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The Beginnings of Feminist Oppression - Essay Example

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The writer of this paper examines a book "Adam, Eve, and the Serpent" written by Elaine Pagels.The book is a historical recount of Roman, Jewish, and Christian traditions that relate to women and the approach to sexuality…
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The Beginnings of Feminist Oppression
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Download file to see previous pages The transgressions of sexual behavior have been attributed to Eve and have resulted in the subjugation of women for 2,000 years. The story of the Garden of Eden has been characterized by sexual overtones and depicts sex as sinful. Yet, it has forever been the greater sin for the woman. Eve was the temptation that Adam succumbed to. Paul writes in Corinthians that, "Let those who have wives live as though they had none" (17). Paul preaches that marriage and therefore women are a necessary evil. According to the original scriptures as taught by Paul and later Augustine, woman's only purpose is procreation. Laws were written and the foundation of the church was based on this institutional bias against women.The monopoly on morality has been used by individuals as well as the church to maintain power. Augustine declares that Adam's sin, the sin of the carnal knowledge of Eve, transformed the "structure of the universe itself". The eventual result was the punishment of death. To validate its authority the Catholic Church adopted Augustine's belief that "death comes to us by will, not by necessity" (145). The continued belief that sex equates to sin, and henceforth death, has been handed down and promotes the church as the only moral authority and our only hope for salvation.Elaine Pagel's book, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, is a straightforward explanation for the bias we see in our laws and prejudices towards women. It helps to explain why a woman's sexuality may be condemned. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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