Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Genesis of it all

I accidentally on purpose started a fun little Facebook debate this week when I posted an article about the sexual harassment allegations that have made their way to the presidential race and made special mention of this little excerpt:

"New poll results show that 70 percent of Republicans say the sexual
harassment scandal makes no difference in their vote. It’s no longer just a
Republican war on women. It’s a war on the idea that any woman might ever tell
the truth."

I don't know why it is more socially acceptable to question the validity of a victim of some sort of sexual violation than other nefarious deeds, but that seems to be the case. And let me point out early on that I don't think this is some testosterone-fueled strategy to hurt women. It's not a gender issue so much as a societal issue. However, it all too frequently happens that a victim of this type of action has to prove the truth of her (or his) story, whereas if she had been robbed or beat up there would be no question of if she was "asking for it."

I have digressed. I just don't want this to appear as a man-hating diatribe.

I do, however, have news. I actually discovered last night where this idea that a woman who cries rape, or something along that spectrum, might be lying: Genesis 39.

See, a couple thousand years after the creation of the world, there was a very righteous man named Joseph. (If you're not a frequent purveyor of the Bible, think "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.") Long story short: His brothers didn't like him, they sold him as a slave, he ended up in Egypt and became a trusted adviser to Potiphar, a highly ranked individual in society.

Problem was, Potiphar wasn't the only one who liked Joseph. Potiphar's wife did too, and one day she got him alone and tried to seduce him. He wanted none of it and fled.

Well, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. What comes next? She waved the coat she'd stolen from his back and cried that he'd tried to rape her. Everyone believed her. Joseph went to prison.

There it is. Recorded in the best-selling and most read book of all time -- a woman who said she was raped and who was, in fact, not raped at all. This entire societal woe can be placed squarely at the feet of Potiphar's wife.

Perhaps we can all remember that most women are not Potiphar's wife and most men are not animals and move forward from there.

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