Amanda Bennett is a contributing columnist for The Post.

Mythology isn’t very kind to strivers.

Icarus flies too close to the sun and gets melted back to earth. Prometheus steals fire and ends up chained to a rock with eagles pecking out his liver. Adam grabs for knowledge he shouldn’t possess and … well, you get the picture.

For women, the penalty for ambition is infinite torture, which comes at least in part from a series of relentlessly negative myths. The message seems to be that if you are ambitious, you will be punished. If you focus on your career, no man will have you. Even if you do marry, you’ll never have children. And if by some miracle you do manage to have kids, you are going to ruin them. In every case, you will end your days regretting your choices.

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