Since I was stuck in traffic last night, I took the hour to listen to Unlocking Us – podcast by Brene Brown, this evening in discussion with Elizabeth Lesser, author of Cassandra Speaks (among other amazing books). What drew me into the conversation was the subtitle of the book: When Women are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes.
Going from thought provoking questions about the the story of Eve’s curiosity and dare in the Garden of Eden, all the way to Cassandra who was cursed to see the future but have nobody believe her and Pandora who may or may have not actually opened the box, these two amazing ladies ask a very “simple” but impactful question: what if the fact that these women’s stories were told by others (men) actually changes the way they are told and thus perceived? If we were to ask Eve, wouldn’t she say she was merely curious? If we were to talk to Pandora, how do we know she won’t let us in on a little secret – that she received the box already opened and she was the one who closed it keeping hope in? And Cassandra … she was a woman saying no after saying yes … was she deserving of a curse?
In her book, Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle says:
“The original Hebrew word for woman, a word that is used twice to refer to the first woman, three times to refer to strong military forces, and sixteen times to refer to God, is this: Ezer…I learn this: “The word Ezer has two roots: strong and benevolent. The best translation of Ezer is: Warrior.” God created woman as a Warrior.”Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior
Probably the most important idea that I heard last night is the following: women have stories thread in the tapestry of their upbringing that they don’t even know are there, thus being influenced by these stories moreso than if they read them in a book. And because the only way women know power can be manifested successfully is in the form of power over, many times feminine power also manifests itself that way – many times feminism is a testosterone filled way to put forth the idea of women power. The greatest sabotages of all times!
Elizabeth Lesser talks about experiments done to discover males’ (not just in human species) reaction to stress and the moment when the flight or fight response was identified and documented as a reaction. When females were studied (much later), the response was completely different. Females (again, of any species studied) don’t fight or flight. They tend and befriend. They take care of their tribe (and other tribes for that matter) and build belonging. Are we still wondering why most of the countries in the top five most successful approaches to the COVID crisis are led by women?
Looking at Eve and Pandora we must ask – why is their curiosity a crime? Isn’t this what is celebrated in the greatest of scientific minds? Isn’t this what is allowed and forgiven in other prominent figures of the Bible? If there is nothing we learn from the times we live in today, then it is that the parallel pandemic of women being considered a lesser species because of emotions they manifest, perceived less physical strength and the “duty” of caring for our offspring to the detriment of their impact in the world of work or politics and their being judged by different rules is a mark of a formal normal which should never return.