Ever wonder who made up the stories found in ancient mythology? Taking a look at how women are depicted, may lead us to believe they were made up by men - or were they? Women were glorified or made into demons. We have sad mermaids appealing to mens' emotional side. The Banshee, who cries for the dead. We have Venus, goddess of Love.
More often than not, women were depicted as dangerous seductresses, luring men away to another country or even to their death. The mermaid lures the man to his death at the bottom of the sea through her plaintive songs. Showing men's fear of sex - or at lest his feminine side (emotions). Niamh of the Golden Hair (Irish) lures Oisin across the ocean on a magic horse. He doesn't get to return home for three hundred years!
In modern mythology Spiderman is a folk hero - but what about Spiderwoman (Japanese?) Jorōgumo
According to some stories, a Jorōgumo is a spider that can change its appearance into that of a seductive woman.
The Edo period legend has it that a beautiful woman would entice a man into a quiet shack and begin to play a Biwa, a type of Japanese lute. While the victim would be distracted by the sound of the instrument, she binds her victim in spider silk threads in order to devour the unsuspecting person as her next meal.
This is a fascinating topic. A favorite of mine for as long as I can remember is Diana, Goddess of the Hunt. Not sure why!
From Wikipedia: In Roman mythology, Diana (lt. "heavenly" or "divine") was the goddess of the hunt and moon and birthing, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy. Diana was worshiped in ancient Roman religion and is revered in Roman Neopaganism and Stregheria. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_(mythology)
"The Greeks imagine that 'there were three Sirens, part virgins, part birds,' with wings and claws. 'One of them sang, another played the flute, the third the lyre. They drew sailors, decoyed by song, to shipwreck. According to the truth, however, they were prostitutes who led travelers down to poverty and were said to impose shipwreck on them.' They had wings and claws because Love flies and wounds. They are said to have stayed in the waves because a wave created Venus." from Isidore's Etymologiae
My favorite, because of her name, has been Penelope.
In Homer's Odyssey, Penelope ( /pəˈnɛləpiː/ pə-NEL-ə-pee; Greek: Πηνελόπεια, Pēnelópeia, or Πηνελόπη, Pēnelópē) is the faithful wife of Odysseus, who keeps her suitors at bay in his long absence and is eventually reunited with him.
Her name has traditionally been associated with marital faithfulness, and so it was with the Greeks and Romans, but some recent feminist readings offer a more ambiguous interpretation.