Knox Thoughts - A place for open discussion

The Theory and Performance Class has decided to research the issues of sexual assault and responsibility on the Knox Campus with the intention of filtering the anonymous research through a creative lens. Part of that process involves gathering perspectives and opinions from the students and faculty at Knox that have been generated about these issues. The goal is to get an idea of what the college is feeling and thinking about sexual assault and responsibility and to respond to that through a theatrical production.

To this end, we are inviting anyone on campus to respond to a few questions provided in this forum. We encourage you to add your own topics for discussion. To do this simply select click on the "Click Here for All Questions" link and then "Add new thread."

This forum is completely anonymous (you need not "log in"). Please respect the opinions and feelings of others in responding to comments.

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Medea and this Forum

in Click Here For All Questions Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:32 am
by No name specified • ( Guest )

Consider Medea. Does Jason's present sinister unfaithfulness change, or at least challenge, the ethical status of his past actions? That is, does Jason's action (I'm lumping Jason and Creon together -- a sort of "Creonleone & Son") reveal what looked like "consensual sex" as rape?

I know, there is this other dimension, that Medea was war booty -- a prize taken from a defeated enemy -- which links to the issue of violence against women, who can be treated as property, abused and disposed of at will, etc. However, that conflicts with the performance presentation of Medea as an actor (I'm using actor in the ethical sense here), with her own motivations, not just motivated by fear to assist Jason. That is, if Medea had seen that the ultimate outcome of her relationship with Jason was death for her and everyone with her, why cooperate or assist at all in his venture? The idea that she assisted Jason out of fearful "self-preservation" seems to demean all of Medea's talk, proud talk, in fact, about how she did this and that and even more, to help Jason.

Bringing Medea into the modern era also forces us to consider her motivation in today's mind-speak, not in the mind-speak of the protohistorical world (not Euripedes' world, but the earlier world in which the myths arose), where divine, non-personal motivation was a viable mode of analysis. Making Medea modern empowers her to be a warrior -- so she claims her victories over her family even as she now regrets them -- but only regrets them in a strategic sense, not a moral sense. I doubt that her family was much "nicer" than Jason's family.

Thus my answer to my first question is, yes, in a sense, it does. Jason's unfaithfulness and cold-hearted careerism, explain why Medea "regrets having borne" (if you'll allow me to collapse past, present and future into a single moment) children with a guy who's turned out to be a user/abuser -- ultimately a rapist.

I'm suggesting that the "domestic violence" analysis of Medea -- an ancient version of John and Lorena Bobbitt -- is enlightening but also incomplete, because it omits another one of today's hot-button issues. Turns out that my Godfather reference, written just now but inserted back in the first paragraph, was not as superficial as I feared it might be. Check the plot of Godfather 2. It's in there.

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RE: Medea and this Forum

in Click Here For All Questions Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:46 am
by No name specified • ( Guest )

I was re-reading that first paragraph -- what if it wasn't consensual to begin with? That is, no matter how you look at it, the power dynamic was unequal. Medea was still from the losing side. But my contention is that the power dynamic is not the only one operating here.

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