The Story of Medusa

Stephen Fasciani, Staff Writer

Recently I was in my English class, and while studying Greek mythology, we were introduced to a video on Medusa’s story. The film didn’t even touch on the real reason for Medusa’s transformation into a gorgon, so I will expand on her real story.

The real story of Medusa starts with Poseidon, God of the sea, in the Parthenon. When a beautiful priestess walked into the Parthenon, the temple of Athena, Poseidon noticed her. He was captivated by her, and then, he sexually assaulted her. When she went to Athena to report the crime, Athena believed Poseidon over her. This priestess was Medusa.

For “lying” about the crime, Medusa was turned into a hideous gorgon. This is a story of victim blaming. Poseidon made the argument that Medusa wanted to, and Athena believed him! As screwed up as the Greek gods were, I didn’t think they’d go so far as victim blaming! This was told differently to me in my English class.

When in class, I heard a story about an arrogant girl who flaunted her beauty around and said Athena’s temple should have been dedicated to her. This girl couldn’t have been Medusa based on the real story, but in this video, it indeed was her. Since the girl was so arrogant and vain, Athena turned her into a gorgon to teach her a lesson. This was an over-censorship of Medusa’s story of sexual assault and victim blaming. I’ll admit it was for kids, but that’s not a good excuse. There was not a single mention of Poseidon in the video, and it did not allude to the real story at all.

The differences are undeniable between the two stories. The first is a story of sexual assault and blaming the victim for being assaulted. You wouldn’t blame a murder victim for what the murderer did, so why blame a rape victim? That was Athena’s mistake. Poseidon was the one to blame, as he was the one who assaulted Medusa. In the second story, Medusa is the one at fault for boasting about how beautiful she is while Athena is the good guy, and Poseidon isn’t even mentioned. The stories do not correlate in the slightest.

To summarize, Medusa’s story is a dark one but should be heard. The censorship of Medusa’s story is disappointing, as the real story relates to present day’s problems. Nobody should have to be ignored on a serious matter like sexual assault. It is a message that needs to be heard.