Feminism and the Serpent
The Book of Genesis is one of the most widely read books in the Bible and yet it is also amongst the most poorly understood. In particular the story of Adam and Eve: the mythical account of our species’ inception, and the moral endowment which has made up every man and woman who has ever lived: it’s the same old story, time and again.
Far too much emphasis is placed on the fact that Eve sinned first; two equal and opposite heresies have resulted from this focus. The first is that women are the inherently sinful sex, temptresses who lead men astray and are in need of strict moral guidance. The other states that the Bible is inherently misogynistic and fearful of women; that it is a collection of complaints from broken-down old men, who want to blame women for their own shortcomings. Neither of these two statements are borne out by the text itself.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
We need to start out by understanding that this story of our progenitors is mythic in nature; it is establishing the foundational truths that make up the human soul, it is a statement of a far deeper and grander form of Truth than some vulgar statement about objective reality. Just as Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey tells us more about ourselves than statistics ever will, this story establishes, not only that humanity started off on the wrong foot, but what makes up the nature of our fundamental flaws.
That Eve sinned first is part of her sin – it is inherent to her rebelliousness in general – but it only a side-effect of what she is truly doing wrong. Eve is neither stupid nor gullible in this passage. She responds to the serpents arguments with reason and facts, but at the same time she covets the fruit which is so pleasing to her eyes. The serpent provides her a rationalization for why it’s okay to break the rules, just this one time – and then without consulting her husband, she goes ahead and eats it.
For his part, Adam knows exactly what she’s doing – he watches the conversation play out in front of him – and yet he then proceeds to follow his wife into sin. Adam would rather make his wife happy than adhere to the Law of God; he places Eve’s capricious emotions above Truth itself.
Eve rebels by wilfully believing a lie; Adam rebels by submissively ignoring the lie. Their sins are equal. Each refuses to accept the moral calling of their sex – for Adam, leadership, for Eve, submission – in precisely the same manner that relationships continue to fail to this day: husbands appeasing, wives nagging. The punishment they receive fits the crime:
16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
By eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – by embracing sapience – an enmity has been placed between man and woman that exists nowhere else in the animal kingdom. Nowhere else do you see the sexes actively conspiring to make themselves miserable! For all the ease and comfort that the female of our species enjoys, hers is a life of pain and sorrow, ever seeking after drama. Her happiness lies in submission to a dominant man, but her need for drama drives her to destroy male dominance. As for us men, we are cursed to work. We feel an incessant drive to achieve and accomplish. Our happiness lies in work and leadership, and yet the world itself conspires to exhaust us, to erode our accomplishments and beat us down until we become like Adam, desperately trying to keep his wife happy by doing the very thing that will make her miserable.
The serpent started the battle of the sexes, but he did not take sides. He empowered Eve in the same way that Feminism empowers women today; it hands them the tools to destroy their marriages and erode their fertility. But neither the serpent nor the Feminist could achieve this without male collaboration. Neither has the ability to bring anything into creation, in and of themselves; all they can do is twist the truth and steal resources from others. They rely upon man to be too weak, thirsty, or lazy to point out the truth, and most of the time he is.
To frame this as an attack on masculinity misses the point; this is just as much of an attack on femininity. The serpent doesn’t have a preference of either sex, it merely wants to blaspheme Truth, Beauty, and God’s creation, and Feminists – disciples of this serpent – seek out the same thing, whether they know it or not. By destroying the differences between the sexes, they destroy the dance of life; by diluting the two sides of the Tao they align their flag with the forces of entropy.
It is up to both men and women to fight on the side of Truth and Love, but each must fight in their own way, in accordance to their own nature. That means that we – the men who fight for all that is Good and Holy – must be the ones taking up the mantle of leadership.
Both the pain and the glory of masculinity is ours, and ours alone.