Have you read Ovid’s literary classic Metamorphoses or studied about it? I’ve come across some references and the story that has haunted me has been Philomela’s story, the story of the woman whose tongue is cut off so that she can not tell the wrong that happened to her. Katy Waldman talks about a contemporary book Daphne, Will Boast’s debut novel, that explores Ovid’s themes. The old master comes across as strangely contemporary.
Ovid talks about all sorts of trials and tribulations that women go through- abduction, rape, impregnation. Even the gods did not spare the fair sex.
“Hades abducts Persephone; Zeus impregnates Leda; Apollo pursues Daphne; Zeus violates Europa. The effect of all these attacks feels totalizing, as if women exist to be abused. But Ovid’s epic positions female pain as the beginning or the hinge of the story, not the end; victims are transfigured, their suffering made new and strange. Daphne becomes a tree. Leda hatches two eggs. Persephone’s lingering in the underworld gives rise to undreamed-of seasons. That violence against women might lead to unexpected outcomes—to a legal-defense fund for sexual-assault survivors, backed by the most glittering red-carpet walkers; to the resignations and downfalls of many powerful men…”