So i saw Exodus: Gods & Kings over Easter and, as heaps of peeps have commented, it’s a bit off. Top marks to the person doing the eyeliner on the Egyptian aristocrats and the C.G.I. locusts. But it’s also insanely sexist, even by the standards of a movie about a male hero (Moses) ousting the old Gods and Goddesses in favor of a one-male-god religion.
God (the Christian one) appears in the guise of a surly 11 year old boy and there are too many beards and baggy hemp robes to keep a track of. The female roles are sub-subordinate: A priestess who is correct but everyone disparages her anyway. A brief mention of the Lion Goddess Sekhmet, who doesn’t even get to swipe her paw at anyone in retaliation for God sending locusts, crocodiles and deadly biblical killing rays that target only pagan first born sons, so powerless is she in this narrative.
Sigourney Weaver as the mother of the Pharoah gets a couple of lines and to do a lot of thin lipped, set jaw glaring. Mrs Pharoah drifts around managing to summon up a slight moue of sadness when her baby gets taken out by the 11 year old God, leaving all the histrionics to Joel Edgerton’s super-camp Pharoah.
Mrs Moses meets Christian Bale and is betrothed in two minutes. Then he fuqs off to free the slaves and returns years later, saying he hopes she still has her faith, because he has bought back several hundred thousand Hebrews to feed. Moses has a mother and sister whom the evil, camp Pharoah orders killed but Moses never bothers to ask about them again. It is WEIRD.
And anyway, I will still thinking about that when i read THIS in the Womans Encylopedia Of Myths and Secrets today. It’s about Pandora, one of a long-line of female deities either demonized or reduced to spiteful troublemakers by patriarchal legend-makers.
Literally “all-giver”, title of the Earth Goddess Rhea, personified as the first woman in an anti-feminist fable by Hesiod, who tried to blame war, death, disease and all other ills on women.
Pandora’s vessel was not a box but a honey-vase, pithos, from which she poured out blessings as a womb-like symbol like the Cornucopia, anciently used as a vessel of death and rebirth. Pandora’s Vase becamse Pandora’s Box only in the late medieval period, when Erasmus mistakenly translated pithos as pyxis.
Hesiod claimed Zeus send Pandora to earth to punish men, who had offended him. She bore a vase filled not with blessings but with curses; strife, pain, death, sickness and all other afflictions. Pandora in her curiosity opened the vase, as Zeus knew she would, and released them among men. In a refinement of cruelty, Zeus also supplied delusive Hope, to prevent men from killing themselves in despair and escaping the full meed of suffering the Heavenly Father intended for them.
The basic theme is also familiar in the myth of Eve.
There is a fundamental flaw in all this and it’s not the baseline feminine nature, the old goddesses or original sin.
Pandora is, of course, an asteroid – number 55 – see this old post for more. She is currently near Venus in Taurus (speaking of Earth Goddess) and will spend the second half of April in Gemini and in opposition to Saturn.
At the same time Pluto trines Lilith the whole month. Biblical upstarts empowered and in rebel mode. This made me think of it too. Justice for victims of abuse and respect for the survivors at the expense of who-cares-what rigid authoritarian/hypocritical structure is totally a theme of Lilith.
Image: Dante Gabriel Rossetti – Pandora
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