Cassandra - The Gods Talk Bonus Material / Myths and Fairytales / Writing Fix

Zeus is a slut

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Zeus by Nuno de Azevedo used via Creative Commons license

One of the things that surprised me when I delved into Greek mythology was that the gods were not very nice. Zeus is the king pin of the Olympian gods. There are lots of derogatory words for women who have sex with many men. There is no male equivalent. Womaniser or player carry a far bit more honour than tart, whore or slag. In more recent times we have man-whore or man-slut but we have to put the word ‘man’ in there just so it is not assumed a woman is the target.

Men with power have been using women and sex since…well I can say with since Zeus ruled heaven and earth.

Zeus had many wives and relations with both goddesses and mortals and he was not adverse to trickery. He disguises himself as a white bull to abduct Europa, disguises himself as a cuckoo to take advantage of Hera, and a swan to consummate with Leda. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He spread his wild oats far and wide and had many children.

In my book Cassandra, Zeus arrives and moves into the house up the hill from Cassie’s family farm. He is an artist and builds sculptures out of scrap metal with a lightning-like welder.  He brings his daughter, the motherless Athena, with him to his artist’s retreat. He is city exotic in this rural community.

Here are a few words from Zeus.

Zeus – Lord of the Sky, the Cloud- gatherer, the Rain-god, the Father of Gods and men, God of Sky and Thunder

By Kathryn Gossow

Reprobate! Athena called me a reprobate – when I get my hands on her I’ll throttle her good and proper. Spoilt brat. Can’t blame the mother of course. Never was one.

She refers, I expect to my predilection for women. It’s true I’ve had my fair share of pussy – commoners, Titans, Goddesses, nymphs. Those nymphs – they really are something! You should find out for yourself. I could set something up…no? Well, suit yourself.

Conquests – many many… In the early days, there was Themis, the mother of the Three Sisters of Fate. Those Moirai are not mine. If I had fathered them I would have made sure I had more control of them. Very proper Themis was. Much too proper for me.

Despite my undeniable power, they weren’t all easy to seduce. There were times I had to manipulate and trick. To be an eagle, a bull, something a woman cannot resist.

Hera never could cope. I told her when we married that she could do as she willed and I, as I willed. She threw herself into jealous rages. Half the archaeological digs are unearthing precious pots destroyed by Hera. I have heard her described as solemn and majestic. Bullshit. Vengeful that goddess was. I often think of that poor nymph Echo. Many a favour she did me, entertaining Hera with her elaborate tales and humorous anecdotes while I wiled away my time ravishing willing nymphs. Ah, they were heady days. Hera found out of course. She cursed poor Echo to only repeat the words of others. A damned waste. A great conversationalist Echo was before Hera got hold of her.

Then there was poor Leto. Hera banned her from giving birth on land, island, sea or any place under the sun. Is there any other option? I grieved for poor Leto, racked with the pain of childbirth, gathering her huge stomach beneath her hands, searching for some place that could not exist. Leto worked it out. Finding a floating island and making promises to its people if they concealed her. There she gave birth to my great son Apollo and his twin sister.

And then there was Metis. Born high and mighty from those old Titans. Cunning bitch. Couldn’t wait to get rid of her. The story makers say I swallowed her. Abject silliness. They will tell you Metis hammered in my head until I begged Hephaestus to cleave my skull open with an axe. There sprang Athena, armoured and prepared for battle.

Fanciful of course. These things could not happen. What is true is that Athena is of my making. Her mother gone (let us not go into how and where, some things are best left buried). Athena is my invention, my creation, my moulding. Strong willed, is my Athena. There is no girly silliness to her. She will never be tricked or beguiled by a man. She will never be swayed from what is important to her because a man expects her to bend to his will. Athena is one of my greatest creations. Cheeky brat.

There are always critics. You made her into a misogynist. She’s too smart for her own good. She’s cold. Heartless. She should have had a mother.

Should have had a mother!  Athena never said that to me. Never came and complained of the lack of mother. It is clear my detractors cannot cope with the concept of a man raising a daughter.

Find me proof that Athena pined for her mother, a mother and I will rectify. I will find a mother for her.

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One thought on “Zeus is a slut

  1. Pingback: Who was Cassandra of Troy? | Fiction Fix

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