Greek mythology, feminist reclamation of lost/ancient tradition, and an interface issue: or, The Thing I Got So Cranky About The Other Day



The passage below, when I ran across it last week, initially caused my mouth to drop open in sheer disbelief. And since then the thought that it is even now wandering blithely about unchallenged has been sort of gnawing at me. So some ranting is about to ensue. If you’re not in the mood for that, best turn your eyes away now and look at some nice pics of kittens drinking beer or something.

…I can’t now even remember what brought me to this particular page, and I want to emphasize that this isn’t in any way about the OP, who doubtless thought the source (or at least the quote) was reliable.


…it’s not. And since this (as some around here like to say) is relevant to my interests, I just want to drop a few notes about this one quote, and leave further considerations to those who feel like going into them.

So here’s the material that got up my nose.

Greek myths mention several Islands of Women, where Amazons lived without men, only consorting with neighboring colonies of males at certain seasons when they wanted to conceive their children. Taurus, Lemnos, and Lesbos were said to be such all-female societies. The Greeks apparently feared them. They said the women of Taurus sacrificed to their Goddess all men who landed on their shores; and the women of Lemnos had risen up against their husbands and murdered all of them at once. The Greek writers seemed to have no doubt that women could destroy whole populations of adult males, and there was no effective defense against them.

The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker (p. 26)

(rolls up her sleeves) It’s hard to even know where to begin shredding this like wet kleenex analyzing this…

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OP: 940 notes
DD’s fact-check: 99 notes

Tumblr is a great place to be inspired, roused, motivated, whatever. But if you approach it with a credulous mind, it’s also a great place to be indoctrinated with “facts” that aren’t actually factual.

Which is fine. IDGAF/IDWIW/YOLO/PQZ and all that. Dream big. Be inspired and impassioned. Raise consciousness. Right the world’s wrongs.

But know this: If you aren’t consciously employing critical thinking, you’ll be creating and propagating new wrongs the whole time. And some of the people who otherwise might have been persuaded by you are going to decide that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Reposted from

Tags: tumblr lies, second-coolest person on tumblr.

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