I’d like to talk ancient Greece this week (I promise I won’t be focusing solely on antiquity). I watched Hercules and Xena growing up and I was utterly fascinated with the models of ancient Greece and Rome they presented. Kick ass women! Lesbianism, or at least the appearance of it, totally accepted! There was even an episode where a transvestite won a beauty pageant.
Unfortunately, this was all fantasy. I was one betrayed-feeling little girl the day I found out. But the sad reality is ancient Greece was yet another culture where women were regarded as property and given little thought.
However, this didn’t stop those always-curious Greeks from coming up with theories and ideas about women and their bodies. Even that great father of medicine, Hippocrates, and his followers (who actually wrote the majority of the text accredited to him) explored and attempted to explain female phenomena in the Hippocratic Corpus. [Read more...]