If you were asked to name a god, odds are you’d immediately cast your mind back to ancient Greece and suggest Zeus, or Hades, or even Athena. Let’s be honest, Athena was probably the most clued-up ancient deity (and you would hope so, being that she was the goddess of wisdom and all), and spent a lot of time solving problems and outwitting the male gods. Similarly, you’ve probably heard of the huntress Artemis, Demeter, the goddess of the harvest and obviously Aphrodite, the goddess of love (who, incidentally, was created when the god Uranus’ severed manhood was thrown into the ocean. Aphrodite emerged fully-formed from the sea-foam. Bet you didn’t know that!). But somewhere along the way, sadly, many of the other savvy Goddesses got lost in history and now we increasingly remember them as either victims or harlots (think Helen of Troy). So here are my Top Five Badass Greek Goddesses That the World Should Remember:
Gaia is basically a Greek representation of the ultimate Goddess, Mother Earth (you’ve probably heard her come up in Paganism, and in annoying tampon adverts). She is, in Wikipedia’s words, ‘the great mother of all: the heavenly gods, the Titans and the Giants’. By this justification Gaia is the root of all human badasses, from Johnny Depp to Joan Jett, so is definitely deserving of the title.
Way before she became a popular clothing brand, Nike was the embodiment of strength, speed and victory (and is, it is thought, the subject of the Louvre’s beautiful ‘Nike of Samothrace’ sculpture). One of the few Gods to retain their wings during Greece’s Classical period, she was said to have zipped about battlefields rewarding the victors with greatness. Badass.
Okay, so you probably have heard of Zeus’ wife Hera, goddess of women and marriage, possibly from Disney’s Hercules. But trust me, that incarnation is as different from the Hera of legend as Britney is from Buffy. For a start, she hated Heracles (to use the original Greek spelling). HATED him. This was mostly due to the fact that Zeus had conceived him with another woman, one of many. At one point she was so fed up with her philandering husband that she IMPREGNATED HERSELF and gave birth to a son, Hephaestus. This, in itself, is badass.
Nemesis not only has a badass name, but is also the goddess of revenge, punishment and other general badassery: you don’t want to get on her mean side. Sure, she’s not the most likeable goddess and I’m definitely not encouraging you to smite down anyone that incurs your wrath or anything, but let’s face it: she is most definitely a badass.
It seems a shame to me that mythical ladies such as these have faded from our collective consciousness- stories of their gutsy exploits gave way to the not-half-as-epic European fairytales such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Frog Prince, which paraded the virtues of loyalty (only on the woman’s part, really) and virginity (again, seems like they just thought it should be a girl thing) over independence and courage. But if you remember just one thing, make it this, guys: you are all badasses.