Medusa & My Bitch Face

Lessons from a Goddess on the power of ugliness.

Toby Israel
Hello, Love


Source: Unsplash

A former partner used to tell me that my anger — or more specifically, my bitch face — frightened him.

It was thanks to him, thanks to the pyrotechnics of our conflicts, that I came to know my capacity for rage.

Do you know what it feels like to embody the word “fuming” as your anger walks you down the street? To play metal music (which you hate) at maximum volume so you won’t have to scream alone? To become mute with rage, any words at all lost in the blizzard of your mind?

I didn’t. But I do now.

Recently, I have been delving deep into wide-ranging interpretations and re-storyings of the Medusa myth. Market research, if you will, for a new project I am co-creating, Medusa Media Collective.

Feminist retellings of her story abound. Raped by Poiseidon, punished by Athena, decapitated by Perseus, Medusa can also be a symbol of subversion, a quintessential life-giving and life-destroying wild woman.

Perhaps best known for the serpents in her hair, Medusa’s gaze, as referenced in Homer’s Illiad, is just as fascinating.

“Medusa’s eye petrifies. Her “evil” eye brings death.”