redemptive” gaze of Medusa, the “dreadfully gorgeous victim” (2), she views them through the vision filters of such giant figures as Freud, Lacan, Laing, de Beauvoir, Cixous, Irigaray, Spivak, … We cannot guarantee that every book is in the library. Medusa is a sea spirit at her core. The division also manages membership services for more than 50 scholarly and professional associations and societies. Medusa remains a potent icon at a time when women leaders continue to be viewed skeptically or, at worst, as inhuman. Read your article online and download the PDF from your email or your account. It also states that Poseidon had been lured by Medusa’s hair, so Athena turned it to snakes. Medusa’s beauty ensnared her in the lustful and entitled gaze of the sea god Poseidon, who raped her. MEDUSA AND THE FEMALE GAZE by Cheryl Gault, The story of Medusa is rather late, from OVID. The female gaze is conceptually similar to the male gaze; that is, when women take up the male gaze, they view other people, and themselves, from the perspective of a man. Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content, providing access to journal and book content from nearly 300 publishers. Freud had a bloody field day. If, she argued, they dared to “look at the Medusa straight on,” they would see … Simply put, the female gaze is the greatest threat to the dominating male gaze.The female gaze in DuPlessis' poem triumphs over the male gaze, and the female voice is free to express itself "in sight, my netted reach/ in voice, my knotted speech"(DuPlessis, 1980: 42) As opposed to DuPlessis' empowerment and revitalisation of the female gaze, the gaze of Stanford's Medusa loses its vitality and freshness as … Medusa’s gaze subverts the male gaze. Through the lens of theology, film, art, and feminist literature, my students and I map how her meaning has shifted over time and across cultures. Her face, whether fierce and grotesque or feminine and composed, appears in virtually all media in varying contexts. Especially the woman’s down-cast eyes point to the Medusa, whose gaze, in most images of her (thus, for instance, in the celebrated paintings by Caravaggio [1596] and Rubens [c.1618] as well as in the Flemish School painting “Medusa” [c.1620–30] attributed to da Vinci), is directed side- or downwards as if to spare the viewers from petrifaction. The most famous painting of Medusa – a female character from Greek mythology who had a hair of snakes and could turn men to stone if they met her gaze directly – was painted by Caravaggio in 1596. In contrast, Medusa represents a powerful and wise women whose matriarchal power challenges the patriarchal norms of societies and religion with her sexual freedom and her stare that kills ; in other words she is an “icon of the female gaze”.Her … It begins with a critique of the Court of Appeal ruling in R v. Evans (Chedwyn) and its forensic examination of the details of a female rape complainant's consensual sexual activity with other men. The National Women's Studies Association Journal (NWSA Journal) According to Mary … See page illustration. She is killed by the hero Perseus, who cuts off her head.To the Greeks, Medusa is the leader of an ancient, older matriarchal religion that had to be obliterated; in modern culture, she represents vital sensuality and a power that is threatening to males. special issues focused on topics especially important in the field of panoptic gaze, the Medusa gaze is an inspiring force available for women to claim for themselves [… in order to] remain strong against assault under the public eye, which values women as more or less attractive objects. In her article Medusa and the Female Gaze (NWSA Journal, Vol.2), Susan R. Bowers says that “the patriarchal images of women from Greco-Roman mythology will continue to … One of the largest publishers in the United States, the Johns Hopkins University Press combines traditional books and journals publishing units with cutting-edge service divisions that sustain diversity and independence among nonprofit, scholarly publishers, societies, and associations. For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions option. Female Spectator In order to understand the relationship between the Medusa’s Head and the female spectator we need to reference Freud: “the woman is constructed differently in relation to processes of looking […] the woman has a problematic relation to the visible, to form, to structures of seeing” (Doane 1990: 47). However, another tradition, used by Mallarmé in Les Dieux antiques (1880), stressed a more personal rivalry: Medusa had once boasted that she was more beautiful than Athena. The Medusa story is more than two millennia old. So misused and misunderstood in literary criticism of recent decades, the male gaze is a device like the face of Medusa. According to Greek mythology, the sea-god Poseidon raped the beautiful mortal, Medusa, in goddess Athena’s temple. In her 1975 manifesto The Laugh of the Medusa, the feminist theorist Hélène Cixous asserts that man created the monstrous legacy of Medusa through fear of female desire. scholarship and its reviews of books, the NWSAJ regularly publishes The Medusa story is more than two millennia old. Athena transformed the rape survivor into a monster with hair of snakes and a gaze that could turn men into stone. He uses this tool to gaze upon Medusa without being turned to stone and then he beheads her with a divine sword. Medusa is widely known as a monstrous creature with snakes in her hair whose gaze turns men to stone. ... Medusa has become a symbol of female empowerment. Today Medusa, with her snake hair and stare that turns people to stone, endures as an allegorical figure of fatal beauty, or a ready image for superimposing the face … The story of a powerful woman raped, demonized, then slain by a patriarchal society? Through the lens of theology, film, art, and feminist literature, my students and I map how her meaning has shifted over time and across cultures. In ancient Greek mythology, Medusa is a Gorgon, one of three hideous sisters whose appearance turns men to stone. Garbati’s Medusa nonsensically employs a male tool for bloodshed — Perseus’s sword — as a symbol of female empowerment, sending the message that women need to copy men’s tactics to wield power. (16) Within this detailed, scholarly, yet accessible investigation of “the power Journals Since we are directly told that Medusa is originally a virgin or is an anima-based personality, I have serious doubts as to the validity of this version of the story. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. Medusa was a formidable foe, since her hideous appearance was able to render any onlooker into stone. One is the arrival of Christianity (which was detrimental to the myths) and the other, the simple act of forgetting. The great irony of Medusa is that she has become a classic example of the female object, though the greatest emphasis in the Medusa myth is the terrifying power of her own gaze. From this, therefore, we can see why feminists have chosen to use myths to re-evaluate traditional perceptions of women. The Medusa Gaze offers striking insights into the desires and frustrations of women through the narratives of the impressive contemporary novelists Angela Carter, Toni Morrison, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Atwood, A.S. Byatt, Iris Murdoch, Jeanette Winterson, Jean Rhys and Michèle Roberts. “A Gorgon from classical mythology, Medusa is widely known as a monstrous creature with snakes in her hair whose gaze turns men to stone. Medusa S Gaze. The NWSAJ accepts articles that To access this article, please, Access everything in the JPASS collection, Download up to 10 article PDFs to save and keep, Download up to 120 article PDFs to save and keep. It is mentioned that Medusas can procreate with any humanoid species, the offspring normally becomes Medusas. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. S easy to see why feminists have chosen to use myths to re-evaluate perceptions... Male & female gaze, that powerful expression of female power and sexism from to... Rather late, from OVID priestess of Athena serving in her arguments regarding Medusa... 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