Fuccbois of Olympus

 Fuccbois of Olympus

The Savagest Breakups of Greek Mythology - FIRST Published on Convicts

Popular thought suggests that functional monogamy stormed out the door around the same time Tinder slipped into it. But the classics beg to differ - and a cursory glance through the history textbooks shows the opposite: there were no halcyon golden olden days of simple, sensible love. There were never any clean breaks. Boundaries have always been murky. Love has always been a shitshow. And relationships have more or less been mangled since the beginning of time.


Breakup #1: Pygmalion and Everyone Who Wasn’t a Statue

Ok so what happened?
By all accounts Pygmalion was a bit of a gimp; a deeply-insecure sculpture-slash-psychopath who became offended by some local prostitutes and instead of just taking a deep breath and being like “hey not for me, but you know what girl - your body your choice ”, he decided that all women were NOT to be trusted and dedicated his life henceforth to passionately hating them. He then carved a statue of what he considered to be the femme ideal and promptly fell in love with it - but in the exceptionally creepy way (as opposed to all the not-creepy ways to fall in love with a doll) where he’d dress it/her up in clothes, make out with her, and tuck her into bed. (I know right?!) I’m hedging my bets on some sort of prom-related trauma.

And what would this look like today?
An extreme example is the guy you see on budget sociology docs who who falls in love with a  blow-up doll. But look closely: Pygmalion is all around us. Drinking soylent. Watching sports. High-fiving his buddies. Quietly cataloging your cellulite. You can spot him in the explore page on Instagram bulk-liking bikini pics. He’s just a heterosexual guy and doing heterosexual guy things: your local I’m-not-sexist-but finance dude who wants for nothing but personality, imagination and taste. He lives in a building that a pamphlet assured him is very unique and luxurious, and he only dates models - because models are culturally-sanctioned archetypes of what heterosexual men like. Which he is.

And what can we learn from this?
Men who expect women to look a certain way are almost always a bit tapped. It’s not you, it’s him.

Breakup #2: Iphigenia and Her Imagination

Okay so what happened?
Like any bride-to-be, Iphigenia was absolutely pumped about her wedding to Achilles (the one with the heel, yes). She said yes to the dress, hooned over to Aulis. And then, as she is walking down the aisle - and in what can only be described as a truly unfortunate plot twist - it turns out she’s actually not getting married and is immediately slaughtered by her dad as a sacrifice to the goddess Artemis.

Who’s Fault?
Look, I would personally be fucking livid if my dad blindsided me like that. But you have to admit that it’s a bit thirsty to presume you’re getting married to someone you haven’t met. Did she love Achilles, or just the idea of him? Seems like she was more into the idea of getting married.

What would this look like today?
Essentially Iphigenia was catfished. Her modern equivalent is a serial online dater who gets a bit ahead of herself and is heavily let down and / or murdered IRL.

So what did we learn?
I mean, if you’re willing to accept love in a very non-personal and unspecific way it’s never going to end well, is it? Also don’t count your chickens before they hatch. And also don’t go walking up to any altar unless you are 100% sure it is a wedding and not a sacrificial thing.

BREAKUP #3: PERSEPHONE AND HADES

Okay so what happened?
So less of a break-up, and more of a semi-detached marriage. Hades lord of the underworld, has a crush on Persephone, the goddess of spring (and also technically his niece but srsly let’s not go there). It’s a union which Persephone’s momager Demeter was absolutely NOT about, but Hades is persistent, and eventually opts for the frankly underused pickup technique of bursting through a cleft in the earth while she’s gathering flowers, whisking her off to the underworld in his chariot. Demeter is LIVID and kicks up a storm but actually - because she’s the goddess of Harvest who lowkey lives for the dRaMa. She freezes the whole world including crops (which obviously becomes bit of an issue when everyone begins to starve), and vows to keep it frozen so long as her daughter is gone. Meanwhile in the Underworld, Persephone starts to lean into the idea of being Queen, but the earth is frozen, remember!?! And something must be done. So Persephone’s dad Zeus has a chat with Hades, and they agree that it’s prob best if she just returns home. Then things become more complicated because Persephs has already eaten a number of pomegranate seeds, and everyone knows that if you eat the fruit of your captor you’re bound the the underworld forever. The solution: Persephone spends spends six months each year in the underworld, and they consciously uncouple for remainder. Messy, but manageable.

Whose fault?
I love being wooed by a sociopath as much as the next gal, but it’s important to remember that Hades straight up roofied her. But she eventually liked being Queen of the underworld” is a date-rapey logic that I’m not here for. I admire her ability to make lemonade out of lemons but the whole thing reeks of Stockholm syndrome.

What would this look like today?
I’m hesitant to point out the Melania Trump parallels because I genuinely like Persephone and actively dislike Melania Trump but here we are.

And what did we learn?
Consent matters. If a girl does not to hang out in your underworld do not try to change her mind by feeding her pomegranate seeds.

Savage Breakup #4: Orpheus and Eurydice

What happened:
Consensual, reciprocal, AND between two people not closely related to each other? Orpheus and Eurydice’s relationship was an ancient Greek anomaly. On paper they had it all: he was the talented muso with boy-band good looks. She was the graceful elk nymph. But no good thing lasts forever, does it? And on their wedding day (and in what sounds a bit selfie-gone-wrong), Eurydice is frolicking in the fields with her #BrideTribe and is bitten by a snake and perishes. Orpheus is crushed and eventually decides to trek down to the Underworld, woo Hades with his musical prowess and convince him to give Eurydice back. And it kinda worked! Orpheus played his lyre beautifully and Hades wept openly (ven the formidable majestic and famously stone faced Queen Persephone shed a tear). After a bit of --chat among the boyzz-- a deal is struck. Orpheus can take his bride back to the realm of the living, but under one condition: he must walk out of the underworld without looking back (important) and trust that Eurydice will follow. They nearly make it BUT just as Orpheus reaches the light of day, he glances back over his shoulder at Eurydice - who hasn’t yet crossed the threshold! - and she recedes dramatically into the darkness. And because everybody knows you can’t enter the underworld twice, he’s locked out and she’s essentially gone forever.

Whose fault?
To the untrained eye, Orpheus is the sensitive muso who would never not refill your ice cube tray. But the armchair psychologist in me is sensing some lowkey emotional abuse. Was he saving her, or fetching her?

What would this look like today?
Orpheus is the handsome but cripplingly insecure boyfriend who reads your text messages while you’re in the shower, and insists upon collecting you from venues where alcohol or men may be present.

But a more dramatic example is this:
Every few years there’s a honeymooning couple who go out for a water-based honeymooning couple activity and one of them ends up dead. The scuba tank is turned off. The kayak is capsized - you know the drill. Anyway Eurydice is the wife but instead of being murdered she fakes her own death because Orpheus is an overbearing psychopath.

The takeaway:
Trust is important and women will go to dramatic lengths to break free from tyrannical relationships.

Savage Breakup #5: Artemis and Actaeon

Okay, so what happened?
Artemis was the not-an-accident-but-a-surprise daughter of mega-slut Zeus, who moments after being born helped deliver her own twin brother, Apollo. She was a reasonably overindulged child (with a wish-list including but was not limited to: a bow and arrow made by the cyclops; a knee-length tunic; sixty piece choir; twenty-something handmaiden nymphs to guard her stuff while she rested; to remain a virgin forever; and to rule all the mountains and seas) who went on to be a talented hunter. Actaeon was a fellow hunter.

One day Artemis was bathing with aforementioned nymph squad in her fabulous outdoor grotto, as Actaeon passed by. Despite it all being a bit wrong place wrong time, Actaeon was taken by the sight of 20 something nude virgins and lingered for more than the polite amount of time. Because hey -  the guy’s only human. But actually human. And tragically  for Actaeon - Artemis wasn’t a human, but a goddess; a goddess with a short temper who didn’t like humans to see her naked. Enraged and exposed, her knee-jerk reaction was to turn him into a stag. Things got particularly vicious when she whistled to summon all fifty (FIFTY) of Actaeon’s hunting hounds (expertly trained to mangle stags) who jumped Actaeon-the-stag, and tore him to shreds.

Whose fault was it?
But pause: is it really a break-up if you didn’t technically date? Perhaps not, but just because a relationship isn’t official doesn’t mean you get to be slimy (“but I respect women because I’ve got a mother and sisters and I’m a United States Supreme Court Justice...” ...fuck off). Despite not being particularly low-maintenance, Artemis made it clear that she was not to be fucked with, and sometimes you gotta make an example out of the creeps. This is the OG revenge-revenge porn.

What would this look like today?
Today, Artemis is the girl Pygmalion types warn each other about; ‘careful what you say bro, she’s a *whispers* feminist.’

And what did we learn?
Do not spy on naked goddesses or you will be mangled by your own hounds.

Savage Breakup #6: Zeus and Everyone But Also Zeus and No-One

Okay so what happened?
God of thunder and patron saint of good dick, Zeus is the original pickup artist and precursor to entire BDE franchise (whose wedding night famously lasted 300 years). Despite technically having a wife, Hera, (who warrants that sorta babe-you’re-doing-this-to-yourself look), Zeus keeps busy with his many side chicks, and is renowned for his employing of offbeat tactics to beguile the ladies. He seduced one Princess in the form of an ant, another in the form of swan, another a golden shower - to leak through the cracks of a box she was trapped inside). Your classic lover-not-a-fighter, the impressive thing about Zeus is that he doesn’t break up with women so much as he subtly benches them, leaving the chicks to squabble among themselves while he carries on pounding mortals and siring demi-gods left right and center. Hera (who tbh was a bit of a psycho) was particularly spiteful, and punished his floozies without restraint. She cursed one nymph, Echo, whose job was to distract Hera from Zeus’ trysts by chatting incessantly, to be only able to repeat the words of others. She turned another into a cow.

What a mess. Whose fault is this?
This is a classic example of blame-the-GUY-not-the-other-girl.

And what would this look like today?
As per tradish, the modern Zeus takes on many forms. He’s the charming conversationalist who slides into your DMs. He’s the ex-something that you you’re never quite done with. He’s your benchmark for good chat, your yardstick for intimacy. You could stop, sure. But do you want to?

And what did we learn?
Nothing. You learned nothing.