This post was originally published a while ago while the hashtag #yesallwomen was trending.
Whether you think The Curse was divine punishment or simply consequences, I think we can all agree that it’s bad stuff. We can agree on that, right?
Then why do we so often insist on the curse as if it was a good thing?
The curse to women was a longing for her husband who would rule over her (along with painful child bearing). Genesis 3:16
The curse to men was that their ground was cursed. In other words, it’s going to be really hard to get food (make a living). Genesis 3:17-19
A Problem for Women
We’ll deal with the curse on the land some other time. In light of #YesAllWomen this seems like a good time for this.
Imagine for now that the curse came directly from the fruit (of knowing good and evil). During the pre-historic times woman are physically less capable of taking care of or protecting themselves than men (their just overpowered), so it’s assumed they are of less worth, less good, more evil… not as god like… not as human.
They are treated as something different, something other… and because they are stripped of power, they must also agree. In fact, it behooves them to reinforce and even believe it if they can.
Jesus came and treated women as human. Paul said there is neither male nor female… but the curse was so entrenched in human thinking that the very church that claims to follow Jesus and adhere to Paul turned back to the curse in their treatment of women.
Churches have for centuries used the curse as a reason to inflict and/or not remove pain. To this day some people insist child birth should be done without pain medication for this very reason!!! (And that’s based on a translation/interpretation that’s iffy at best.)
Today most (hopefully) think that’s stupid, but there’s more (much more) oppression that’s more subtle.
Some of it comes out in women being kept out of “Spiritual Leadership” …yes, that still happens in America. (It boils my blood.)
Sometimes it looks like scared people trying to manipulate the Bible to fit their 1950s idealism.
Sometimes it’s a girl being raped at her Christian youth camp or harassed and assaulted at church… Or it’s a woman being judged at church for supposedly inviting lust.
Sometimes it’s the use of modesty and spirituality to manipulate woman into thinking their responsible for men’s sins. Rape is never the victim’s fault. Lust is never the victim’s fault. But after the near entire lifetime of our species being under this curse, it’s easier to see how men (and women) get confused.
Relationships and sexuality are complex things. It’s hard. It’s scary… but please, PLEASE! Let’s not hide in the curse. Let’s talk, work, learn…
Women aren’t men’s to exploit. However, women aren’t men’s to protect either. Women don’t belong to men at all. …that thinking is curse. It may be well intentioned sometimes, but it relegates women to less than what they are… human.
Yes, we protect humans. Unfortunately, we also exploit humans. But let’s at least take the step of realizing we’re all humans. There is no excuse because she’s a she or he’s a he.
A wise teacher once told me, “Feminism is believing woman are human too.”