Magical Femininity: Womanly Creatures That Kick Ass

Posted on 08/27/2010
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Some people seem to think that the numerous patriarchal and patrilineal societies try to keep their structures in place by ignoring women. However, all throughout traditional mythology and legends there have been “special” creatures that embrace the feminine sex as their only gender-based form. These magical beings may take on the negative aspects of womanhood as viewed by men or adapt certain scary or intimidating creatures into their feminine physique, but the fact remains solid that the special women had a very strong hold over the mystical and paranormal. They may be mean. They may be strange. They may be downright weird or even frightening. Yet, their female power puts these beings in a special category unto themselves where they are powerful women in a male ruled magical, supernatural world.

Gorgon

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This terrifying female entity from Greek mythology gets its name from the Greek “gorgos” which means “dreadful.” It is easy to see how they achieved this name (or description as one might claim) for these women with hair composed of living, writhing, venomous snakes. In addition to being quite a sight to look at with this terrifying “hair,” gorgons have a stare that will turn on-lookers into stone. The number of gorgons that roam the Earth varies in different myths and legends. However, the most common depictions of the gorgons present them as three sisters—two immortals (Euryale and Stheno) and a mortal (Medusa, slain by Perseus). Their magical cursed gazes make them a common motif of protection though in art at the entrances of ancient Greek buildings.

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