On this blog on Wednesdays, I like to celebrate wicked women who are rarely highlighted and the wicked awesome women who make the world a better place. Today, however, I'm going to celebrate a wicked awesome girl. Annie contacted me to nominate her niece, Eliza, for this Wicked Women Wednesday.
Eliza is a Girl Scout. As a lifelong member of the Girl Scouts, I love hearing about other girls who use scouting to do amazing things. Eliza is trying to organize buddy benches at some surrounding schools for kids who have been bullied and need friends. The idea is to place the bench at the school's playground and anyone sitting there is in need of a friend. So Eliza wants to educate all the kids to watch and approach anyone sitting there and be friends with them. Annie reported that Eliza has had some set backs with the process but she's still working towards it.
Go Eliza! You're certainly a Wicked Awesome Woman on the rise. Bullying is a serious issue that should be addressed in schools. Keep working towards creating a better learning environment for yourself and others.
We'll all be cheering for you!
The three Gorgon sisters—Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale—were all children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys (or "Phorkys") and his sister Ceto (or "Keto"), monsters from an archaic world. T
In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.770), Medusa was originally a ravishingly beautiful maiden, "the jealous aspiration of many suitors," but because Poseidon had raped her in Athena's temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa's beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn onlookers to stone. Why is it that the ancient Greeks always punished the woman who was raped? Medusa - you were unjustly punished.
In most versions of the story, she was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who was sent to fetch her head by King Polydectes of Seriphus. The gods were well aware of this, and Perseus received help. He received a mirrored shield from Athena, gold, winged sandals from Hermes, a sword from Hephaestus and Hades's helm of invisibility. Since Medusa was the only one of the three Gorgons who was mortal, Perseus was able to slay her while looking at the reflection from the mirrored shield he received from Athena. During that time, Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon. Again, what's with the ancient Greeks?
The corals of the Red Sea were said to have been formed of Medusa's blood spilled onto seaweed when Perseus laid down the petrifying head beside the shore during his short stay in Ethiopia where he saved and wed his future wife, the lovely princess Andromeda. The poisonous vipers of the Sahara were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood.
Perseus then flew to Seriphos, where his mother was about to be forced into marriage with the king. King Polydectes was turned into stone by the gaze of Medusa's head. Then Perseus gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis.
Poor Medusa. You got a bad rap in mythology. No wonder Bernini makes her look so sad. Someone should re-write your story. Maybe me.
A couple of Wednesdays ago, I challenged my readers to nominate the most wicked female cartoon character. Patricia nominated Ursula from The Little Mermaid, and I totally agree. But, there are probably a lot of things about this wicked witch of the sea that you didn't know...
Top ten things you may not have known about Ursula:
1. She's hardly present in the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of The Little Mermaid. Screenwriter Ron Clements decided to make the story different by giving the sea witch a name and making her more of a villain.
2. Lyricist, producer and writer Howard Ashman had originally envisioned Ursula's relationship with King Triton as a soap opera, and thus drew inspiration from soap opera actress Joan Collins.
3. Animated by Ruben A. Aquino, Ursula's original design was inspired by several different sea creatures, including manta rays and scorpion fish, before Clements finally decided to base the character on an octopus.
4. Her number of tentacles was reduced from eight to six for financial reasons.
5. Ursula's appearance was also inspired by American actor and drag queen Divine.
6. When The Little Mermaid was first released in 1989, Ursula was immediately embraced as one of Disney's best villains, and continues to be ranked highly among the studio's greatest by the media. Praised for being both humorous and frightening, the character has garnered positive reviews from film critics, some of whom dubbed her Disney's strongest villain in decades. Meanwhile, Pat Carroll's performance has garnered similar acclaimed to the point of which the role has eclipsed her previous body of work, ultimately becoming virtually synonymous with the character.
7. Pat Carroll was not the filmmakers' first choice for the role. There was a long debate among the film's creators about who should voice the film's villainness, the casting process for whom lasted an entire year.
8. In her book Tales, Then and Now: More Folktales as Literary Fictions for Young Adults, author Anna E. Altmann drew similarities between Ursula and the Christian figure Satan because both Ariel and Triton are forced to "sign a contract ... with her." Much like Satan, Ursula was banished from Triton's palace, similar to the way in which Lucifer was exiled from heaven.
9. As arguably "the most famous example of a direct tie to the LGBT community," Ursula has also become something of a gay icon, due in part to sharing Divine's appearance and personality.
10. The character's impact as a villainness has ultimately eclipsed those of her predecessors. According to Laura Rosenfeld of Tech Times, Ursula has had the most profound influence out of all animated characters in the Disney canon.The character is considered to be one of the greatest Disney villains of all-time, and continues to be ranked highly on countdown lists compiled by various publications.
I write about power dynamics in relationships, the empowerment of women, and the ethical and moral dilemmas love can create in our lives. This is a space where I meditate on those themes and share them with the word. Who knows, my next novel may start right here...