Botched Bible Lessons

Posted by RazzaTazz (9676 posts) - - Show Bio

The more I think about this series Irresistible, the more angry it makes me.  I realize that I last blogged about this no more than an hour ago, but after finishing reviewing the three our of four issues that have been released I realize that there is a lot more for me to be critical of.  On closer inspection there was a lot more (bad stuff) going on than just my superficial treatment from earlier as there is also a healthy dose of misrepresenting sexual violence and somewhat glorifying stalking.  I am aware that I will likely veer into territory here that will get me labeled as a feminist, but one thing in particular troubles me about this overall depiction in this series.  The concept is that a man who been given the ability to attract any and all women (except his ex-girlfriend who he is stalking) and that he goes on a streak of having sex often and everywhere.  My problem with this though is that the "magic" they use to explain this comes straight from the Bible.  I am sure some will not agree with me and that some Bible scholars will point out otherwise, but I think it is not much of an assertion to make that the Bible makes the case at time's that women are to blame for the downfall of men.  One has to go as far as the Book of Genesis to find this as Eve is painted a the originator of all of man's problems.  As a religious text, some argue that the Bible is meant to be taken as a tale of morality and not of literal truth, but then there are many who argue otherwise, that the Bible is in fact God's literal truth, in which case women are somewhat painted with a negative brush.  This can be seen to be the cause behind some of the depictions of women in traditional religious societies and the kind of stories which can give rise to the stupid comments from the like of Akin.  The problem here more so is that the "witch" that gives the main character his "powers" is in fact Delilah (from the Bible story about Samson and Delilah.)  She is another woman that did in a man, this time not over the forbidden fruit but just for money.  So the end result is that this man is taking advantage of women (even as they are more or less raping him) but it is all a woman's fault, and a woman no less that already bore some shame for doing so.  

#2 Posted by Hawkeye446 (3939 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis said:

How annoying.

I don't get how its acceptable to still paint women as the Jezebel. Even saying Jezebel annoys me. Delilah and Samson is one of the worst stories I have ever heard and don't get me started on Adam and Eve. That one offends both genders in that Adam could be so easily convinced.

To use the concept in comic format is pathetic. Show the lack of originality in the part of the writers. Terrible.

TRUTH!

#3 Posted by danhimself (22624 posts) - - Show Bio

the magic didn't come from the Bible.....Delilah was cursed to live forever after what happened with Samson...she then says that during that time she studied other forms of magic...she says that she "immersed herself in the forbidden mystical arts from across the globe"...that's where she got the power to curse/bless Allen

#4 Posted by cameron83 (7504 posts) - - Show Bio

um....when you said that bible scholars will point it out...and the person underneath you,you were wrong....it doesn't take a bible scholar to point them out........(are things like this ((not directed to you razzatazz,but to people in general)) really arguments,i just laugh at how miserably wrong they are,i just have to laugh)

#5 Posted by BumpyBoo (10049 posts) - - Show Bio

You aren't a feminist - you are a humanist. I hate that the word feminist carries such negative connotations these days. It seems we have regressed culturally, and a term once used to describe someone who is independent, self-sufficient and unafraid to speak up for herself has now become little more than the punchline to some Roy Chubby Brown joke. We now have to defend the fact that we are defending ourselves. Why should we feel uncomfortable discussing this kind of thing? All we're asking for is to be treated like human beings (cue Aretha Franklin in the background), to not be objectified and used as a source of cheap entertainment, and to not have our darkest moments presented for the titillation of others! So I say you are a humanist, because when we treat one group of people with such disrespect (women in this case) it degrades us all as a species.

I didn't mean to get quite so preachy and carried away there, but I stand by it.

Great blog as usual ^_^

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#6 Posted by Delphic (1504 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis said:

How annoying.

I don't get how its acceptable to still paint women as the Jezebel. Even saying Jezebel annoys me. Delilah and Samson is one of the worst stories I have ever heard and don't get me started on Adam and Eve. That one offends both genders in that Adam could be so easily convinced.

To use the concept in comic format is pathetic. Show the lack of originality in the part of the writers. Terrible.

Even though I consider myself a christian male my take on certain parts of the Old Testament comes from the realization that all these books were written by men, who often lived in a male dominated society where women were pretty much slaves or objects. Really though are our interpretations often drawn from limited viewpoints? Take for example: Adam and Eve, and more often than not Eve is depicted as being responsible for the downfall of man, or as you quite so eloquently put Lyko was painted as a Jezebel. I view this story through a matter of choice. Eve was persuaded by the serpent to take part of the forbidden fruit of the tree of life. Then she took her discovery to her partner Adam. Then the story goes to say that Adam too took part of the forbidden fruit. It does not say he was forced, and some say he was seduced by Eve. Could Adam have chosen to bite into the fruit? Could Adam have not resisted his partner and swatted away that which was forbidden to him? Was it really Eve who was responsible for the fall of man, or was it choice? (Not to borrow from the Guardians of the Universe) Is free will responsible for the downfall (if you consider it that) of mankind?

Now let's look at Samson and Delilah. At this point no human in history is innocent. As a matter of fact Samson is not quite the "shining Champion of God" that many have depicted him as. Samson was just as vile as many of the men he killed, and was I also believe quite the womanizer. So those who view Samson as a victim are really those who have not looked at the entire picture, and in fact should be educated. This does not mean though that Delilah was completely innocent in her actions either.

#8 Posted by RazzaTazz (9676 posts) - - Show Bio
@BumpyBoo said:

You aren't a feminist - you are a humanist. I hate that the word feminist carries such negative connotations these days. It seems we have regressed culturally, and a term once used to describe someone who is independent, self-sufficient and unafraid to speak up for herself has now become little more than the punchline to some Roy Chubby Brown joke. We now have to defend the fact that we are defending ourselves. Why should we feel uncomfortable discussing this kind of thing? All we're asking for is to be treated like human beings (cue Aretha Franklin in the background), to not be objectified and used as a source of cheap entertainment, and to not have our darkest moments presented for the titillation of others! So I say you are a humanist, because when we treat one group of people with such disrespect (women in this case) it degrades us all as a species.

I didn't mean to get quite so preachy and carried away there, but I stand by it.

Great blog as usual ^_^

That is quite all right, I don't feel as though you got preachy.  
#9 Posted by RazzaTazz (9676 posts) - - Show Bio
@lykopis said:

How annoying.

I don't get how its acceptable to still paint women as the Jezebel. Even saying Jezebel annoys me. Delilah and Samson is one of the worst stories I have ever heard and don't get me started on Adam and Eve. That one offends both genders in that Adam could be so easily convinced.

To use the concept in comic format is pathetic. Show the lack of originality in the part of the writers. Terrible.

The strange thing here that not only is a woman being used as the Jezebel, but in fact it is the same one from the Bible.  Seems as though Delilah can't get anything right.  
#10 Posted by BumpyBoo (10049 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: ^_^ Well that's alright then. I worry about getting carried away!

Moderator
#11 Posted by danhimself (22624 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't understand why the whole thing with Delilah would upset anyone...she was painted as a bad person from the get go....she was paid to trick a man into loving her so that she could find out his weakness and use it against him....this woman comes to him and 3 times asks him what his weakness is and each time he lies to her and she takes that information and turns it against him....so in his head this is all fine...this woman has betrayed him 3 times but he still loves her enough that when she asks a fourth time he gives in and tells her the truth...she immediately has his hair cut off and hands him over to the Philistines who gouge out his eyes and try to sacrifice him to their god

I think if anything the story really makes both of them look bad....Samson is an idiot and Delilah is a pretty bad person

honestly though...all stories have a good guy and and a bad guy or a good woman and a bad woman or a mix of the two....I may be somewhat naive myself but I don't think there was any hidden "woman are evil" messages there...I think it was more of a "be careful who you trust" story

#12 Posted by RazzaTazz (9676 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself: Oh you are actually reading this series?  Well by the magic came from the Bible I meant that the character is a biblical one and therefore her magic comes from Bible magic, the same kind that empowers Phantom Stranger and the Spectre.  Still though there are two groups here, Allen and the women.  Both are essentially being raped, they are acting against their will and he doesn't desire to have sex with them anymore.  The blame for this comes back to Delilah not to Allen and furthermore (spoiler) who Allen has to kill to set things right.  
#14 Posted by danhimself (22624 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: yup...I tend to like Zenescope's minis more than I like their ongoings for some reason....did you check out Robyn Hood...seems like it might be good...I liked the Wonderland reference

I'm definitely intrigued over the idea that Allen may or may not do whatever is necessary to get away from the curse and it seems as though he's almost resigned himself to being raped continuously after what happened with the waitress

#15 Posted by RazzaTazz (9676 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself : Robyn Hood was all right, I am not sure what to make of it yet.  I reviewed it yesterday.  I mostly agree with you, as the original GFT series has not been doing much for the past 30 issues or so, but the ongoing Myths and Legends has been fun and Wonderland looks good.  
#16 Posted by Shotgun (900 posts) - - Show Bio

Both men and women have been painted in unsavory light in the bible. But women have also been highlighted when doing good. Don't dwell too hard on the negative parts.

#17 Posted by RazzaTazz (9676 posts) - - Show Bio
@Shotgun: I wasn't saying that everyone that reads and believe in the bible think that women are all responsible for the downfall of man, but some certainly do.  
#18 Posted by Superguy0009e (2265 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: Some view it in a very literal manner (fundamentalists. ex: Baptists), while some religions study it and try to find all of the meanings and hidden messages it has, which can causes problems too (killing people, thinking you are God etc).

#19 Edited by FatFriar_16 (167 posts) - - Show Bio

To be honest, I haven't read all of the other comments. But, I'd just like to point out that the Bible wasn't written to criticize women. Unlike today, you are right, women weren't looked as as equals. There wouldn't be a need to (purposefully or accidently) villainize them. The fact that so many women are seen as the downfall of man would have actually been extremely embarrassing for the men writing the Scripture (How crazy is it that women were first to see the resurrected Jesus?!?). It would have been a more respectable story/history if every man had failed because of another man or because he brought about his own downfall. The fact that there are stories like this add to the credibility of the Scripture.

On the other hand, Adam had no one to blame but himself. They blamed the snake... they blamed the woman... they blamed the man... But, they were all to blame on their own part. The snake chose to mislead. The woman chose to sin. The man chose to sin. The same thing is true with Samson and Delilah's story. Samson was a great Judge of the Old Testament (a leader for the Jews when there was no other God-fearing leader to be found). He knew better. His whole life (his parents knew he couldn't cut his hair even before conception) he was meant to keep just one secret. He failed. The blame is his. Delilah also chose to hand him over, but it was not her whole fault that he gave into temptation.

I really hope I'm sounding matter-of-factual instead of harsh. I'm sorry if that came off rough.... I just beg of you, if you are going to criticize the Bible please be reading the Bible. If you wish to criticize a comic book that takes ficticious liberties in showing off misogynism please only criticize the book. Clearly they are not trying to create the same story (Delilah wasn't really a witch... as far as I'm aware...).

PS: For positive stories of women in the Bible you could always check out Rahab, Ruth, or Mary (besides others).

#20 Edited by evilvegeta74 (4530 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz:religion and politics are taboo, they start wars or make enemies. I never induldge in the two.Some things are better off not said.

#22 Posted by FatFriar_16 (167 posts) - - Show Bio

Sorry to drag this on. If you're really not into history, philosophy, or anthropology don't bother reading this post.

But, as a matter of fact. Christianity had been one of the leaders in individual rights for both men and women along with supporting equality. More than their Judaic ancestors, early Christians acknowledged that Man/Women Save/Free are all saved on the same level. They are equal in God's eyes. Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Unlike the other cultures and philosophies/religion of the time, the early Christians started to promote equality. Certainly Roman tradition and Islam were not the philosophical ancestors of the modern idea of equality (especially for women). Even the peaceful religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism gave into a caste system (segregation). Christian philosophy is partially responsible for the idea of freedom/rights/equality. Before Christian philosophy became popular, people really didn't seem to think twice about their predetermined roles in society.

I know that it's probably not all do to Christian thought/ideas. But, they did play a big role in establishing this movement. If you're interested in this topic, check out "How Christianity Changed the World" by Alvin J. Schmidt (Particularly chapter 4).

#23 Posted by RazzaTazz (9676 posts) - - Show Bio
@FatFriar_16: Sure I am not debating that, the truth is though that some people take the Bible's words and use them for their own means, regardless of what their original intention is.  My point was not so much that "the Bible blames women for everything" but "some people interpret the Bible to blame women for everything."
#24 Posted by sora_thekey (8178 posts) - - Show Bio

I have to disagree.

I usually stay away from any religious banter in order to avoid chaos in forums but there is an incorrect statement in this blog post that I'd like to clear up. (I didn't go through all of the comments and I apologize if my comment will turn out to be sort of redundant, especially since this was posted around a month ago and I am just seeing it.)

the Bible makes the case at time's that women are to blame for the downfall of men. One has to go as far as the Book of Genesis to find this as Eve is painted a the originator of all of man's problems. [...] in which case women are somewhat painted with a negative brush.

First of all, Genesis in no way depicts Eve (or women in general) as the originator of all man's problems. If you take a second look at the text you'll see that the originator of man's (which in some translations is: human's) problems is the snake/serpent (who is in fact the devil playing the part of the puppeteer with the reptile) who offered the forbidden fruit to Eve. He told the first lie, and caused humans to become imperfect.

Why would people think Eve is at fault? Well, because she took the first bite, but Adam is to blame also since he did the same right after. There are other stories that could also make people believe that the Bible is being "sexist" or depicting women with a negative brush. Stories such as Queen Jezebel or the one you mentioned Delilah. Either way, two or a few stories told where there are "female villains" shouldn't generalize the whole Bible.

There are plenty of great stories depicting women as victors, God's friends and the protagonist they deserve to be. Not because they are women, but because of the actions they took in their favor as humans. (Sometimes the Bible will have sentences that include: "man" or "men", but most times it refers to humans as a whole because in the original language it was written there was no word that generalized people like the English language does). Heck, two books in the Bible are named after women (Ruth and Esther).

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#25 Posted by RazzaTazz (9676 posts) - - Show Bio

@sora_thekey: Agreed, the Bible is of course open to interpretation, I didn't mean to make it seem like everyone that reads the Bible is a misogynist, only that some can go to it to find a place to justify their misogyny as they are inclined to do anyway.

#26 Posted by sora_thekey (8178 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: That would be dumb... but then then again there are a lot of dumb people out there. I see your point though.

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