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  1. Well, to be historically fair, the ancient Hebrews weren’t the first to come up with the concept of the meek woman as property of the dominant man… but they’re certainly the ones whose concept we got stuck with. I look forward to our increasing loss of patriarchal backwardness, as we move into the future! ;)

  2. I don’t have to guess: they’re men. Old men, to boot. Look at pictures of Cogress or the UN – mostly men. It’s better than it used to be, but isn’t good.

    So the whole “helpmate” thing is another poor translation, leading to a couple of thousand years of treating women badly. Just like the “virgin” Mary.

    This is what comes from worshipping texts written in a dead language.

  3. Hi, Lou! Thank you so much for commenting! :)

    Re the concept of woman as “submissive ‘helper,'” I think you need look no further than the second version of Genesis, where the translation classifies Eve as Adam’s “helpmate.”

    I’m always amused to remember: a) the original version of Genesis stated YHWH (who is non-specifically gendered) made humans who were both male and female within a single body, in the “image” of Yahweh. It’s only later translations that classify Yahweh as male, and break apart the human entities into separate males, and females, and b) the translation of “helpmeet” or “helpmate” is actually contestable. There are a few places in the OT where the word (which in the early Genesis story is translated as “helpmeet”) is used — but translated as “savior”! :)

    Why is the concept of the submissive female so popular? That, I couldn’t tell you. Most of the women I know consider it, even if unconsciously, a constant irritation. Someone’s got to be happy with it, though, and my guess is that it sticks because those who run society — the leaders in governments, the priesthood, the heads of industry — like it. Guess what gender they are overwhelmingly? :)

  4. Considering the power and effectiveness of some of the women in the norse myths, I can’t say this really startles me. I’m more startled and disappointed by the researchers insisting that this ancient culture works just like ours does today.

    The idea that women have to play submissive “helper” roles to the man’s leadership isn’t the great constant that a lot of people seem to want it to be.

    What I don’t understand is where this belief came from, and why it is so strongly accepted, and how it got to be this way in such a reasonably short time frame.

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