Evil woman (?)

Hey woman, you got the blues,

‘Cos you ain’t got no one left to use

— “Evil Woman” by Jeff Lynne (ELO)

It’s a couple of years, now, since my wife and I walked away from what had been our “church home”, when the congregation voted against allowing women to be elders. I wrote about it at the time, noting how the Word of God supports women in leadership.

Yet, throughout history, women have been cast as “evil”. This episode of “History Bites”, a satiric TV series, mentions some of the arguments, some of which were made by men later canonized as “saints”. But as it was in Paul’s argument against women preaching, they claim that women are “evil” because Eve was deceived by the serpent.

They conveniently leave out the fact that the Word tells us Adam “was with her” at the time. Either he was deceived, too, or he didn’t have the cojones to say to his wife, “bad idea, honey!” Or both. Note that, when God called them out on their disobedience, Adam’s main response is to point fingers both at Eve and at God.

Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

— Genesis 3:12

“It’s all Your fault, Lord, for giving me this woman in the first place!”

Self-righteous positions tend to cover up one’s own moral failing, and that was no exception.

So what about the “evil woman” thing? Why this attack on women throughout the ages?

Check this out:

So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

— Genesis 3:14-15

It’s a nuance, maybe, but do you notice that God doesn’t speak to Adam and Eve in the plural, when He talks about her Seed bruising the serpent’s head? Eve is the one who gets to produce the Seed (note the capital “S” — it’s a prophecy about Jesus). God has singled women out for a very important role: producing the ones who will stomp on Satan’s head — and only receive a bruised heel in the process.

Could there be a tinge of envy in the pronouncements about “evil women”?

Try this for size:

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying,

“We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach.”

— Isaiah 4:1

“That day” is the Day of the Lord. I’m still ruminating on this one — what do you think of this? — but doesn’t it suggest that in the time of the Messiah, that perfect “day of the Lord”, women will be independent for their livelihoods, yet still reliant on men for moral and spiritual support?

Feminism — God-style?

Don’t you get a tinge of envy when someone else gets an important assignment — regardless of whether you think you can do the job, yourself? I repeat: is that what this longstanding “evil woman” theme is really about?

Something worth considering, for sure.