Patriarchy In The Bible

It is my view that Patriarchy is the most fundamental of all illegitimate forms of authority. As the family is most likely the original organized collective in the history of humanity, then the concept of male rule would seem to have developed in that very context. Then, by the time societies had developed into municipalities and conceived of the ideology of monotheism, misogyny appears to have become both normalized and legalized. At least such was the case for certain cultures, namely the ancient Hebrews. For although the origin of sexist ideology is uncertain, the concept was clearly embedded into the Hebrew culture by the time their Bible was written some 2800 years ago.

In fact, from the opening Creation myths to the final apocalyptic assertions, sexism and misogyny are presented throughout biblical literature as normal and acceptable. Misogyny within the Hebrew Bible ranged from conditioning and commanding women to accept a subjective and submissive role towards the man, to the legalized maltreatment and merciless murder of women.

In the light of the import of such archaic values into modern society, and the detrimental influence of such even to this day, I am embarking upon a personal study and written assessment of the topic of Misogyny in the Bible. It is neither my intent to attack any of the three monotheistic faiths whose doctrines developed from the Hebrew Bible (aka Old Testament), nor to malign the Bible itself, but rather to assess such from a secular, sensible, and hopefully sensitive point of view. In so doing, I shall endeavor to be as fair to the original writers and to people of faith as I am fervent in subjecting the archaic ideology and illegitimate authority of Patriarchy to a rational and critical assessment.

(NEXT: “Misogyny in the Hebrew Creation Myths”)

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

The Bible’s Nameless Dames

Second rate citizens I suppose,

These three nameless dames.

As with other women in the Bible,

Who were often not even named.

These three in particular,

Come to mind.

Yeah, these three women,

Are favorite Bible characters of mine.

Two of these nameless women,

Were married to men who in drunken stupors.

Exposed their genitals to their own offspring,

Yet the Bible regards each man as just super!

Yet the wives of these irresponsible men,

Will forever remain nameless.

While their husbands Noah and Lot,

Are seemingly regarded as blameless.

It was righteous Lot in fact,

Who once offered his daughters to be gang banged.

Then after his nameless wife died,

With each daughter in drunken sex he engaged.

‘REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE’,

The Bible critically proclaims.

Yet even though murdered by God,

The Bible records not her name.

And then there is poor Jephthah’s daughter,

A victim of her father’s rash vow.

Murdered as a sacrifice to Jehovah,

A deed which God did allow.

This poor victimized daughter,

Whose name should be esteemed in remembrance.

Was murdered by her father as a sacrifice,

While God witnessed the deed in silence.

Yet in a similar circumstance,

When the human sacrifice was a male.

God personally intervened,

The knife on Isaac’s neck never fell.

Yet poor Jephthah’s daughter,

We will never even know her name.

Was sacrificed to God himself,

By a father’s rash vow she was slain.

And so the Bible regards these three,

These three nameless dames.

They all deserve to be remembered,

Yet we don’t even know their names.