Feminine Violence


In Genesis the violence associated with women is quite striking. Although I have studied the Bible in religious classes for many years throughout high school, this has been the first time I realized the violence that is commonly associated with women in the Bible and even how Eve, the first women is surrounded by brutality. Looking at Genesis, when the reader first encounters Eve, and Daniel Anlezark translates, “He drew that substance from Adam’s body, and carefully pulled a rib from his side” (Anlezark 17). While the translation makes it prominent that Adam did not feel any pain through this deed, the action itself creates a vivid image of God pulling out a rib of a person. No matter how painless it is, there would have to be some kind of carnage including the transformation of a human rib into a person. If it is imagined as a sort of surgery under anesthesia, no matter how clean it comes out, the body is still taken apart to form Eve, the first woman. Then as Eve is led astray by the Devil and takes the bite of the apple she is chastised by Adam. Eve seems to take the brunt of the punishment as the Devil, Adam, and God call her incredibly foolish and weak. Then, as God disciplines them both for eating the apple, God specifically turns to Eve and proclaims her battle against Satan when he mentions, “the woman will avenge herself on you, hate you under the heavens and crush your guilty head with her feet. You shall lie in wait for her heels, for a new battle; the offspring of you two will share a common enmity forever while the world stands under the clouds” (69). Here the reader is demonstrated again an episode of violence against Eve that is so great that all women to come into being will be pitted against the serpent. God has explained to Eve that she is to violently battle against the one who tricked her for all eternity. 

Then, as the story of Adam and Eve closes, the author makes sure to point out that “Not at all in vain can we lament that story with weeping, the slaughterous fate; but the elegant woman hurt us hard by that first crime that people ever committed against the creator, earth dwellers, after Adam was given life by the spirit of God’s mouth” (75). So, born out of violence, committing the first act of violence, being blamed violently, and being cursed to a battle for all eternity is the fate of Eve that has been transferred onto all women who are born. Although the Bible mentions that every human is born with Original Sin, this version exhibits how Eve has specifically made the life of woman to be worse than that of man and justified through her violent crime against God. This raises the question for me of if the Bible specifies how close Adam and Eve are to the point that she is literally made of his side, why is she thrown under the bus to take on the wrath of God and curse her to a fate of violence? Why are all women doomed to this fate just because of the actions that committed from someone born of man and why does man have a less violent fate? While I am not arguing for both men and women to be equally violently doomed for all eternity, why is Eve whose only difference from Adam was gender, treated so cruelly and chosen for such a crushing violent fate?


– Cassidy and Donna

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