Misogyny and Myth: Genesis 19

There is a Bible story that has always bothered me, and it was one of the stories that lead to my doubts regarding both the validity of the story itself (as fact; it works fine as a myth, though still a myth with lousy values), and regarding the values which the story teaches (reveals the sexist thinking of that day and time). The story I refer to is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, as recorded in Gen 19. Among my issues with this story:

1. As a father of a daughter, I have always found this story disturbing. Lot, who is later referred to as “righteous” in the NT; offers his daughters to be gang raped. That REALLY bothers me. How can any decent father offer his daughters to be gang raped; and to protect two perfect strangers at that? Horrible values taught here.

2. The very next day, “Lot’s wife” is murdered by God on the spot; for the sin of looking back. Okay, so firstly: Why is Lot’s wife not named? And secondly: Why kill her for merely looking back; and yet never say a word to Lot about offering his daughters to be gang raped? (Daughters also not named. Very bothersome).

3. THEN; after their mother is murdered by God, Lot’s two daughters are so concerned about their father’s progeny, that they get him drunk and have sex with him. Where is the grief for their mother? And why be so concerned about father’s progeny, when he had offered them to be gang raped?

Conclusion:

This story reveals itself to be mythical and misogynistic. I regard the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Lot and his family; as a horrible story which totally disregards women as mere commodities; and is clearly patriarchal and sexist.

The lesson to be learned in my judgment from this story is that we should be cautious about forming our values based upon the writings of ancient Hebrew myths. Our natural sense of compassion, kindness, and fair play will guide us to be a better person than sexist material such as Genesis 19.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

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3 thoughts on “Misogyny and Myth: Genesis 19

  1. Dave, the really disturbing thing is that this is a fictional story. It does not have to conform to confusing things, like reality. One has to ask what was in the mind of the person writing this morality tale when they wrote it. Basically they are saying, when it comes to men, but especially women, obedience is absolutely critical, to God and to God’s stand-in, your husband.

    The “strangers” are implied to be holy messengers (aka angelic beings) and should be protected. But the “protection” is bizarre. Plus, if they were angels, couldn’t they kick the asses of any mere mortals they encountered? Plus, let me take a wild-ass guess that the author of this little tale was male. Letting a gang of rapists do his daughters was no big thing. They shouldn’t be taking pleasure from sex in any case. They’d heal up quick enough and, well, if they don’t they are only daughters. (The reaction of the daughters, to side with the needs of their father, of course, is a male fantasy, including the daughters screwing up in the process, literally. After all, they are women, and not very bright.

    When you grasp the fact that these stories are fictional and not historic, it makes them all the more appalling because they could have written them another way … and did not.

    • Steve, you wrote: … the really disturbing thing is that this is a fictional story.

      What’s REALLY disturbing is this fictional story is included in a book that many believe to be factual!

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