You Can Run But You Can’t Hide… (Job 25-29)

… from the female body.

Unless you happen to be a test-tube baby. It’s a plain fact that we’re all dependent on the female body for our transition from embryo to bean-shaped fetus to bawling infant. This has never sat well with the men responsible for formulating most major religions, and their icky feelings towards XXs are apparent in writings like the following passage from Job: “How can he who is born of a woman/be clean?/Behold, even the moon is not bright/and the stars are not clean in his sight;/how much less man, who is a/maggot,/and the son of man,/who is a worm!” (Job 25:4-6). As newborns, they all would have slid right out of their mothers’ birth canals into the shower if they’d been unhindered by umbilical cords and able to walk.

Women and their functions are supposedly more closely linked to the animal kingdom than men and their functions. I’ve never understood this since I’ve smelled a teenaged boy or two in my time (this is not a current practice). Periods, giving birth, breastfeeding – all these were obtrusive reminders to dudes like Aristotle that we’re not pure mind, but animals (newsflash!). The best thinkers like him could do was to create a hierarchy in which women were more animal-y than men, at least. While I was reading through some of this stuff, I came across a particularly hilarious tidbit from Plato who, in his limited understanding of anatomy, believed that a woman’s uterus was an actual animal unto itself. Not an organ. An animal. With its own sense of smell and ability to roam the female body like a grazing cow. All I can say to that is, “Wow.”

It kind of looks like it's doing one of those ready-to-strike kung fu poses. You know?

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 1:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Judaism aka Low-Self Esteem Club (Job 23-24)

The Book of Job is basically a long, protracted rant by Job, a man who God has battered like a 50s housewife. In these particular chapters, Job talks about how terrifying God is. God IS terrifying; his actions have never squared with the supposed loving and compassionate persona later Christians perpetuated. Love and compassion are Jesus’ bag but most definitely not God’s. Here’s what Job has to say about God: “…I am terrified at his presence;/when I consider, I am in dread of him./God has made my heart faint;/the Almighty has terrified me;/for I am hemmed in darkness,/and thick darkness covers my face.” (Job 23:15-17).

None too uplifting. I think it says something about the Israelites collective self-worth that they’re willing to settle for a god who’s so shitty. At the time there was a veritable cornucopia of gods to choose from. Remember Baal? He was so bad-ass. In Carthaginian worship of Baal, people grooved together in orgies, in celebration of reproduction (as far as rituals go, that one was prett literal – not a lot of symbolism there). In another ritual – and this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – people would sacrifice their own children. After taking in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” this past weekend, this seems like a sensible way for society to get rid of bad seeds. I’m for it.

Baal fist-pumping.

Published in: on February 16, 2012 at 11:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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