The Cassandra Complex and the Marginalization of Women

· September 27, 2017
The Cassandra complex is a tendency to show courage to stop being undervalued. It's can be seen today in women around the world.

The Cassandra complex is one of the most famous myths known in Homer’s Iliad.

In it, we are told that Apollo, the god of prophecy, was fascinated by the beauty of Cassandra. She was the daughter of the king of Troy. Apollo offered her something in exchange for her love.

What he promised her was the gift of prophecy. However, Cassandra didn’t like Apollo. So, she accepted the gift but she refused to be with Apollo in return. He was devastated. But above all, he was angry.

Apollo came back cursing Cassandra with predictions that no one would believe were true, even though they were.

So, the gift became a curse. Cassandra suffered from seeing how others undervalued what was true.

The feeling of being undervalued makes you feel inferior

The Cassandra complex makes women feel inferior in several areas of their life. In fact, they base their identity on some prejudices that already exist about them’.

Some of them admit that they are too weak. They say that they cry over everything, that they are always the victims…

But, there are also those who are mired in phrases like “that ship has sailed” or “they haven’t found a man to be by their side.”


All of this causes them to construct an identity that has dependency as a foundation. Their identity is also based on the search or approval, of others, a lack of self-esteem, and a tendency to feel responsible for everything.

In large part, this is what happened to Cassandra in the myth.

  • She wanted the approval of other because of her predictions. But, she was only rejected.
  • She wanted to save her loved ones from the misfortune that she told them about before. But they didn’t trust in her. Because of this, she felt bad and her self-esteem fell.

In the Cassandra complex, there is always a tendency to show courage. This is because people think that they will gain respect and the love of others this way.

However, none of this happens, you only get rejected.

The Cassandra complex causes psychological changes.

Due to this feeling of being undervalued, women who suffer from this complex start to go through important psychological changes.

One of the has to do with perfectionism. This is a search to control everything. In excess, this can be seen as their visible care.

  • They’re obsessed with small things, especially in their domain.
  • This shows the lack of control that they have when everything is going well. They can’t get the approval for what they don’t have any power over.

However, the most relevant thing is their intuition gets turned off. If others undervalue them, they do the same. But, they do this to themselves with their feelings and emotions.

This way, they stop listening when their instinct tells them, “this relationship isn’t good for you,” or “you’re suffering in vain.”

Doing all of this makes them spend themselves. They don’t notice this in the beginning. But, their body will start to show signs that something isn’t going well for them. They start to have pain, fatigue, and problems sleeping…

If external rejection is painful, internal rejection is much more terrible.

The marginalization of femininity, the prevalence of masculinity

The Cassandra Complex is a marginalization of femininity. This is where women aren’t taken seriously and where they are subservient to men.

When Apollo felt rejected, he demonstrated his masculinity by exercising power over Cassandra. She didn’t have a chance. She suffered the consequences of masculine domination.

This is something that keeps happening after suffering the wrath of Apollo. She searched approval and confidence that would always be denied to her.

Many women suffer from this complex. This is because they are born with it ingrained in them. This feeling of being undervalued is something that is assigned to them at birth.

Even though there is much to be done against feminine marginalization. This isn’t taken into account because women are still considered as weak, emotional, and too sensitive.

Those who suffer from the Cassandra complex also feed it. To get rid of these given labels, it’s necessary to walk a very hard and difficult path that is full of steep slopes.

Illustrations courtesy of Norvz Austria, David Talley, Greta Larosa.