Ancient women conquered men with flesh and wit - not swords, arrows or armies.
|Nothing propels a plot like a lady in a red dress, a Jezebel, a femme fatale, Eve incarnate. The bards sing the deeds of wicked men as if they had brought peace to Earth instead of chaos and destruction. Self-seeking men, little Julius Caesars running amuck, often escape the biased quill of the male historians from days gone past. To reign as a woman, she must never rule as a man, but she must still sit the same throne with grace and poise, maintaining her womanly charm and motherly milk, while casting down sentences of death and war on those who oppose the will of the kingdom. To do otherwise, one might call her weak, and to do it like a man, one might call her a perversion of nature. The lady in the red dress, a dress that clings to her curves, with charcoaled lids and full lips wrapped around white teeth – teeth that hold venom and a tongue that sings the songs of sirens – it is these women that own the history of women, and it is these women that history loves.
Whether she plays the role of the ruler, the mistress, the spy, or even the assassin, women who wield their power with a scepter in one hand and a mirror in the other are exotic, and they are desirable for a good story. With a few exceptions, such as the Virgin Mary, women who did not use their charms to pry their way into history disappeared between the pages. To make history, a female must break rank with the traditional woman, become entangled in political intrigue, and have some connection to chaos. Men must overthrow kingdoms, and women must overthrow men. Helen's face launched a thousand ships that carried men to destroy the city of Troy. Delilah cut Samson’s virgin hair, destroying his legendary strength. Herod, pleased with her exotic dance, offered his young niece, Salomé, anything her heart desired, up to half of his kingdom. She did not ask for much, just a simple plate. A plate with John the Baptist's severed head.
All of these women have been immortalized because they dared to use their weapons, weapons not made of iron or bronze, but of flesh. Their voice. Their face. Their wit. Their body. In ancient history, woman had two choices: submit or conquer. With only her soft skin and cunning mind as weapons, she wielded them against men who possessed great armies, and ruled great nations, often bringing them to their knees, and perhaps none more so than Cleopatra, the Seductress of the Nile, who conquered both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
It all started with a desire for the forbidden. It was pleasing to look upon, and appeared good to eat. With the parting of her lips, Eve separated a piece of flesh from the knowledge of Good and the knowledge of Evil. She tasted it, liberating the juices from what God had forbidden. When the morsel slithered down her throat, and settled in her stomach, the fruit began to dissolve. She digested it, she absorbed it, and the nutrients traveled through her bloodstream, building her tissues and her strength, and changing her very essence, changing it permanently. And then she turned to man, with her eyes now open and wise, lightly touching his arm, she spoke her new language, the one she learned from the fruit. She said, “Just a taste, just a parting of the lips.”