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Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal

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Gods are powerful, and back in the old days they generally considered morality to be a quaint little custom that was not their style. When they weren't partying up at Mount Olympus or playing Russian Roulette with thunderbolts, the Greek Gods could be found making out with mortals, resulting in the birth of demigods. Unfortunately, they often didn't wait for consent, or indeed even care. This comes from two rationales:

  • Values Dissonance: Personal attention from a super-being you worship? Getting to become the mother of a demigod? Consent? Someone somewhere at some time might say the mortal was a rape victim but the mortal in this position would be deeply offended by the accusation. They may not have been told beforehand but would have consented anyway.
  • Might Makes Right: The attention is not appreciated but the gods can treat the mortals in whatever way they please because they have Omniscient Morality License or simply because they are strong enough to get away with it.

In myth, there are conflicting accounts of many of these examples. A story of a god's relationship with a mortal woman can be interpreted in one way as a sexual predator assaulting a woman, and in another as a game being played by two lovers, Depending on the Writer and the interpreter. In addition, some ancient Greek sources don't differentiate seduction and rape, leading to interpretations that all gods never had consent, even in stories where the god is the one seduced.

There were many ways in which the gods of old would "know" desirable mortals. These can generally be divided into two types:

  • Direct: The divinity explicitly rapes or ravishes the mortal. Sometimes the god disguised himself so that the woman thought she was sleeping with her husband. Sometimes it was just outright rape. You name it, Zeus/Jupiter did it, and many other gods and goddesses did so as well.
  • Indirect: The divinity impregnates the mortal in a manner that does not appear to involve conventional intercourse. One popular method was to do it as a cloud of shimmery mist.

In case you're wondering, mortal women were far from being the only targets of not-so-holy intentions of the gods; many goddesses — and not a few gods, for that matter — were known for doing the same thing to mortal men.

This trope applies not just to gods, but also to demigods and others with Divine Parentage. It is a staple of Greek Mythology. Nowadays, it's mostly a Forgotten Trope. Compare Muggle in Mage Custody, which is when a supernatural entity holds a mortal in captivity (with or without romantic subtext), and which is also something of a double standard (just like rape, it would be a criminal offense if an ordinary human did it to another, but is often considered normal and just when a magician or a god does it to a human). See also Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi. When the relationship is less one-sided, that's Divine Date.

ZEUS, God of Horndogs

Zeus has one of the largest if not the largest number of "relationships" of this kind of any deity in world history. It should come as no surprise, then, that The Moons of Jupiter—of which there are at least 67—are named for his lovers (including "lovers") and descendants. We should note that all of his "relationships" with women produced children—generally sons, and most especially heroes. Many of these went on to become kings and ancestors of the peoples of Greece, so one really gets to thinking...

Historians believe that a major part of Zeus going after so many women was that when the ancient Greeks conquered their neighbors, they tended to conflate the local gods with Zeus and to turn those gods' consorts into Zeus's lovers. Others believe that the Grecians believed it because frankly, life can get pretty boring when you're an invulnerable god with nothing to do but drink ambrosia and throw around thunderbolts all day.

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    Track Record 
  • Io had it particularly rough. While in most versions of her story she was willingly seduced by Zeus, their tryst was almost discovered by Hera. To keep Hera from finding out, Zeus turned her into a cow, which Hera then forced him to present to her as a gift. Hermes helped Io escape and she fled to Egypt, pursued by a fly that Hera sent to sting her. Once there she finally turned back into a human and became queen. Also, this is why women have periods.
  • Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce her, but he knew better than to reveal himself outright. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her helpers were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, bestowing upon Europa great gifts and honours and crowned her as the first queen of Crete. They had three sons—whether as triplets or in succession is unclear—named Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Serpedon, who were adopted by the King of Crete; Rhadamanthys became king but was kicked out by or fled from Minos, who founded the Cretan royal line. Minos' (There were two) granddaughter-in-law would eventually give birth to the Minotaur.
  • An indirect example: Danae was locked underground by her father Acrisius of Argos, to stop her having the son that was prophesied to kill him. Zeus appeared to Danae as a shower of gold, conceiving the hero Perseus. Acrisius then put both Danae and her son in a chest and threw them into the sea. This didn't work; Perseus went on to become King of Mycenae, accidentally kill his grandfather, and found the royal lines of Argos and Tiryns. (Mycenae would be lost to the Atreides shortly after Perseus' reign.)
  • To father Heracles, Zeus had sex with Alcmene in the guise of her husband Amphitryon. Heracles legendarily founded or was an ancestor to about half the royal and noble houses of Greece.
  • Callisto, daughter of a king named Lycaon, was a virgin follower of Artemis, fell in with Zeus and was willingly impregnated by him. Depending on the version of the story you hear, one of the goddesses Zeus pissed off (some say Hera, for his cheating, and others Artemis, for tricking her acolyte) turned Callisto into a bear either immediately after Zeus was found out (in which case Arcas was born while his mother was a bear) or after Lycaon lured the grown Arcas to some kind of festival. In either case, Lycaon ends up turned into the first werewolf, Arcas inherits his grandfather's kingdom (renamed Arcadia for his trouble), and runs into his transformed mother while out hunting. Zeus then transforms him into a bear to keep him from killing his mom, and then throws both Arcas and Callisto into the sky by the tail, stretching the tails and turning the now-ursine mother and son into constellations. This is why Ursa Major and Ursa Minor look like bears with unusually long tails.
  • Antiope was seduced by Zeus after he took the form of a satyr. As she was carried away shortly thereafter by the hero-king Epopeus of Syceon, she gave birth to two sons: Amphion, son of Zeus, and Zeuthos, son of Epopeus, who went on to found Thebes.
    • There are no sources that state that she was unwilling nor asleep when she was seduced.
  • Semele, mother of Dionysus, was said to have been fed a potion by Zeus that impregnated her with a divine child. Shortly after the impregnation Semele was incinerated. Zeus took Dionysus, sewed him into his thighnote  and delivered him on term.
  • He had sex with Eurymedusa by turning both of them into ants. The result was King Myrmidon (whose name means "Ant"), who ruled the city of Phythya and was the eponymous ancestor of the Myrmidon people, including Achilles.
  • Helen of Troy and her brothers were conceived when Zeus seduced their willing mother Leda.
    • Later stories state that Zeus did this in the form of a swan. The details of the birth are not well described, but apparently it involved the babies along with their half siblings Castor and Clytemnestra hatching from eggs. Leda of course was the Queen of Sparta, and the marriage of her daughters to the Atreids Menelaos and Agamemnon gave them great legitimacy.
  • Zeus abducted the beautiful prince Ganymede in the form of an eagle so that Ganymede could become his eromenos and personal cup bearer. Ganymede was made into the constellation Aquarius so that Hera couldn't hurt him.
  • Zeus's relationship with Persephone in some obscure myths is in interesting case, not least because she was the only one of Zeus's immortal daughters to have been on the receiving end of such actions. This is probably because most of Zeus's other immortal daughters were either Hera's daughters as well, and thus harder to get at without Hera knowing, or proficient enough fighters that they could have held him off, like Athena and Artemis. Persephone was impregnated at least two times by her father, at least once when she was still a young Kore on Olympus (because Zagreus was killed in the war against the Titans) and at least once after she had married Hades, using the Bed Trick on her (and conceiving Melinoe, minor goddess of madness and night terrors, in the process).
    • Note, however, that Zeus's rapes of Persephone were played for drama and horror, the children resulting from them being disturbing and tragic, if not outright monstrous, rather than heroic, subtly deriding Zeus's incest. However, when Zeus did the same thing to other mortal women — some of whom were even his daughters and granddaughters — the trysts produce beautiful heroes. So the Double Standard was still in effect, but Persephone, as a goddess, was on a higher level than mortal women and was thus supposed to be above such treatment (and, indeed, Zeus often defended most of his immortal lovers and wives from rape by any other male but himself).
    • Given that Zeus was also sometimes portrayed as having an incarnation in the underworld that was closely identified with Hades, we can read here that Zeus and Hades were essentially two representations of the same god. Furthermore the title Zeus Kronion was a title that not only applied to Zeus, but to Hades as well. The Orphics seemed to regard and portray Hades and Plouton as two different gods. The book details the funerary poem of Theophile, noting that there was a clear distinction between the use of the names ‘Hades’ and ‘Plouton’. Theophile is buried as a bride of Plouton. The poem makes sure to mention that it is Hades, not Plouton who abducted the maiden (Funerary procedures of unwed maidens often portrayed them as the brides of Hades and the girls themselves were represented as being Persephone), but she later goes to the bed of Plouton. The Orphics worshipped Pluto as the saviour and judge of the dead as Zeus Chthónios, with the Orphic’s assuming that Zeus had an embodiment in the Underworld. This is exemplified by the Orphic tablet of Thurii, where it details Persephone’s abduction by Zeus, who then fathers Dionysus. The idea of defining Zeus as Hades has been present in Ancient Greek literature from Homer to Nonnos. Hence the Orphics stating Zeus Kronion tricking Persephone by disguising as Plouton, was just a reference to Hades having a role that links him to both Zeus and Plouton in the Orphics. Hence it's entirely possible that Melinoe's true parentage regards her as the daughter of Hades, rather than being a daughter of Zeus.
    • The Followers of Orpheus were trying to overshadow the older and vastly superior Eleusian Mysteries, so they rewrote the stories, the changing of the myths is noticeable due to the large amount of Parental Incest that occurs in them. Several cases in point have Nyx be raped by her father Phanes, Rhea be raped and impregnated by Zeus, resulting in Persephone's birth (Apparently Demeter and Rhea were the same deity to the Orphics) and Persephone bearing Zagreus. But the Sibylline Oracles have two hymns reffering to Melinoe being the daughter of Hades and Persephone.

Direct Examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Berserk, Griffith undergoes a horrific transformation to become the godlike entity Femto, and his very first action was to rape his former comrade Casca. Now, a few brave fans - some of which are very diehard Griffith fans - have tried to explain or even justify Griffith's actions, one of which falls into the Omniscient Morality License rationale, since Griffith subsequently used the body of Casca's demonically corrupted child as a vessel to reincarnate himself into the physical world in two years time. Of course, there are a LOT of holes in this theory, ranging from the very rules of causality in the Berserk mythos, to the very sadistic and humiliating degree of the rape itself, so it's safest to say that Griffith did what he did For the Evulz.
  • Despite being Gender Flipped, the story of a drunken Quetzalcoatl (better known in series as Lucoa) forcing herself on her sister (see below for full details) is kept completely intact in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid.

    Comic Books 
  • Inverted in The Sandman (1989): a struggling writer keeps Calliope (the muse of epic poetry) prisoner so as to keep finding inspiration and regularly rapes her, justifying it as her not being human. His punishment is that he ends up overflowing with ideas for his next novels, unable to remember a single one.
  • Subverted during George Pérez's run of Wonder Woman (1987). Pannote  managed to focus Zeus' attentions on Wonder Woman, still a naive young woman. Zeus put rather direct moves on Wonder Woman, got royally pissed off when she refused, and attempted to rape her — in front of her mother Hippolyta no less. Despite the fact that Diana and Hippolyta both worship Zeus as the head of the Greek pantheon, they both call him out.
    Wonder Woman: Please, Lord Zeus — do not force yourself upon me! Though I live to serve you — I am not your toy!
    Hippolyta: Your cruel son Heracles showed me such "respect"... I shall not allow his father to trifle thus with my only daughter!
  • Age of Bronze: As the point of the comic is "The Trojan War minus divine interference", several deconstructions occur:
    • Helen's mother Leda was supposedly seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan. In fact, she's just insane.
    • Cassandra's curse of disbelieved prophecy came, not from refusing Apollo's advances, but from the fact that she and her brother were raped (as children) in Apollo's temple, the pedophile jeeringly claiming no one would believe them.
    • Most sons and daughters of gods are actually normal humans with "son/daughter of the god" being a title bestowed upon priests and priestesses.
  • According to one issue of Hellblazer, the conception of Jesus was carried out by having the Archangel Gabriel rape Mary. He didn't particularly enjoy the experience, which makes him vulnerable to Ellie seducing him later.
  • In Lucifer, Jill Presto is impregnated by the Basanos, the living personification of the Tarot. When she has the chance, she leaves Eikon, the Fetus Terrible, to die in another dimension, but it turns out she was carrying twins. The other one, Noema, gets Brought Down to Normal and is born as a human child.

    Fan Works 
  • In the X-Men Crack Fic Shuffle or Boogie, it's revealed that the Phoenix Force possessed Jean Grey's body so it could sleep with Scott. Of the several people present, only Jean herself objects to this note .
  • Things I Am Not Allowed to Do at the PPC: Discussed in rules 559 and 560, which instructs agents to avoid getting caught alone with Zeus or Aphrodite. The rule about Zeus states that the matter is to be taken seriously, even though Zeus engaging in hanky-panky with mortals is perfectly in-character for him; the possibility of a demigod being raised in HQ, where everybody has a tenuous grasp on sanity, would make for a very bad scenario.
  • The Unrelenting Frozen Seas: The Trials uses this as backstory for Jackson Overland: his godly mother Khione took a fancy to the demigod Jamie Overland, so she kept him frozen in her palace, awakening him for one hour at times to have her way with him. The guy was left broken and traumatized, which contributed to his suicide after she let him go. Even the other gods are repulsed by what Khione did, more particularly Apollo - as Jamie was his son - but Khione was never punished for it.
  • Played with in the TRON fic Invasion: Mercury (Program) corners Jet (User) and interrogates him, at first threatening his life, and then changing tactics. Jet sees little option but to comply with her wishes. Mercury didn't know what Jet was at the time, and mistook his energy patterns for agreement.

  • Toyed with in the French movie Immortal which involves the Egyptian god Horus forcing himself on the only woman on Earth able to bear his child using mind control. The guy whose body he possessed to do this was less than pleased, and it remains a bitter point of their love triangle (since the possessed guy starts falling for her). Horus himself states he doesn't see it as rape after getting an earful from Nikopol, and when further pressed on it points out that he's Above Good and Evil. At the end, she bears Horus' child, allowing him to cheat his fellow gods, and Nikopol goes to see her again.

  • Inverted in Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte. Kuon's Mad Love towards Eve and her reincarnations, despite the latter's dissent, is treated very unsympathically in the work, despite the former being The Maker. In fact, this is seen as the source of all troubles in the series.
  • In Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Mouser got raped by the Goddess of Pain (which he sort-of enjoyed). She's a goddess—what are you going to do? Complain?
  • In The House of Night, despite the fact that Kalona radiates Darkness, females of all ages are still pretty keen on him. Even when the fact that he has raped women before is mentioned, it is conveniently ignored. Probably helps that Kalona has a Brainwashed and Crazy effect on people.
  • Menandore has her way with Udinaas against his will in Midnight Tides, making use of the Might Makes Right approach. The resulting child plays a big role later in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series.
  • Discussed and criticized often in The Camp Half-Blood Series. One example comes from Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
    Percy: Men couldn't go around violating women without their consent! That was [the gods'] job!

  • Kunt and the Gang points out at the end of ''Jesus (Baby With A Beard)" that if he had unconsensual sex with a woman, his baby wouldn't be considered the Messiah.

  • Deconstructed in a John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme sketch, wherein Zeus tries to seduce a woman, but because he's in the form of a swan, she's less than attracted to him.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • When Hatshepsut was staking her claim for King of Egypt after the untimely death of her husband and half-brother Thutmose II, she said that she was actually the son of Amun who had slept with her mother in the guise of Thutmose I (her actual father). Therefore in the context of the story, Hatshepsut's mum thought she was having sex with her husband when really it was Amun.note  This bit of royal propaganda supported her claim to full royal powers in her own right, rather than just being the regent for her stepson-nephew, the boy-king Thutmose III (at that point just a toddler). Interestingly, this eventually became the standard royal propaganda for Pharaohs. This meant that it was, in fact, quite possible that any woman married to a Pharaoh was hoping for this to happen, as in theory this, and not birth order, determined whom the heir was. (In reality, the throne always went to the late Pharaoh's eldest son by his Great Royal Wife—the most noble/"legitimate" of his queens—assuming such an heir existed.)
  • Zeus was far from the only one that took sexual liberties with others in Classical Mythology:
    • The moon goddess Selene placed the lovely youth Endymion into an eternal sleep so that he could be immortal, then used him to father fifty daughters.
    • Happens to Odysseus in The Odyssey. After Circe had turned all his men into animals, Odysseus attacked her with his sword. She was surprised by this, but laughed at his futile attempt to fight and made him her lover. Afterwards his men were turned back into people and they all quite happily spent a year feasting on her island. The alternate myth has Odysseus raping Circe (on the advice of Hermes) after using a magic plant to become immune to her powers.
    • In Ovid's version of the myth of Perseus, Poseidon raped a virgin priestess of Athena named Medusa within the goddess' own temple. Medusa was transformed into a Gorgon by Athena as punishment. Poseidon wasn't punished at all. Presumably a case of Might Makes Right, seeing as Poseidon was second only to Zeus in power. However in the original story by Hesiod, Poseidon's union with Medusa (who was born a gorgon) was consensual, occurring in a beautiful meadow.
    • Poseidon raped Caenis who had sworn to remain a virgin. As a reparation, he made her invulnerable and allowed her to make a wish. She begged him to turn her into a man so she would never suffer such humiliation again. She then changed her name to Caeneus.
    • Theseus, who defeated the Minotaur and became King of Athens, has an interesting parentage: Poseidon seduced his mother Aethra on the same night that she lay with her husband Aegeus, which in the Greek understanding gave him two fathers, one divine, and one mortal. This allowed the Athenian royals to both claim an unbroken line of succession (as Aegeus, in the legend, was part of the original Athenian royal line) and descent from Poseidon (which explained Athens' dominance of the sea lanes).
    • Tyro, spouse of Cretheus, was in love with the river god Enipeus. Poseidon took his form, seduced Tyro then revealed himself to her. Their children are Neleus and Pelias.
    • In some versions of the myth of Cassandra, the curse that no one would believe her prophecies came about when she refused Apollo's advances. Mind you, the gift of prophecy was something he gave her in an attempt to make her consent, so arguably Apollo was nicer about this than the norm. Another version says that Cassandra held out from having sex with Apollo until he promised her the gift of prophecy. Upon receiving this gift, Cassandra refused Apollo again, and this time, furious, Apollo added the caveat that no one would believe her.
    • Because of her insatiable lust, Eos kidnapped many handsome young men as her lovers. At least one object of her affection was married when she snatched him away, and was rather vocal about his desire to be returned to his wife.
    • Many stories say that Pan had a divine father, usually attributing this to Hermes, and that it happened this way, although it seems no two myths can agree on who the mother was. (Penelope and Dryope are the two names that come up most.) One myth even suggests Hermes raped said mother in the form of a goat. (Ew...)
    • In some versions of the myth, Dionysus fell in love with Ariadne and forced Theseus, Ariadne's lover, to abandon her on Naxos, where he picked her up and made her his wife. Ariadne's own feelings on the whole matter are never discussed, but Theseus was so devastated he forgot to change the sail on his ship from black to white. This caused his father's suicide, since the black sail was supposed to mean Theseus was killed by the Minoatur. However in the original story, Theseus abandoned her because he only agreed to marry her in exchange for her clue (the spool of wool). Dionysus later rescued her and myths sustain the fact that Ariadne certainly loved him (Dionysus).
    • Calypso keeps Odysseus as her lover for seven years, despite his clear desire to return to his wife in Ithaca. Ultimately subverted, when Zeus intervenes and forces Calypso to release her captive.
    • Inverted in the myth explaining the name of the Areopagus: the first trial held there was when Poseidon prosecuted Ares for killing his son Halirrhothios. Depending on the myth, Ares' defence was either that Halirrhothios had raped his daughter Alcippe, or that he was trying to do so.
    • Also inverted in all the myths where a fleeing woman gets transformed into something in order to escape rape: Daphne into a laurel fleeing from Apollo, or Cornix into a crow fleeing from Neptune, for instance.
    • In Roman myth, Rhea Silvia was a Vestal Virgin who claimed she was violently raped by Mars, god of war. As a result, she conceived twins, Romulus and Remus. Since she was a Vestal Virgin, she couldn't very well raise them, and so she left them on a hillside, where they were raised by a she-wolf. note  Long story short, this is how Rome was founded. In the original story Rhea was forced to become a Vestal Virgin but willingly entered the bed of Mars and her children were taken from her and abandoned.
    • Aphrodite's seduction of Anchises, as detailed in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, definitely falls into Questionable Consent. Aphrodite takes a human appearance and claims a Phrygian princess who came to the Trojan prince to be his wife. After the encounter, when Aphrodite reveals herself to Anchises, he's absolutely terrified and begs her to spare him as he knows awful things happen to mortals who have affairs with gods.
  • Aztec Mythology gives us an interesting example in the story of legendary priest-king Ce Acatl Topiltzin, who is taken to be an earthly incarnation of the creator god Quetzalcoatl in most versions of the myth. Quetzalcoatl's brother and eternal rival Tezcatlipoca decided it would be fun to humiliate him, so he tricked Quetzalcoatl into thinking he was old and decrepit. Tezcatlipoca offered him a potion that would restore his youth. Little did he know, the potion of youth was actually just alcohol. Desperate, he chugged the whole thing, getting himself completely wasted. Amorous in his drunkenness, he forced himself on the closest beautiful woman he could find... and the next morning, he woke up in bed with his own sister. The twist here comes in that unlike most gods who've committed rape, he felt incredibly ashamed and horrified at his act, feeling that he had defiled not only his sister but his own self. The following day, he resigned from his position as king, built himself a bonfire and burned himself to death.
  • In Norse Mythology, Odin raped Rindr so that she would give birth to Vali, who would avenge Baldur's death at the hands of Hoder. He tried to sleep with her the normal way, but she turned him down twice, so he cast a spell on her to drive her crazy, then disguised himself as a healer woman, tied her to the bed and had his way with her. Averted however, since the other gods were horrified and had Odin banished for a decade. Living as a beggar (or possibly a prostitute) in Midgard.

  • In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bottom is the victim of a supernatural practical joke, and has the head of a donkey. Titania, the fairy queen, is the victim of another practical joke, dosed with a love potion, and forced to fall desperately in love with the next thing she sees. That would be the aforementioned Bottom. As soon as love-mad Titania casts eyes on Bottom, she wants him. Bottom, (who's having a bad day) decides to head home, not realizing that she's a fairy queen, and fairy queens aren't used to hearing the word "No". The scene of her capturing Bottom is never played as anything but hilarity, not say, kidnapping and sexual slavery.
  • Possibly happens in the play Angels in America. It may or may not be a dream or vision when the Angel appears before Prior, but he claims this is what she did to him, not to mention that she had eight vaginas. He seems rather blasé when talking about it, especially given he's in love with someone else and gay, but then, the hell he's put through in the first act is most likely much worse.

    Video Games 
  • In EverQuest, Innoruuk, the God of Hate, disguised himself as a regular dark elf male and impregnated a woman on the night of the Blood Moon festival that the dark elves celebrate every so often. Ceremony states that the female is supposed to ritually kill her mate as a sacrifice in Innoruuk's name if they have sex on that night. Of course, Innoruuk could spare a mortal body of some random dark elf, but the woman eventually gave birth to Lanys T'Vyl, Innoruuk's daughter and future Demi-Goddess of Strife.

    Web Comics 
  • Sunfall (NSFW) is centered around demigods who have various issues because of this. The protagonist thinks that her father only sired her to get the perfect oracle for the world. Truth is, the entire pantheon seduces/fucks with hot babes on a regular basis, underage girls included.
  • Averted in this webcomic, where Ganymede seems quite happy with his job as cupbearer, and Zeus concerned about his emotional wellbeing. The webcomic tones Zeus' and other gods' rapeyness down quite a lot, in general, probably to avoid Values Dissonance.
  • #Blessed: Subverted. Despite the dubious consent of Joanna initially accepting the contract to date seven gods, she is the one who holds all the power and can set all the rules.

Indirect Examples:

  • In one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, a woman is mentioned as being a hemidemisemi goddess, as an ancestress of hers was impregnated by the god Io (no relation to the Greek) in the form of a vase of flowers.

    Live-Action TV 

    Religion and Mythology 
  • A very indirect example: when King Minos of Crete (yes, the one, mentioned above, born to Europa after her rape/seduction by Zeus in the form of a bull) refused to sacrifice a prize white bull for Poseidon (bulls were a theme on Crete, it seems), Poseidon punishes him by making Minos' wife Pasiphae fall in love with the bull. She had a wooden cow made and climbed inside so the bull would have sex with her. She then later gave birth to a half human/half bull creature that became the Minotaur.
  • Cu Chulainn was conceived this way allegedly. His mother Deichtine assisted Lugh's wife in labor. For her reward, Lugh impregnated her.
  • According to the Tupi people of the Amazon area of present day Brazil, the sun was outraged when early human society was dominated by women. It caused sap from the curura (or puruman) tree to spray on the breast of a virgin named Ceucy, impregnating her with Jurapari (or Jurupari). He declared war on women and tore down the matriarchy. After his victory, Jurapari set up feasts in which the secrets of men's rule were passed down through the generations. Any women attending were put to death, Ceucy being their first victim. In some versions of the legend, one day Jurupari will find a woman worthy of him and from that day forward, the sexes will be equal.
    • In other South American regions, Jurupari is the name of a man-eating spirit of the palm tree. It's unclear how the two myths relate.
  • In some Native American tales from the Pacific Northwest, Raven impregnates a chieftain's daughter by turning into a pine needle floating in the water and letting her drink him. Slightly different than most in that the resulting child is Raven himself in disguise, not his offspring.
    • Which is also how Etain ends up being reborn as a human in Celtic Mythology, though in her case it was with a fly and a chalice of wine.
    • And Gwion being reborn as Taliesin after Ceridwen ate him in the form of a grain of wheat (though in that case he was just trying to escape her wrath, not impregnate her).
    • Also seen in an ancient Egyptian myth. A humble hermit's god-given trophy wife is proposed to by the pharaoh. The pharaoh kills her husband so that he won't come after her. The husband is reincarnated through several forms, taunting his murderous ex each time. Eventually, he's reincarnated as a tree and the wife orders the pharaoh to chop it down. She watches the tree being felled and a splinter from the lumberjack's axe flies into her mouth and impregnates her with her vindictive ex. The baby born is crown prince, because the pharaoh assumes it's his. Decades later, when the pharaoh dies and ex-hubby takes the throne, his first royal order is to have his ex-wife (now also his mother) executed for killing him. Just goes to show revenge is a dish best served cold.
  • The story of Jesus' birth from The Four Gospels is sometimes accused of being this, but ultimately averts, as Mary agrees to give birth to Christ in the Book of Luke, which records the Archangel Gabriel telling Mary she is going to conceive and bear a son, and Mary is happy about this, saying, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word". Oh, and it was a miraculous virgin birth rather than intercourse. There's also much debate over how old Mary was, which is never stated in the Bible, but given cultural mores of the time could have been rather young.
  • Norse Mythology doesn't skimp on this version either. Freyr, God of Fertility and Sexuality, got his Giantess wife Gerd by sending over a servant to bribe her into meeting him. When this didn’t work the servant threatened her loved ones until she agreed. Joke's on him, though—during Ragnarok, the sword he gave the servant so he could do his job turned out to be crucial, and without it, he forfeited his life. Scholar Sigurður Nordal believed it was that very sword with which Surtr will do him in.

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