Friday, May 9, 2008


MEDEA…enchantress, daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis, falls in love with Jason and conspires with him to steal the Golden Fleece from her father. The couple marry and have two children. In Euripides' play, Jason seeks to advance his political ambitions by forsaking Medea and marrying the daughter of King Creon. The evil Medea draws on her powers of sorcery in a blood-curdling plot to kill her rival. In a vain attempt to save his daughter, Creon is also killed. Medea, in an ultimate act of wickedness, butchers her two children and displays their bodies before their horrified father, Jason.

This story of betrayal, jealousy and revenge epitomises the wisdom of the ages, that:

'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!'

HANG ON!!.....Jealousy and heart break for women leads to binging and weight gain, not homicide.

Social scientists point out that the reality of the Medea Syndrome is something altogether different:

Men often kill wives after lengthy periods of prolonged physical violence accompanied by other forms of abuse and coercion; the roles in such cases are seldom reversed. Men perpetrate familial massacres, killing spouse and children together; women do not. Men commonly hunt down and kill wives who have left them; women hardly ever behave similarly. Men kill wives as part of planned murder-suicides; analogous acts by women are almost unheard of. Men kill in response to revelations of wifely infidelity; women almost never respond similarly, though their mates are more often adulterous. The evidence is overwhelming that a large proportion of the spouse-killings perpetrated by wives, but almost none of those perpetrated by husbands, are acts of self defence. (Dobash, Dobash, Wilson and Daly, 'The Myth of Sexual Symmetry in Marital Violence')

Graeme Coss, a (male) legal academic ('Provocation, Law Reform and the Medea Syndrome') notes that 'when Hollywood tackled a succession of films about homicidal stalkers, oversexed serial killers and crazed sexual harrassers, in all instances Michael Douglas was the victim of Medea-like women: Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction (1987), Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct (1991) and Demi Moore in Disclosure (1994)'....

Although law students and legal academics have also encountered Medea many times, as Coss observes: 'The reality I discovered is that Medea is almost always a man.
And whatever
fury Hell unleashes, its gender is decidedly male.'

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