The Role of Women in Creation Stories
Men tend to be the dominant figure in many modern societies; this could have something to do with the role women play in creation stories believed by a particular society. In some of the creation stories studied, women are portrayed as inferior to men even though they possess great strengths or the ability to manipulate men. The creation stories of Genesis, Enuma Elish, and The Creation of Pandora from Works and Days all have feminine characters that are portrayed as inferior to men even though they possess great strengths or the ability to manipulate men. In the Genesis creation story, it is easy enough to establish the theme of women having been created after man and therefore of lesser importance. One of the first hints given to support the theme is that God is a male figure comes right in the beginning of the story. “3 And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.”(55) The mere fact that God is referred to as “he”, is the first implication that men are considered superior to women. As if it is not possible for women to have created the beauty and magnificence of the universe and mankind. The reference to “he” continues throughout the story. Genesis also refers to the creation of woman as a helper for man, not a partner or equal with the line, “18 Then The LORD God said “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (58) Man was created to care for the earth and all of the living creatures. By creating woman as a helper rather than a partner she is seen as inferior to man. As the story of Genesis goes on man and woman, or Adam and Eve, are living in the Garden of Eden. Again Eve is portrayed as inferior because she is unable to resist the temptation of evil and eats off the forbidden tree. Eve, who all along has been...
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