"Athena- More On My Current Read: 'Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters'"-a post by Jessy.

"Athena--the Greek goddess of wisdom, efficiency, achievement, justice--is not a free and happy chick. She is, like so many of us who chase after our fathers' dreams, disconnected from her own body, self-hating, frustrated, and anxious about what feels like the ultimate and incessant distraction from work: soul. The perfect girl is Athena, marching on, checking items off her to-do list, making Dad proud with her grades and her vocabulary, without listening a lick to the starving daughter inside. We are so overwhelmed by the voices of our mothers that we try to tune them out entirely--listening only to the incessant drumbeat of the march of our fathers' measured lives...We forget that the bleeding and the lusting and the swelling of adolescence and womanhood contain complex if painful wisdom. These two parts of ourselves--the rational striver and the intuitive wanderer--need not be so cleaved...My generation of young women has repeatedly chosen the path of our fathers, the one we believed led to textbook achievement and less mess, but we are continually drawn across the field, to the winding path of our mothers..." (pp.77-78)

Upon reading this excerpt from the book, I nearly wept. When I was younger, I had a fascination for different religions and myths. The Greek gods were, for a time, my favorite vein of mythology...

I needed a nickname for myself because, at age 13, I was going to be a camp counselor at a local summer camp. I chose the name Athena, goddess of wisdom, peace, warfare, strategy, handicrafts and reason. She was also the companion to heroes. Myth has it that although Metis, the mother of Athena, was of an earlier generation of the Titans, Zeus (her father) became her consort when his cult gained dominance. In order to avoid a prophecy made when that change occurred, that any offspring of his union with Metis would be greater than he, Zeus swallowed Metis to prevent her from having offspring, but she already was pregnant with Athena. Metis gave birth to Athena and nurtured her inside Zeus until Athena burst forth from his forehead fully armed with weapons given by her mother. In Greek Myth, Athena never had a lover, thus her name "Athena Parthenos" or "Athena the Virgin."

I decided at a young age that I didn't want to be a mother, that I didn't want to be a homemaker. I decided that I wanted to always be free. I think I still struggle with this thought, though not consciously. I am afraid of letting go of the freedom, afraid of letting go of the power, afraid of letting go of the achievements, afraid to let go of the perfectionism- the proof that I am worthy...