I was working on Saturday and missed the famous Coney Island Mermaid festival. Let’s face it: I’m nothing if not a sucker for day-time festivals with the looming possibility of contracting an STD.

So, I’ve been thinking about mermaids. The sea-person is decidedly a feminine concept– thus the mermaid being the primary and the merman being the secondary. The association with women and water goes back to the very first stories ever told: the creation myth.

“These stories depend on the still more ancient view of creation as flowing from the womb of a fish or a whale woman: Leviathan or Tiamat. The oldest known versions of this creation story embody the sea as whale/serpent/fish woman locked in combat/making love with a god of light/sperm, being defeated/impregnated, cut open/giving birth to the various orders of the universe.”
-Charles Doria

When Tiamat opened her mouth to consume him
He drove in the Evil Wind that she close not her lips…
Her body was distended and her mouth was wide open.
He released the arrow, it tore her belly,
It cut through her insides, splitting her heart.
-The Babylonian Creation Epic

In that day Jehovah with his hard and great and strong sword
will turn his attention to Leviathan, the gliding serpent, even
to Leviathan, the crooked serpent, and he will certainly kill
the sea monster that is the sea.
-Isaiah 27:1

The gender binary in the guise of an epic battle, is central to the very account of the creation of earth itself. More importantly, woman-as-sea creature is a conflation reflected in the single greatest Disney film of all time: The Little Mermaid.

Here’s the extent of the feminist analysis I’m willing to give this beloved film: Ursula? Total drag queen.

Enjoy:

More on Mermaids can be found at Silent Porn Star

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