I just saw this on Facebook:
And the truth is, I didn’t always get it. In fact, I’m not going to get into this in much depth and I’m writing this in the thirty minutes before I start working so I can schedule it to publish at lunch time, so I’m really only raising the subject. I suggest anyone interested Google why Lilith is important for feminism and read one of the more thorough takes on the subject.
As an atheist, my first reaction was to think this isn’t important because I don’t believe this god created anyone. But that’s not the point. She’s there, in the original texts. The Judeo-Christian creation myth originally includes her, but then, whoever decided which stories go in the Bible and which do not, decided to omit her. That’s the point.
Why was she removed? The meme says it succinctly but I do suggest further reading. For example from a theological point of view, this educational throwback to the nineties that suggests her origin is a Sumerian succubus, this thesis by a student of religious studies… and there are plenty more. I’m curious why that one article (and others I’ve seen) suggest that Lilith’s origin was a succubus, and not the other way around. We know that Judaism borrowed from older religions like the Sumerian and Mesopotamian ones and Zoroastrianism, so the origin of everything in Genesis was in earlier religions… Isn’t it more likely a strong female figure was quite literally demonized?
Actually let me show you my motivation for writing this… the comments (by men of course) on the Atheist Republic post that shared the meme.
Urgh. Of course they’re stories. Of course none of that happened. But it was men who decided that a strong female figure didn’t belong in those stories, and yet it’s always men who dismiss the existence of the patriarchy.
Myths can be important, not because of the subjects they contain, but because of the way those stories evolve, and from what they tell us about the people who believe them. They’re important historically, psychologically, anthropologically… and in this case they tell us a lot about the way society pretends that strong women were never part of history. Are we so afraid of women that we must write them out of our mythology?