Women’s Bodies and The Bible

Trigger Alert:  The bible on its face is quite violent to women.

Amidst the ugliness that is American politics in general and abortion politics specifically, I began to look for guidance to understand what is happening. I ended up pulling out two books that I read long ago. The first is Woe to the Women-The Bible Tells Me So by Annie Laurie Gaylor. Gaylor, in turn, was inspired by the work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in her The Women’s Bible which was originally published in two parts (1895 and 1898).

I had forgotten how inspired I have been by both books. Together, they motivated me to begin looking at how the bible is a foundational paradigm of our culture. I started researching how translations have been altered from original meanings. I have already written a few blogs about how the representations of Eve have been changed to strip Her of the roots of Her original power. Take a look here and here.

These books reminded me of why such work is necessary. Here is what Stanton wrote in her introduction:

The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgement seat of Heaven, tried, convicted and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity, a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man’s bounty for all her material wants . . .

No wonder women in America have only had the vote for less than 100 years. No wonder men can think and say phrases like “consensual rape.” (Yep, captured on video, spoken by Barry Hovis, Missouri legislator, 5/17/2019). I’ll never forget another despicable thought about rape by a politician; “Rape is kinda like the weather. If it’s inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” (Clayton Williams, Texas, 3/1990) I think attitudes like that perfectly express why we have the “suffering, anguish, silence and subjection” that Stanton described.

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Women’s Bodies and the Bible

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