In beginning, we might look to the gods for a clue. The adultery between Ares and Aphrodite for example is evenly represented -- both parties are to blame -- both are shamed -- both are banished. Although there is some "locker room talk" between two of the male gods that they would willingly lie in chains several layers thick to be beside Aphrodite.
Sexuality among mortals is another key to this poem and this question. Women and men are represented differentially in this regard -- The herdsman Eumaios -- Odysseus brother by "adoption" recounts how he came to Ithaka a captive of a slave woman Phoinikia -- a woman who had been seduced by a roving seafarer w...
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Griffin, Jasper. Homer on Life and Death, 1980, Clarendon Press.
Richard Brilliant, "Kirke's Men: Swine and Sweethearts," pp. 165-73.
Helene Foley, "Penelope as Moral Agent," in Beth Cohen, ed., The Distaff Side (Oxford 1995), pp. 93-115.
Jennifer Neils, "Les Femmes Fatales: Skylla and the Sirens in Greek Art," pp. 175-84.
Lillian Doherty, Siren Songs: Gender, Audiences, and Narrators in the Odyssey (Ann Arbor 1995), esp. chapter 1.
Mary Lefkowitz, "Seduction and Rape in Greek Myth," 17-37.
Marilyn Arthur Katz, Penelope's Renown: Meaning and Indeterminacy in the Odyssey (Princeton 1991).
Nancy Felson-Rubin, Regarding Penelope: From Courtship to Poetics (Princeton 1994).
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