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Powerful women in American Gods 
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Post Powerful women in American Gods
So now that I have expressed my irritation (see other thread), I have to say I am glad the Wyrd Sisters made it into the book. I found Gaiman's presentation of them so far (don't forget I haven't finished the book yet) pleasantly funny.

I mean here are the women that mess with our fates and they can’t cook a roast and veg. Just goes to show you, even the most powerful being out of her element is just a dweeb at heart. I like the idea of putting the god’s in their “place” so to speak. I mean what does happen to powerful people who don’t have people paying attention to them anymore?

Gaiman did go a bit romantic with the midnight sister but I suppose we did need to be reminded that this woman is a god and not a mortal.

Of course the names Gaiman uses for the three women are Slavic and indicate their origin but the parallels to the three fates or Norns of Norse mythology or the (Germanic) Wyrd Sisters indicate evolutionary linkage with respect to the feminine paradigm of power.

It's this paradigm that interests me.


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Sat May 16, 2009 12:52 pm
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Post Re: Powerful women in American Gods
MaryLupin wrote:
So now that I have expressed my irritation (see other thread), I have to say I am glad the Wyrd Sisters made it into the book. I found Gaiman's presentation of them so far (don't forget I haven't finished the book yet) pleasantly funny.

I mean here are the women that mess with our fates and they can’t cook a roast and veg. Just goes to show you, even the most powerful being out of her element is just a dweeb at heart. I like the idea of putting the god’s in their “place” so to speak. I mean what does happen to powerful people who don’t have people paying attention to them anymore?

Gaiman did go a bit romantic with the midnight sister but I suppose we did need to be reminded that this woman is a god and not a mortal.

Of course the names Gaiman uses for the three women are Slavic and indicate their origin but the parallels to the three fates or Norns of Norse mythology or the (Germanic) Wyrd Sisters indicate evolutionary linkage with respect to the feminine paradigm of power.

It's this paradigm that interests me.


The Norns are stunning. They remind me of the three Graeae with one eye between them. Perseus stole their eye in his quest for Andromeda and gave it back when they betrayed the Gorgons.

Other powerful female Gods in American Gods are Kali, Indian Goddess of death and chaos and destruction, who gets about with a necklace of skulls, and the Egyptian Cat Goddess Bast, who hangs out with Thoth and Anubis.

Shadow's wife Laura is not a God, but an imaginative female lead character.

Two other main female characters are subaltern women from Africa and Ireland who bring their gods across the middle passage.

Also, Media - to be confused with Medea - has shiny white teeth and a strong diplomatic sense of euphemism. She is a baddie, with the black helicopter brigade.



Sat May 16, 2009 6:02 pm
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Post I always hated holopshies growing up
MaryLupin wrote:

Quote:
I mean here are the women that mess with our fates and they can’t cook a roast and veg.


Cabbage stuffed with rice and beef was served. This is a very slavic dish, also known as holopshies.

MaryLupin wrote:

Quote:
Of course the names Gaiman uses for the three women are Slavic and indicate their origin but the parallels to the three fates or Norns of Norse mythology or the (Germanic) Wyrd Sisters indicate evolutionary linkage with respect to the feminine paradigm of power.


Gaiman evolves Laura from the Dick Van Dyke show from a happy homemaker into a woman married to a drunken wife beater. Lucille Ball loses her sense of self, independance and power. These two examples would indicate a feminine paradigm of oppression in the "gods" of American pop culture.



Sat May 16, 2009 11:12 pm
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Post Re: I always hated holopshies growing up
Suzanne wrote:
These two examples would indicate a feminine paradigm of oppression in the "gods" of American pop culture.


I agree that much of the pop cultural paradigms are less than desirable. I think of that as the point of showing these female gods pursuing such lives as we see them in as the book gets itsself established.

Seeing the gods live lives as humans do is a very interesting component of this book. Like reverse projection. See the sisters become shoppers and cooks seems to remark on how powerful the less than desirable paradigms can be. Without a good deal of power or will to subvert "expectations," the paradigms will "get" you. Sort of like a cultural ghost story where the unquiet spirit is the zeitgeist instead of a person.


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Sun May 17, 2009 7:30 am
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