Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology

Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology Details

A fresh cultural analysis of female monsters from Greek mythology, and an invitation for all women to reclaim these stories as inspiration for a more wild, more "monstrous" version of feminism

The folklore that has shaped our dominant culture teems with frightening female creatures. In our language, in our stories (many written by men), we underline the idea that women who step out of bounds--who are angry or greedy or ambitious, who are overtly sexual or not sexy enough--aren't just outside the norm. They're unnatural. Monstrous. But maybe, the traits we've been told make us dangerous and undesirable are actually our greatest strengths.

Through fresh analysis of eleven female monsters, including Medusa, the Harpies, the Furies, and the Sphinx, Jess Zimmerman takes us on an illuminating feminist journey through mythology. She guides women (and others) to reexamine their relationships with traits like hunger, anger, ugliness, and ambition, teaching readers to embrace a new image of the female hero: one that looks a lot like a monster, with the agency and power to match.

Often, women try to avoid the feeling of monstrousness, of being grotesquely alien, by tamping down those qualities that we're told fall outside the bounds of natural femininity. But monsters also get to do what other female characters--damsels, love interests, and even most heroines--do not. Monsters get to be complete, unrestrained, and larger than life. Today, women are becoming increasingly aware of the ways rules and socially constructed expectations have diminished us. After seeing where compliance gets us--harassed, shut out, and ruled by predators--women have never been more ready to become repellent, fearsome, and ravenous.

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Title:Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology
ISBN:9780807054932
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    Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology Reviews

  • Mari

    Why you may not like this book: This is a non-fiction book that is half-way between a memoir and an exploration of mythology. For readers looking for one thing or the other, or who don't know what qui...

  • Hannah

    I don’t really have much to say about this. I did in fact enjoy my time with this and I thought the framework Zimmermann uses – speaking about different female monster from Greek/ Roman mythology ...

  • Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe

    Thank you so much to Jess Zimmerman, Beacon Press, and Libro.fm for my ALC of Women and Other Monsters. This book talks about folklore and how it shapes our current culture of fear of powerful women. ...

  • Kelsea

    Jess Zimmerman’s Women And Other Monsters is a fresh analysis of female monsters from Greek mythology mixed with memoir-ish glimpses into the author’s life and experiences that will likely resonat...

  • Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    I saw "women", "monsters", and "Medusa" and I was sold so I went into this not knowing what to expect exactly, which is my own fault but also... what a find! If you're a lover of mythology (Um.... yes...

  • Jami Engel

    I enjoyed this way more than I expected to!As someone who only reads a handful of nonfiction each year, I can be pretty picky about what I pick up. I was glued to this one. The narrative and audio of ...

  • Cassidy Washburn

    Women and Other Monsters is a pure, unadulterated, feminist read analyzing female monsters from Greek mythology and comparing them to women today. The goal in doing so is to help women reclaim what th...

  • Cat

    For anyone reading Circe or Lore, this is a welcome companion read.While I got one impression from the blurb/marketing, this is definitely more of a memoir and reflection on the cultural treatment of ...

  • Cande

    I haven't stopped thinking about this book and I'm not sure I liked it. The blurb was misleading, this was not the thoughtful and in-depth analysis of monsters and women that I was hoping for. Instead...

  • Amy Imogene Reads

    2.5 starsBefore you look at the rating and go yikes, I'd love to point out that this low rating is 100% a "me" problem and not the fault of the book. It was a lot of little things that came together (...