(Originally posted at ClobberBlog)
Got my copy of Essays on Women in Earliest Christianity Vol. 2 today and have just started reading the first essay by Rick R. Marrs, “In the Beginning: Male and Female (Gen 1-3).” Get this, emphasis mine:
Repeatedly, Gen 2:21-25 has been used to justify a hierarchical relationship of female subordination toward the male. Arguments for a hierarchical interpretation include:
1) man was created first and woman last; first connotes superiority while last denotes subordination (inferiority); 2) woman was created for the sake of man—to be his helpmate (assistant) to cure his loneliness; 3) woman comes out of man, implying a derivative or subordinate status; 4) woman was created from man’s rib, indicating a dependence upon him for life; 5) man names woman, indicating his power/authority over her. Each of these arguments is problematic. Literarily, Gen 2 reflects a “ring composition.” That is, the order of creation (man first, woman last) intends not a move from superiority to inferiority, but through inclusio (man/woman) a move from incompleteness to completeness. Literarily, one can more compellingly argue that woman is presented as the climax and culmination of the story—she is the crowning work of creation!
Crowning work of creation, I like that! God was saving the best for last. Who’s inferior now, b*tches?
Disclaimer: I do not think women are superior to men. I think they are, in most contexts, equal.
Other Disclaimer: I say the b-word sometimes. Complaints about this will be blissfully ignored by me.