The Myth of Perseus and Medusa
Medusa was a devotee of the deity of justice and wisdom, Athena. Poseidon, the sea god, who was a rival to Athena, noticed Medusa one day and planned to disgrace Athena by sexually assaulting the young woman of the deity’ s sanctuary. Medusa begged the goddess for help and compassion. But Athena was furious and punished Medusa for betraying her. Medusa was banished to a distant island and bestowed with broken skin, serpent hair, and eyes that would turn into stone any man that would look at her. She was exiled to her own island and all she saw were guys chasing her and attempting to murder her. She was terrified of her abilities and enraged at the deities for condemning her. A while after, Perseus was dispatched on a mission to carry Medusa’s head to King Polydectes. He outwitted Medusa and beheaded her, taking the head back with him.
An Italian artist Luciano Garbati often wondered why the woman who had been raped was the one who was persecuted in the myth, and so decided to create his own version where she is triumphant. Creating his sculpture“Medusa With the Head of Perseus” it would depict Medusa holding Perseus’s head instead, reversing the roles to portray a more modern outlook and in doing so became a symbol of the feminist movement.
Medusa has become a universal symbol of #MeToo movement.
“Medusa With the Head of Perseus” — was reimagined as a symbol of triumph for victims of sexual assault, when it was unveiled in Lower Manhattan, just across the street from the criminal courthouse.
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