by Anne Carson

Anne Carson

Women was regarded as a creature whose boundaries are unstable, whose power to control them is inadequate. Deformation attends her. She swells, she shrinks, she leaks, she perforates, she disintegrates. Think of the female life cycle with its bloods, its penetrations, its pregnancies, its changes of shape. Think of the monsters of Greek myth, who are mostly women with deranged boundaries, like Skylla, Medusa, the Sirens, the Harpies, the Amazons, the Sphinx. Self-control is a virtue—physical, mental and moral—which, in the view of the ancients, women categorically do not possess. In order to achieve form or consistency, the female must submit herself to the regulation and articulation of the male.

Last updated August 19, 2022