Lilith: A Feminist in Paradise
Do you know about the legend of Adam and Eve that we were led to believe? Well, guess what, Eve wasn't the first woman ever created, there was another woman called Lilith; who in my terms is a total 'Badass'.
She was first talked about in the book of Genesis 1, as a woman who was created by God to be co-equal to Adam in all measures. But then why was she cast out of paradise only to be replaced by Eve? Let's talk about that right now.
In the story illustrated in the satirical work Alphabet of Sirach (c. AD 700–1000); Lilith appears as a woman made from the same clay as Adam and is thus proclaimed as his wife. As she was created on an equal footing with her husband, Lilith wanted Adam to treat her as his equal in all respects and refused to lie down when Adam wanted to be on top during sex. She refused to be subservient to him and ran away from paradise. When Adam turned to God for an explanation, God allegedly took Adam’s side and was furious with Lilith. God sent angels to drag Lilith back to Eden and there as the angels found her by the Red Sea; Lilith is suddenly portrayed as a killer and is deemed to become the first demoness on Earth.
So, even before the existence of humanity, there was a woman who was fighting for equal rights only to be met with male dominance and the crushing patriarchy.
God and Adam didn't think that it was a woman's place to be on the same footing as a man and just because Lilith raised her voice to call them out, she was turned into a demonic figure.
Warning any naysayers to keep quiet or be ready to be shunned by society. It tells us that the whole idea of Eve was to create a submissive woman because women like Lilith just won't do it.
The story reflects the medieval mindset of the society prevalent in those times to have spawned such a myth. It portrays the perceived image of an ideal woman who needs to be subservient to her husband and family to save her from being villainized and persecuted. The pursuit of Lilith by the angels foreshadowed the witch-hunts that took place all over the world and are still ongoing as women are being denied their basic rights and are taught generation after generation to grow up in the image of a soot-covered woman in the kitchen.
Lilith’s defiance of societal expectations and her challenging the oppressive system, in which she was placed, makes her a strong symbol of empowerment. She has become a token of female power and independence as her story is open for interpretation and has inspired several Feminist movements.
The article is written by Shweta Jha. Shweta Jha is a freelance content writer. She's passionate about women's empowerment, mental health and other social issues. Reach out to her at email@example.com.