Finding Atalanta

And just like everything else, Atalanta fell.

For apples.

Apples are remarkable: You either fall for them, or they fall on you, and the action of falling triggers your brain to either do something revolting or something revelatory.

Unfortunately, evolution resulted in the halt of falling, and when neither people nor apples could fall, there came a time where people resorted to the falling of another thing.

That thing was brainpower.

And the lack of brainpower led to the formation of patriarchy along with strict definitions of femininity and masculinity.

It was until a few years ago that the apples, tired of seeing society fail socially, began to fall again. But they fell only on certain people. So, while people were slowly breaking these orthodox societal constructs and boiling them in hot water, people with lack of brainpower stopped them from completely doing so.

And that is why there still exists a form of stupidity where people still believe in gender stereotypes and specific gender roles.

————-

Hippomenes had been lucky enough to find a dove. He threw its skewered body into the fire.

“Oh Aphrodite, goddess of love, it is help that I seek, for I am in dire need of it.”

His breath shook and body trembled as he waited, soon to see the figure of Aphrodite form in front of him. He almost immediately looked down.

“Hippomenes, son of Arcadian Amphidamas,” Aphrodite’s voice flowed like river water, “What help is it that you seek?”

“It’s Atalanta.” He spoke. “I have never been so deeply in love, yet I cannot win the footrace which shall arrange our marriage.”

Aphrodite impassively stared at Hippomenes. “Atalanta, daughter of Schoeneus of Boeotia, known for her distrust in love.” Her eyes narrowed. “Your cause is true, Hippomenes.”

Hippomenes looked up as three golden apples dropped from the heavenly abode of Aphrodite’s hands.

————-

Femininity and masculinity are rather vague concepts. The existence of simple yet unanswerable questions act as testimonies to this. Where did these concepts originate from? Who decided what was feminine and what was masculine? What was the reason behind the creation of these concepts? How did these characteristics become so inherent?

It is true that men and women are biologically different, but is it only these biological differences that led to the development these social constructs?

Furthermore, why did these concepts evolve in such a manner where those not wishing to adhere to these norms have to face the dire consequences of being criticized and questioned- or worse- being catcalled and bullied?

The situation is dire. A man wears a dress, and social media spurts with ghastly comments urging to ‘Bring back manly men’.

A woman decides to develop a muscular look, and she’s heavily shadowed by mainstream media and called ‘manly’ by those who do notice her.

As a person who didn’t know about Eleonora Dobrinina till a week ago, I can assure you that Eleonora Dobrinina is a person you shouldn’t not know about. Why? Because her calves glisten brighter than our futures.

290694810
Gosh, don’t I just love this picture.

I am the antithesis of ‘close to fit’ but Sabrina Jimenez isn’t.

This is her latest post on Instagram, a photo I happen to like a lot. Oh and just so you know, Sabrina Jimenez is a nurse and was a frontline worker during the pandemic.

Have you heard of Thella and Stella Christoforou?

Pin on Exercise ladies
They called themselves the ‘Fittest Twins’. I mean, they aren’t wrong, you know.

Or Donna Murphy?

Taken from her Instagram. Along with bodybuilding, Donna Murphy also paints, and she’s also breathtakingly beautiful.

Have you heard of Dwayne Johnson? (yes, yes you have)

But have you heard of Femke Aaldering?

Femke Aaldering is a PT coach and a dancer. As a dancer myself, I’m jealous of her.

And this is exactly why we need to redefine masculinity and femininity. The mere fact that a majority of these names are unheard of simply proves the point I was formerly trying to make. So it is true, muscular women, after all, are severely underrepresented.

And as the cycle continues the reason for this becomes clearer: socially influenced constructs think it is best if women in mainstream media are portrayed as petit, fragile, and dependent ladies who need a man to hold their hand before they jump on or off trains.

————-

The roar of spectators and the clang of metal wouldn’t count as noise because it is not every day you get to see a bunch of men in a pool of blood after losing a footrace to woman.

A woman so swift on her feet that the spines of spectators shook and quivered at the thought of racing with her.  

Atalanta hadn’t lost a single race, which was precisely what she had expected.

“The next suitor, Hippomenes, son of Arcadian Amphidamas!” her father’s voice boomed.

The roar and clang resumed, this time with more vigor, as Hippomenes stepped onto the arena designated for the footrace.

An easy win, thought Atalanta.

The race began.

It was with profound ease that she crossed Hippomenes, and it had hardly taken any speed or strength.

She then heard the toss of an object.

She looked back to catch a glimpse of it, but her body swerved in the opposite direction as she chased a golden apple that lay still on the ground. An irresistible, invincible force seized her and pulled her towards it.

Hippomenes crossed her, but she regained control and caught up. But the force came again.

And Atalanta lost the footrace.

————-

Hippomenes cheated. Even a two-year old can tell you that. Women in the spheres of sports and fitness continue to be cheated despite have the skills and the talent. Unequal salary, unequal representation, and body shaming continue to poke the lives of these women.

Let’s bring back the conversation about apples. There exists a person on social media, and unfortunately, an apple didn’t fall on their head. They posted a video of a group of untrained women playing poorly playing soccer and used that one video to justify the wage gap.

Now I know enough of soccer to know that any group of untrained people (myself included) will play the sport poorly.

And it was just yesterday I was scrolling through YouTube and watching videos of Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle and Alex Morgan on the field. The rest is self-explanatory.

So, I would like to make a humble request to everyone out there: Don’t fall for the apples, but don’t ignore them either- let the apples of intelligence fall on you.

Exclusive: An AU where Aphrodite isn’t very helpful:

————-

Hippomenes had been lucky enough to find a dove. He threw its skewered body into the fire.

“Oh Aphrodite, goddess of love, it is help that I seek, for I am in dire need of it.”

His breath shook and body trembled as he waited for her.

She didn’t show up.

Hippomenes sighed. “Oh Aphrodite, goddess of love, help me. Please.” He spoke.

After another two tries, Aphrodite finally showed up. She looked… annoyed.

“Hippomenes, son of Arcadian Amphidamas,” Aphrodite said, “What help is it that you seek?”

“It’s Atalanta.” He spoke. “I have never been so deeply in love-”

“Then why not tell her that?” Aphrodite said. “Why me?”

“Because you are the Goddess of Love and I cannot win the footrace which shall arrange our marriage?”

“Ah, Goddess of Love, yes,” She said. “You see, Hippomenes, we’re both very busy people. And Atalanta’s very fast. And pretty.  And a dove really ain’t enough.” She smiled. “So why don’t you be a little independent and try to get shit done yourself, eh? Try not to die.”

Aphrodite left.

Hippomenes blankly stared at the flames ahead. He looked around to check the presence of another person (because no one should see what he does next), and then he threw a fit, kicked a few leaves, cried a bit, and went back home.

He had given up before he could even try.

————-

10 Comments

  1. When Adam lifts and Eve does squats,
    When both of them work off their butts,
    When genes are bolstered by hard work,
    When Spock does have the back of Kirk-

    (“PENALTY!”
    “Dammit.”)

    So, what we mean is, what you are
    Depends on how you set the bar.
    And if you tell yourself, “I’m weak,”
    And be a general wuss like Reek-

    (“PENALTY!”
    “Oh come on!”)

    The point is, tell yourself you’re strong,
    And work at it, since life ain’t long,
    It does not matter girl or boy,
    Be it Stewart or McAvoy-

    (“PENALTY!”
    “OH COME ON!!!!”)

    Let’s break down stupid norms! (Hey ho!)
    Let’s be done with those worms! (Hey ho!)
    Let’s stomp those gits to hell! (Hey ho??)
    Let’s not wash socks that smell! (HEY!!!- WHa

    Liked by 4 people

      1. A teecha needs no other ‘credit’ than having his kids exist out there in the world.

        Now weep in emotion and gratefulness.

        Liked by 2 people

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