Hesiod's Misogyny (err... Theogony) and his Unhelpful Contribution to Internet Bulletin Boards (Works and Days)

Dance of the Muses on Mount Helicon, 1807 by Bertel Thorvaldsen  (1770–1844) [CC0 1.0] via Wikimedia.

Hesiod's Theogony and Works and Days are interesting in the context of other classic works and provide an interesting understanding of the genealogy of the ancient Greek gods and the agrarian life of the time. This is a work of poetry translated into prose and there are some issues.

The first thing that struck me was the misogyny of Theogony. Women (pp. 20-21) were sent down by Zeus as a curse to men:
No fit partners for accursed Poverty, but only for Plenty... a bane for mortal men has high-thundering Zeus created women, conspirators in causing difficulty.
The misogyny doesn't stop there. In Works and Days, the mythological Pandora (echoing Eve in Genesis), releases evil upon the world (p. 39). Not by opening a "box" as Erasmus mistakenly conveyed, but by opening a clay storage jar (p. xiv).

La Rochefoucauld's maxims often talk about love as an illness that is difficult to cure, no doubt echoing Hesiod (p. 21):
...the man who gets a good wife who is sound and sensible, spends his life with bad competing constantly against good; while the man who gets the awful kind lives with unrelenting pain in heart and spirit, and it is an ill without cure.
In Works and Days, Hesiod provides advice to living the agrarian life. Virgil seems to echo Hesiod in his Eclogues and Georgics. But Virgil is reflecting back on the simple life, whereas Hesiod reminds me of people offering advice on an internet bulletin board (p. 56):
I will show you the measure of the resounding sea - quite without instruction as I am either in seafaring or in ships; for as to ships, I have never yet sailed the broad sea...
Of course, in true bulletin board style, Hesiod goes on to instruct others in how and when to sail.

This is an important historical work and well worth reading. But while there are instances of timeless proverbs (which have tended to reappear through history), I don't think I will be taking on too much of Hesiod's advice any time soon.