Note: This post contains artistic depictions of nudity.
Why is a goddess such an appealing figure to women?
This post is me trying to figure out why. (The conclusion I come to will be influenced by my Catholic faith.)
The first word that comes to mind when I hear the word “Goddess” is “Master.”
To me, a master is someone who has control. Someone who has control of themselves, control of others, and/or control of their environment. And control, I believe, is at the heart of a number of issues facing women nowadays in the U.S.
For example: The abortion debate.
The abortion debate is about whether or not a woman has the right to have control of her body: whether or not a woman has the right to end a pregnancy.
Another example: Dress codes.
Women don’t have “control” of their wardrobe. What I mean is: A woman does not have the freedom to wear, or not wear, a piece of clothing. That’s why, for example, movements like Free the Nipple exist: A movement that advocates that women have the right to be topless in public.
Why do I bring up two issues relating to women’s bodies?
When it comes to issues such as these, it is the desire for control — i.e., the desire a woman has to make her own choices about her body, choices that effect her and the world she lives in — that I believe makes the concept of a Goddess appealing: A being who has mastery over her self and the world she is a part of.
On a related note:
I want to talk about a piece of art I found recently:
I had a mixed reaction to this piece of art the first time I saw it: Rapture, followed a moment later by lust.
Rapture: Beautiful! God’s creation is beautiful!
Lust: It’s a woman’s butt.
In the end, rapture won.
By making Eve’s butt prominent, I believe that the artist is telling us to look beyond a woman’s pleasure-inducing body parts — look beyond what is right in front of our face — and see the whole person.
The fruit in Eve’s hand and the female butt are “…pleasing to the eyes…” (Genesis 3:6)
The fruit in Eve’s hand tempts men before the Fall.
The female butt tempts men after the Fall.
After the Fall, Eve covers herself with a fig leaf loincloth (Genesis 3:7) in order to implicitly tell Adam “I am more than my body.” (i.e., “I am more than my butt and vagina.”)
In the 21st century, women still have to (implicitly and explicitly) tell men: “I am more than my body.”
What does this have to do with issues of “control” and why goddesses are appealing figures?
A woman (Eve) exercises her control (free will) and eats the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
A man (Adam) exercises his control (free will) by taking the fruit that Eve offers him and eating it.
And because of that, the relationship between men and women is thrown out of balance.
Thus, in this fallen world we live in, a goddess is seen as an inspiring figure. A liberator. A liberator of women from the control that men try and exert through laws, customs, and actions.
Thank you for reading.
This was a hard post to write. I hope it made sense.
Where this art of Eve comes from: Eve’s temptation of Adam
For further reading:
And an article I found: Why Are Women Attracted to Goddess Feminism