Monday, March 12, 2007

My original thesis

One of my original motivations for writing was to vindicate poor, misunderstood Paul who I was sure had a reason for warning women against teaching and authority over men. I wrote to encourage women to embrace their role, to accept their soul’s differences and to find joy in submission.

I expected to find some ontological difference, a difference in being, a difference grounded in nature making women’s souls irreversibly unique, a difference proving why we must not crave authority or demand control. For when women take charge, I would conclude, the natural order of things dissolves and chaos crashes into our homes and society.

This was my original thesis, but it was sieved out of my writing, not by editors, not by my agent, but by me. I stopped believing I had to defend Paul. And I stopped believing women are naturally unfit leaders.


Ben Dyer said...

I'm not sure I've got a position on this, but I know that some exegetes read Gen 3:16b ("your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you") as a desire to rule or command one's husband contrary to the second clause. If this signalled an ontological change (as 3:16a does), then must there not be something ontologically distinct about women prior to this moment in order for there to be something to change? Certainly on this reading there would be something after this, but I think it would be a mistake to say that what is distinctive about women as women is essentially a product of the fall. One might not read Gen 3:16b that way, but there's a lot more I'm wondering about relative to this given the creation of "the woman" in Gen 2. Maybe I just have to wait for the book. :)


Jonalyn Grace Fincher said...

Well, you could argue that men and women became much more different after the Fall (Gen 3:16) than they were before. For instance, perhaps women were physically stronger, less prone to being "ruled" before Gen 3. I do not, however, think all differences are due to the Fall alone. I think we were created in Eden differently, but perhaps less dramatically than we'd like to believe.
Yes, you'll have to wait for the book for more... but not for long. The book is in print and moving slowly from publishing house to bookstores as we write. :)