Eve, she wants to know things
Eve, she wants to know things
Eve, she wants to know why we’re belly down, you’re not supposed to think
–Eve’s Song, Dyonisis
I’ve been listening to this song a lot the past week and a half, and something occurred to me yesterday when my mom was visiting. (When I say yesterday, I mean Wednesday, because sleep is for the weak.) She and I were chatting, and inspiration hit me as it often does when we talk.
Eve is a figure in Judeo-Christian mythology: Adam’s second wife, she brings the downfall of humanity because she gives him an apple. Or something; it never seemed very logical to me and definitely smacks of misogyny.
Years ago I always preferred Lilith, Adam’s first wife. She was created from the clay at the same time as he, and so attested they were equal and refused to submit. Next to Eve, the one who does submit, she seemed pretty badass.
But now, reevaluating Eve, I see she’s even cooler. Lilith refuses to submit, and then leaves (and gets turned into a demon; surprise surprise). Eve instead submits at first because she has been taught nothing else. Then she discovers that there’s more out there than she ever thought, and she wants that knowledge. When she discovers it, she decides it’s so awesome she must share some with the man she loves. And he rejects it, and she is punished for her transgressions, and they are evicted from the Garden of Eden.
Anyone else see an interesting metaphor?
Woman raised in patriarchal society; taught not to question, taught to submit. Gets a hint of different knowledge, and suddenly sees that things don’t have to be this way: equality could be the way things go. Thinks this is really awesome, and wouldn’t her lover like that too? A woman he could meet on equal ground?
But when she shares her new knowledge, she gets shot down and hurt and punished for daring to think.
Eve’s story is a metaphor for the struggles of feminists in the modern world. I’ve been told that feminists deserve to be raped, that they should be rounded up and shot, and other horrid things by family members, not to mention, oh, say, a bunch of fuckheads I don’t even know.
People try to brush that sort of behaviour off as trolling, or just some dudes being dicks for the fun of it, but it’s not. It’s misogyny and violence, and it’s excused as “just a joke!”
It’s a backlash of the kyriarchy against those who dare to challenge it.
Eve wasn’t so lucky. She got the Original Sin thing and didn’t make the changes that should have been made.
But we can honor her, outside a JC context, as a spiritual ancestress of a) people who seek forbidden knowledge within an oppressive society, b) people who seek to change the status quo, and c) feminists (which includes a and b).
With these new ideas in my head, I think I’ll be putting a picture of Eve on my ancestor/Mighty Dead altar, and thanking her for taking the first steps against oppression.
What are your views on Eve from a pagan perspective?