Every Male is Half Female and Why that Matters

every male is half female origin stories matter the feminine spirit

Every Male is Half Female

 

Origin stories matter.  Stories told to us—about us—matter.  Stories told to and about women in the Bible matter to all of us, men as well as women. Because —Big Announcement here: Every man is also half woman.  Every male is half female.  XY, with X being female.  There is no pure YY gender. They could not survive. All humans, as well as all mammals, begin as female. This is why men have nipples. (Never did I ever imagine I would write those words in a blog.) 

 

Having said that, I hope I have your attention now for what follows, because it is critical to our development as a species, and for this planet itself. I say this because if women are 51% of the world’s population, and every man is half woman, that makes the world’s population 76% female in origin and biological make up.  Yet, if men have been taught to disregard, hate, mistreat, distrust,  and suppress women, they are also doing that to fifty percent of their very own essence, turning that self hatred inward. Hurting themselves.  This means that men who fail to acknowledge or embrace their feminine side are only functioning at 50% capacity, and also that  the world so far has only accessed that amount of potential as well.   Who on earth would want to maintain those statistics?  Let’s get firing on all cylinders, people, and see what we can do.

 

What follows is written from a Christian perspective using the Bible.   I encourage you to google all references in scripture for yourself.  Just type in key words mentioned, or ask the question, and see what unfurls.  Also consider how  mostly male commentators view the stories, and then interpret them for us, often with some male-favoring law, custom or practice somehow being justified in God’s name.

 

I love men.  Men love women.  And yet, let’s look together at these origin stories we’ve been taught about women together in a new light, from a modern perspective.  And from a woman’s gaze.

 

Stories about women are taught to children in Sunday School, and Catechism classes.  .  Sometimes these stories about women are even taught by women.  Stories that cut and kill, silence and maim.  Stories that each become each link in a chain that encircles our feet from Genesis and the Torah readings, into the prophets, into the New Testament through Paul and Timothy, and even into Revelations.  

 

Jesus, the story of Jesus, the life of Jesus, is of course the greatest exception and example of how women are to be treated.  In fact, Jesus said the Only Unforgivable Sin is to blaspheme, blame or slander the Holy Spirit of God.  In Aramaic and Hebrew, the languages Jesus spoke, Spirit is a feminine noun.

 

Yet some churches even now teach the curse, preach the curse, enforce the curse, and are using it consciously and subconsciously to drag us back into the land of Genesis, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, where women have no power.  Where women exist only to serve and breed for man.  Where women are to be held captives by the laws of the land.

 

I believe patriarchy is based on a false sense and notion of male supremacy,  one which is supported and enforced in no small part from scriptures.  Scriptures believed to have been received, written and encoded  by 40 men.  Many believe in the  inerrancy of scripture.  This we know.  Whatever they heard or thought they heard, it was only men wrote it down, with two or three exceptions.  And men do not see the world as women do.  Or even as God does.

 

The over arching message about women, encoded and canonized in scripture is this.  

Women brought sin into the world.

Women were created for one purpose—to be a helpmate and companion to man.

Women must obey their husbands in all things.

Women must keep silent in the church.

Women are not allowed to teach men in the church.

Women who challenge male authority, as Miriam, Mose’s sister did, get struck with leprosy.

Aaron, Moses’ brother, protested the same conduct, yet somehow got promoted to high priest.

Women who look backwards to try to understand what just happened  get turned into pillars of salt, like Lot’s unnamed wife in Sodom and Gomorrah. Meanwhile Lot lives on to later have incest with both his daughters, who are blamed for “seducing” him.  He had earlier offered them up as preteen girls for gang rape by the mob, but he received no punishment.  His wife  is the one who gets pulverized for looking over her shoulder.

Women who are unmarried or not under male authority are frequently categorized as seductresses, prostitutes and/or full of demons.  Like Mary Magdalene, for example. Or the woman at the well.  Or the woman caught in adultery, somehow being punished for a solo act.

Women can be gang raped after being offered up to the mob by their priest/husband/host and be butchered into twelve separate pieces, and used as bait for tribal warfare.  (Judges 19). 

In the Book of Revelations women represent the ultimate evil called Babylon, who is a “whore holding a cup of whores” about to be poured out into the world.  Substitute the word “woman” in Genesis or in First Corinthians, or “whore” in Revelations with any minority racial group, and it quickly becomes obvious how prejudicial and abhorrent that is.

First, middle, and last of the book….women are to be kept silent and put in their place.

Even though Jesus came to change all that, women today are still being bound up in grave clothes while still alive.

 

These are just a few of the top ten highlights, thoughts and teachings about women in the Bible.  Sure, bad things happen to men, too.  But here is what I found especially disturbing and ironic as I took a stroll through the hall of the Patriarchs, the men we have been taught to honor and hold up as examples of God’s love and leadership.

 

ABRAHAM

Abraham is honored because he obeyed God who told him to become a migrant and leave his homeland.

 

Abraham ultimately sends his first borne son, Ishmael, along with his concubine mother Hagar out into the desert alone to die of thirst and starvation.  (Maybe it would take three days for them to die, maybe seven. He considered the problem handled.) Except, she lived.  Problem multiplied. 

 

Abraham some time later takes his next son, Isaac, ties him up, lays him on a rock and is about to slit his throat until an angel stops him.  Abraham says God told him to do it.

 

One has to ask—did Abraham even like children?

 

ABRAHAM is known as:  The Father of Nations

 

MOSES

 

Moses, bringer of the Ten Commandments, writes all the laws we know in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, including the ones often quoted in homophobia. Taking a read through Leviticus and Deuteronomy is quite eye opening, and makes for imagery one is then unable to un-see.  

 

Moses writes laws forbidding having sex with not only male prostitutes, but also various and sundry relatives, including your own mother. Your grandmother is also off limits. He tells the men not to have sex with your Uncle’s wife. You must not have sex with a mother and her daughter at the same time. Stunningly and tellingly, however, nowhere does Moses forbid a father from having sex with his own daughter.  One observes further on that while Moses even protected every form of animal from unwanted sexual relations, daughters alone remained fair game.

 

In Deuteronomy, 22:13-21 also written by Moses, we learn:  If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then hates her and accuses her of not being a virgin, then the girl’s parents must show proof of her virginity, (which  was the wedding night cloth with blood on it.)  “If evidence of virginity is not found, they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death, because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father’s house.  So shall you purge the evil from your midst.”   The woman has no voice in the matter of her own life.

 

In Leviticus 21:9 — Moses writes:  “If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she defiles her father’s holiness, and she must be burnt with fire.”  Further study   reveals that this particular fire penalty was not the one option of being burned “with melted lead poured down her mouth” but with “burning faggots” set about her. In other words, she is burned alive.  No punishment is fixed for the man that lay with her.

 

Moses also writes in Deuteronomy 25: 11. “If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and accidentally grabs the other man by his penis or testicles, then thou shalt cut off her hand.  Thine eye shall not pity her.”  

 

Did God really tell Moses to write this?

Now I dare you to read all of Numbers Chapter 31.

 

What is strange about this story to me, before it becomes horrifying,  is that Moses married a woman from Midian.  Could part of his wrath against Midian have  been personal about his wife? Also strange to me is that Moses fled to Midian after murdering the first Egyptian, and they took him in, hid and clothed and fed him for forty years. The priest even gave Moses his daughter for a wife, and also gave him a job.  Moses offers strange payback for desert hospitality.  (These were my own questions, just based on what I knew in general.)

 

Now before you read verses 13-14 note how the plunder is listed at the end of the chapter from the battle in Midian. After the Israelites burn the town and kill all the soldiers they triumphantly bring back the plunder, which in typical fashion lists and values the livestock first.  They bring Moses 337,500 sheep and goats,  72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 virgins.   Moses splits those shares among the soldiers, but he and Eleazar the priest keep all the gold for themselves, apparently to take to the Temple.  Oddly enough, even God gets a share of the virgin girls.  Calculations show there were 32 of them, as God was to get 1% of the plunder. Nobody records what happened to them.

 

Back to the front of the story. God commands the Israelites to kill everyone in Midian.  However, when the Israelite officers spare the women and children, watch what happens.  Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went out to meet the victorious soldiers outside the camp.  Moses was “wroth”with the officers who returned from the battle.  “Have you allowed all the women to live?”  He asked them.  (Now note who is about to get blamed for the Israelites sinning, as well as the subsequent plague.) Moses continues….

 

“The women were the ones who were the cause of turning the Israelites to sin, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people.   Now kill all the boys.  And kill every woman who has slept with a man.  But take for yourself every girl who has never slept with a man.”  How would random soldiers know who the virgins were?  Anyone under the age of twelve, of course, the legal age for marriage.  

So this was one of Moses’ last commanding acts before he died.  “Kill all the women, and do what you want with the little girls.”

 

MOSES is Known As:  The Friend of God

 

KING DAVID

Now let’s look at David, who was for years my personal favorite.  I even wrote a musical about him called David, Son of Jesse.  Until I  looked at him anew from an adult woman’s viewpoint.

 

David saw and then took Bathsheba as his wife. As his subject, she had no recourse to refuse.

As commander of the entire army David sends her beloved and only husband to the front of the battle lines to be killed.

David already had seven wives, and numerous concubines, which is really a dressed up word for women who were housed under a man’s roof as unpaid sex slaves, able to bear his children but having no legal rights themselves.  Thus was Hagar, Abraham’s concubine sent out to die with no advocate for her or her son.

David, as his wedding price for Michal, his first bride and Saul’s daughter, brings in 100 bloody foreskins from the Philistines.  Penis leftovers from the bachelor party, perhaps?

David seemed to take pleasure in triumphantly presenting dangling bloody body parts to crowds, including the head of Goliath. 

 

(But this is the one that sent me over the edge.)

 

David brags about hamstringing seven hundred horses.  Which means he took a machete knife to each of a horse’s two back haunches and hacked them, so that the horse lurched forward and then stumbled to the ground, screaming in agony, and slowly bled to death.  Not just one horse.  Seven hundred of them, flailing on the ground, covered in their own blood. As if just killing them wasn’t enough.  He wanted them to die slowly, visibly, loudly and in excruciating pain.

 

David was what we would call today a sexual predator, taking Bathsheba just because he wanted her. He was an adulterer, having sex with a then married woman.  He was a murderer, abusing his power as commander to have an innocent man killed.  And David was a man who enjoyed torturing horses. 

 

DAVID is known as: A Man after God’s Own Heart

 

What’s so disturbing about all of this, among many things, is that in scripture these men and so many others like them get ultimate blanket exoneration for their horrible crimes, individually committed, many of them unaddressed or unconfessed. Additionally, they are often promoted and honored across the centuries in some form of Biblical Bro Code. Meanwhile, however, women in general and as an entire group are blamed for things they/we didn’t even do, not only then or now. All women are forbidden to speak, lead or teach men in church—why?  For what crime?  Who said?  

 

Jesus stood alone with the woman- who moments before was about to have been stoned to death. With the stones now abandoned from the falsely self righteous crowd around her, Jesus asked this newly freed woman clearly this one question.

“Where now are your accusers?” 

That answer remains to be seen…

 

I could go on, and I will in other writings.  But for now, know this.

I do not enjoying digging up old roots.

I do not enjoy being astounded at how men who write “his-story” confer honorable titles to men who did horrible things.  (Lot, who offered his preteen/virgin daughters to be gang raped by a mob, is later lauded by the disciple Peter as a “righteous man,” thus cementing his name across both the Old Testament and the New.)

I especially do not believe that men saying God told them to do something makes it so, makes it ok, or even makes it from God.  

The Bible is written from a male point of view.  There is no doubt about that, as any woman knows.  

 

But do these stories really represent God?  The God shown us in the face and life and deeds of Jesus?  I think not.   And for those who think scripture is inerrant, I ask this.

Do you really think God told Moses to tell  his soldiers to rape 32,000 little girls?

Did God really want young women who couldn’t prove they were virgins to be stoned to death?

Did God really kill Job’s unnamed wife in order to win a bet with Satan?  That’s another story.

 

And did God really punish every woman going forward with excruciating pain in childbirth, perpetual servitude, and constant desire for her husband—for trying to share an apple?

And what was Adam’s punishment for “listening to his wife?”  He has to go get a job. Offsite.

Which punishment would you choose?  Overwhelmingly women are put down, tied up, taped up, and thrown under the bus as a group, while men get away with murder.

 

Sigh.   I breathe in Jesus, just Jesus.

 

God wants a relationship with us as humans.  This desire is evident from Genesis throughout the New Testament. 

I believe Jesus is the Word, the Logos, the fulfillment of all there is, and the ultimate hope for us all, men and women.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

 

And before his death he said “I will send you the Holy (feminine)Spirit, to remind you of all things..”

 

Yet why do people claiming to know Jesus want to drag us, especially women, back into silence, into submission, into having no voice?  And no control over our own bodies?

The command/control style of the Old Testament God appeals to many.  Yet it is false.

 

We love and serve a God, in Jesus, who sets women free, who loves having conversations with us, who declared that in heaven there would no marriage or gender.  That we would be like the angels.

And here is the kicker.

God went to great lengths to make sure no human male was involved in the conception of Christ.  In fact, the Holy Spirit who conceived Christ with Mary is a feminine noun in Hebrew and Aramaic—the languages Jesus spoke.  

 

In one Old Testament story God created woman from a sleeping Adam, taking a simple rib bone from him just to create a helper for him.

 

In the New Testament God went directly to a fully conscious woman, and asked if she would help write a new story, help create a new creation, one made without a human male’s bone, seed or influence. A fresh start, as it were.  No human male authority or permission was asked, needed, sought or required, in this Most Amazing Act.

 

God plus Woman gave us Jesus.

 

Weep for sorrow.  Weep for Joy.

 

And then, let those of us who have been lingering by a pool of old curses and sorrow for so long, rise, take up our pallet, and walk.  Better yet, let’s dance.