I am of the “I am woman hear me roar” generation. Granted, I wasn’t quite old enough to burn my bra, unless training bras are included, but old to enough to know what the feminist movement was about. Equality, pure and simple. It wasn’t a new concept; down through the centuries women have sought equality prior and will continue to do so until equality exists.
The Bible says Adam was created, told to stay away from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and then God created Eve from Adam’s side. Technically, Eve was not given the directive to stay away from the tree but she was certainly blamed from then on for eating of the fruit when confronted by the serpent in the Garden. Maybe it slipped Adam’s mind to give Eve the lowdown on staying away from THE tree?
Those who like to romanticize the Bible talk about Eve being “twice refined” since she came from Adam’s side. Some Bible scholars teach Eve is the ‘type and shadow’ for Yeshua (Jesus) as we walk through the door of the New Testament. In any case, Eve was the piece de resistance of God’s creative work in Genesis, the finishing touch.
If Eve was “twice refined”, the best of God’s creative work, why have women spent centuries trying to gain equality, been forced to scratch and claw their way toward the glass ceiling, only to find in the twenty-first century we are still considered lesser than our male counterpart? (Fun fact – the term “glass ceiling” was coined by feminists to describe the barrier to equality)
A great deal of the reason lies within the pages of the Bible and God’s “Word” taught from the pulpit. Radical feminism, so coined by the press, views women as oppressed by men and opposes male supremacy. Women should not be considered lesser-than, the weaker sex, nor should men have dominion over women. In Genesis 1: 27-28 the Bible reads, “So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. God blessed them: God said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living creature that crawls on the earth.” (The Complete Jewish Bible). Some versions say God gave the humans ‘dominion over’, in other words, care for the rest of creation. The story of creation became punitive when God discovered the human creatures had eaten of the forbidden fruit and Eve was told by God Adam would rule over her. Why was that necessary? Adam had also eaten of the fruit and he certainly could have chosen not to but instead blamed Eve when God started asking questions.
The church refers to the story about the forbidden fruit as ‘ the fall of man’, or ‘original sin’, but it would appear God was punishing his created beings and most of the punishment was directed at Eve; bearing children in pain, desiring her husband in spite of it all, and Adam given the authority to ‘rule over’ her. I don’t see the directive to ‘rule over’ as equal to caring for her. Why would God give Adam authority to rule over Eve when Adam was equally guilty? I see this passage as an open door to domestic abuse and credit the authors of the Bible and church leaders down through the centuries with the inequality and abuse of women. Radical feminism and every other attempt to gain equality for women have targeted men in general, and yet the church and its leaders have allowed and perpetuated inequality and abuse of women.
From the pulpit, I have heard Yeshua (Jesus) loved women, had disciples who were women, championed women, so wouldn’t it make sense the tide would have turned when the foundation of the ‘church’ was laid? Perhaps it did but the turn of the tide wasn’t included in the books of the Bible as we know them today. The ‘lost gospels’ contain the Book of Mary, said to be penned by Mary Magdalene. A beloved disciple of Yeshua (Jesus) we often hear Mary was a prostitute, but there appears to be no evidence to back up the claim. The ‘lost gospels allude to Mary being in charge after the resurrection or at least co-leader of the newly established “Christian” church along with Peter, but Mary’s account of Yeshua was not included in the canon known as the Bible. Purposely excluded? If it had been would the church have a different view and respect for women?
I cannot nor will I accept God chose to place women under the dominion of man as told in Genesis. All of creation are extensions of God’s Divine Love Energy. Why was woman, twice refined, singled out and made lesser than her counterpart Adam? While establishing the “Christian” religion the church had the opportunity to rectify the inequality of women. So far the church has only perpetuated the inequality…..