She was asking for it.

Not my words – not my thoughts – but a summation of the words so often used to make the victim of a rape or assault into an offender.

Misogyny. Defined in one online dictionary as:

dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

It has been around a long time.

Genesis, Chapter 3, King James Authorised version: Adam and Eve have eaten of the forbidden fruit, discovered shame in nakedness, and ‘God’ is asking him why:

12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desireshall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

It’s pretty strong stuff, this, and stuff that is absorbed even where it is not directly promulgated, as if it were a kind of fairy tale yet more.

 

According to this it is woman who has caused pretty much all the suffering of man.

Timothy develops the theme thus:

8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Not Adam’s fault, but Eve’s.  Oh, and the serpent’s.

For more than two thousand years, within the same cultures that defined as “God’s Will” the subjugation and the elimination of other cultures, which so defined also the subjugation of their own poorer brethren, within the same culture that allowed people of supposed ‘belief’ to perceive slavery as their “God’s Will”, within the same culture that today produces the hate mongers who vilify people for having different sexual orientations, women have been institutionally despised.

And the ‘Good Book’ from which I have quoted owes its existence to the same King James VI, it appears, who wrote the “Daemonologie”, a treatise on the evils of witchcraft in which the witches were….  You guessed it. Women.

Single women.

Does age make all this irrelevant to the misogyny debate?  No.  Age gives a veneer of respectability, an endorsing continuity, to the worst possible of ideas.

The quotations have elongated this post.  There is more to come.

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