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Rape (and Incest) in Mythology

From Audio: Greek Mythology

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station description A sexual history podcast
Get Naked with Alix
Duration: 01:53
While both rape and incest are extremely taboo and heavily frowned upon, both come up frequently in Greek mythology. Incest was legal so long as you had different mothers, and rape was only discussed in terms of male raping other men.
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While both rape and incest are extremely taboo and heavily frowned upon, both come up frequently in Greek mythology. In terms of Greek society, incest was legal so long as you had different mothers, and rape was only discussed in terms of male raping other men. Many times, rape was commonly interchanged with seduction, and consent for sex was true consent, heavily convinced consent, or physically forced.
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her advances. She cries herself to death turning into a spring of water. All this incest got me thinking what were the Greeks views on incest at the time. Obviously it seems pretty God focused mostly, but you weren't really allowed to look down on what the gods were doing. So turns out incest was actually legal only as long as you were born from different women, it seems like parent child relationships were rare and potentially look down on, but you were good as long as you have different moms. Another constant theme, arguably the most constant theme is rape. The word rape when used in greek mythology confused the fuck out of me for a while. I did however, kind of figure it out. I think. So if you keep in mind the life and times of the ancient Greeks, women didn't really have a say in politics. Laws and rights. Men kind of owned everything. And with that the words raped and seduced, get interchanged a lot. And the relating story could really hold either meaning. And some stories have totally alternative tellings where the sexual intercourse was clearly consensual. For instance, you can find versions of the story of lita and the swan or Zeus disguised as a swan in which it says she was raped because who willingly has sex with the swan. There's one where she's seduced by the charming swan while they're stuck in a cave and also that she just flat out does it because why not? I think mostly seduction and rape were used to describe the choice of sex being taken from a woman in any way. Either she was heavily convinced and had no chance fighting the manipulations or she was physically forced. Both were considered rape and seduction, if that makes sense? Neither were her choice. I looked up rape laws in Greece and they only really covered males. Men would be severely punished if they raped other men, but women not so much. Again, women didn't really have the rights and weren't allowed much free will anyway. So there's a lot of rape in these stories. I won't get too heavily into that. It's all the same. Mostly someone forces or coerces someone into something.
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