One of the most annoying things about researching Athena for my dissertation has been reading those (supposed) scholars who insist this owl-eyed deity was really just a man in drag or a woman who wanted to be a man. They base this conclusion on her closeness to her father (as if no woman had ever been close to her father) and her supposed masculine attire. She was often glad in the armor in which she was born. And, well back then, women didn’t wear armor.
They make this hasty judgment based on appearance alone, but scratch the surface and Athena is very clearly female. She always wear a peplos, the garment most women wore in classical Greece indeed, the presentation of a new peplos to the goddess was the culmination of the quadrennial Panthenaia. She measured herself against her female counterparts, indeed, started a war because a prince of Troy found her Aphrodite fairer than she.
Some feminists have devoted entire books to the claim that women will close the strength gap with men once they train as men do, but the best evidence shows otherwise.
Kind of sounds like Democrats’ confidence back at the beginning of the year that the “so-called stimulus” would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, but the best evidence showed otherwise. And yet now Dr. Christina Romer, Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers now saying that that stimulus won’t need to much growth by mid-2010 and unemployment is likely to remain about 10%, the White House is finally taking a look at that best evidence.
Like so many in academia — and on the political and cultural left — these officials prefer their theories of how the world should work to actual evidence of the way it does.