”“Why has the Christian tradition persisted in reading the story of Adam and Eve in ways that are to women’s detriment: misogyny, sexism, the fear that women really are powerful so they must be kept down?” asks Bird. Over the years, as my relationship to religion has changed and my belief in a Christian god has dissipated, I’ve found myself wondering about Eve.
She strikes me as a character deserving of so much more depth, a curious and rebellious young woman who was willing to test her place in the world in order to dream of a better one. Even in paradise, she knew something was being kept from her, and she was willing to break the illusion of satisfaction in complacency. It was ingrained in me that my painful periods were her fault, but I wonder if my desire for liberation from a heteronormative, white patriarchy didn’t also start with her. Eventually, I gained an understanding about what happened to me in my room with the pastor’s son. It was painful, but being able to name and condemn that behavior was so much more freeing than living with an untruthful story. Naming our monsters means questioning our place in their world. Patriarchy leads us to believe the men at the top can save us, but that’s an illusion meant to keep us underneath them. The men at the top, the patriarchs in the sky, they aren’t coming to set us free. It’s the snakes, the fruit, the trees, and each other that will.”