Gen. 3:17— Then to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife … "
Deut. 13:6— If … the wife you cherish … entice you secretly, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods … "
Job 2:10— He said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks … "
Prov. 9:13— The woman of folly is boisterous; she is naïve, and she knows nothing.
2 Tim. 3:6— … captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses.
She gives her reaction upon reading the handout:
The speaker on the DVD said these verses showed that women should appreciate the desire of men to analyze and provide counsel. But I had a hard time moving beyond the underlying premise, at least as I heard it: Women are foolish. Granted, a verse or two appeared on the following page about how a prudent wife is from the Lord, but that didn't counterbalance the overarching impression that women are at worst, shrewish, at best, naïve. When we began to discuss the lesson, I was more than a little surprised to realize my opinion wasn't the consensus view.In the balance of the article, Gates argues that the Bible-study leader was misguided and actually misinterpreted the texts of Scripture.
"I think men are more aware than women of their tendency to sin," one of the men suggested. "Maybe they can use this wisdom to help guide their wives."
I couldn't believe this was being discussed as a legitimate idea. I wanted to ask if he really thought that women are blinder than men to their own foibles. Instead, I stared ahead and tried to think of a constructive response.
I think she is engaged in wishful thinking, however. The Bible definitely presents women as inferior to men, or as Peter terms it, "the weaker vessel" (1 Peter 3:7). The woman is thought to be more easily deceived (1 Tim. 2:14) and thus not worthy of the leadership role in the Church (1 Tim. 3:1-2). The woman was created "for" the man (1 Cor. 11:8-9) and she is not to usurp his authority (1 Tim. 2:12). She is to be subject to her husband in everything (Eph. 5:24).
In the Old Testament, it is even worse. The woman is considered to be the property of her father or husband (Exod. 20:17; 21:7). She has no rights. She cannot divorce her husband. If she is raped and does not cry out loud enough, it is her fault (Deut. 22:24). The list goes on and on.
As Simone de Beauvoir pointed out:
Man enjoys the great advantage of having a god endorse the code he writes; and since man exercises a sovereign authority over women it is especially fortunate that this authority has been vested in him by the Supreme Being. For the Jews, Mohammedans and Christians among others, man is master by divine right; the fear of God will therefore repress any impulse towards revolt in the downtrodden female (The Second Sex 1974, p. 691).