As an atheist, I’ve always been fascinated by biblical women; they’re so often relegated to mere objects or plot points in their husband’s or father’s stories, much like headlines pitch us wives and daughters instead of proper names now. Women like Lot’s wife aren’t even afforded a name (except for in a few Jewish traditions) while women like Jezebel have names translated as “where is the prince?” in a reference to her deity (yes, this is literally what biblical scholars translate her name as).
Jezebel is both a strong woman, who is murdered for her strength and yet also a pawn; women are seen as duplicitous but only as a relational device for or against the men in their lives.
Give me the Jezebels who have full interior lives and relationships with other women and staunchly hold their beliefs in the face of death. It’s always a good time to reclaim our names for ourselves.
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