As children, girls often find their role models through film, music and other forms of entertainment. When women are young, these role models have the ability to make a great impact on personality and even mannerisms.
In ancient Greece, girls had epic tales of strong women to shape their characters instead of media coverage of the latest pop singer or the youngest of the Kardashians. These stories were often filled with trials and tribulations that most would never encounter. When Greek women did go through life challenges, perhaps the strength the Greek goddesses showed during times of adversity provided an inspirational blueprint.
For nature lovers, Artemis is as good as it gets. Images of the goddess often depict her with a bow and arrow along with her hunting dogs. Interestingly, the dogs in ancient paintings were, in fact, a real breed that is now extinct. Does this mean that Artemis herself was also real? Who knows. Regardless, the stories of these goddesses do include insights into aspects of ancient Greek history (like the hunting dogs of Artemis).
Artemis lived alone in nature. Most stories discuss how she was able to hunt with nature’s blessing. She only used what she needed from the land, an approach shared by many Native Americans. Artemis was said to have lived with her twin brother for a very short time before she fell in love (like many women did) with Orion. Her brother tricked her into shooting Orion with an arrow and her love was lost, but she transformed her love into a beautiful constellation in the sky.
Many women suffer betrayal from family members. On a small level, for example, many women often feel disappointed when a brother is neither the protector nor the friend they had hoped for. Artemis detached herself from her brother and continued to love her surroundings in spite of his cruel actions. Many women can aspire to keep a smile on their faces even after facing cruelty within their own families.
Yes, the Nike sports brand chose an appropriate name! Nike was the Greek goddess of victory, and arguably one of the early depictions of feminism—she was able to influence the outcome of war and sporting contests.
Nike had average abilities. She was incredibly fast, but she did not have the powers of other Greek goddesses. Instead, she used her time to inspire soldiers and athletes. Although Nike seemed almost unremarkable for a goddess, she devoted her time to helping others. For women who may feel as if they do not have any special talents or some acknowledged form of academic brilliance, Nike is a reminder of the power of compassion. She shows women what great achievements can occur when you devote time to caring for others. Her positive influence and selfless time commitment created a goddess worth emulating.
For modern women, Hestia is perhaps one of the most relatable Greek goddesses. She was the goddess of the home, and many know that it can be challenging to create a comforting, safe space for family life. For those mothers who have chosen to be stay-at-home mothers or work from home, it may help to know that this goddess found that lifestyle comforting. Hestia remained a virgin and did not have any children of her own. However, there was always plenty to accomplish in her home life. A home is not just made of the right curtains or children. Hestia knew that the feeling of being at home came through the hearth—through joy, food, and love.
Another reason to admire Hestia is that she protected women from rape and harshly punished anyone who assaulted her fellow Greek women. Unfortunately, rape is much more common than people realize, often goes unreported, and is rarely perpetrated by strangers.
Hestia began protecting women after she was attacked during a dinner party. Her attacker was unsuccessful, as Hestia screamed until the man ran from her. Many women find it incredibly difficult to put even an attempted rape behind them, but Hestia shows women that they do not have to forget what happened to them. The horrible event that almost occurred enabled her to understand the emotions and struggles that women face, and so she protected all women for the rest of her immortal existence.