So now we know where Lori Alexander of The Transformed Wife found that article saying that ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is Biblical. At least parts of it are according to Lori. From everyone’s least favorite champion of taking away rights from women, Larry Solomon of Biblical Gender Roles.
At least Larry has bothered to read the book and it sounds like he may have seen the Hulu series as well. Lori only read a synopsis of the earlier movie of the book. She hasn’t read the actual book or seen the new series.
I’ve spent considerable time reading through Larry’s interpretation of the book, and he seems to be extrapolating out things that are not entire clear in the movie, book or series, such as claiming that the handmaidens are all women who have either been in a second marriage or living with a man without the benefit of marriage. Either I completely blanked reading the book, or Larry is making things up again. The series and book seemed to make the case that if you were not a Commander’s wife and you were deemed to be fertile you would be pressed into service as a handmaid.
I can see I’m going to have to reread the book and take a second look at the series this week to see how much of Larry’s description lives up with the source material.
Larry runs a horrific listening of all the things done in Gilead that he is perfectly fine with, execution of gay men, but not lesbians, execution of abortion doctors, women who cheat on their partners and seizing ownership and control of all female owned assets. But it’s not until Larry reaches the point of the mass wedding that things go very creepy and wrong.
In the scene in both the book and the series there is a mass wedding of girls who seem between the ages of 12 and 15, to the Guardians. Most of the Guardians are much older than the girls, some as much as double their ages. The scene shows men all the way up to their 50s marrying prepubescent girls.
Here’s what Larry says about that:
I have already addressed the fact that the nation of Gilead was wrong in usurping the authority of father’s over their daughters. But what if fathers willingly gave their young daughters, even those in their early teens as portrayed in arranged marriages to older men – is this a violation of Biblical morality?
The answer is a resounding NO. It is not immoral or “abhorrent” or “horrific” in the eyes of God. The Scriptures tell us in two passages when God says a young woman is ready for marriage.
In the book of Ezekiel God portrays his marriage to Israel as an older man taking a young woman who has shown the signs of puberty as his wife:
and this other horrific tidbit:
The phrase “if she pass the flower of her age” refers to if she has had a period.
So, God’s allowable age for marriage to a woman is when she shows the signs of puberty, development of her breasts, growth of pubic hair and she has had a period. At that point it is perfectly moral for her to be married.
And her “consent” is not required by God. And God does not grant her the “agency” that we believe women have today. It is her father’s decision (Exodus 22:16-17). And there is absolutely nothing unbiblical about arranged marriages (Jeremiah 29:6). Also, it is not immoral for men much older to marry younger women.
Why is it always these creeps, like Vaughn Ohlman,imaging young burgeoning breasts and periods as a marker for readiness? Notice that none of them view young boys of that age as ready for marriage. When they talk of men marrying it’s always men over the age of 21, while saddling them with a much too young girl.
It’s pornographic, it’s obscene that this is their determination on sexual readiness for marriage. In the earlier seasons of ‘Game of Thrones’ Queen Cersei and her son Joffrey were waiting for Sansa Stack’s ‘first flowering’ before arranging a wedding. Sansa, knowing this was her fate, did everything she could to hide this from both of them. Early marriage was more a reality in royalty than in common folks in real life and fiction.
In the United States this age can come at a very young time in a girl’s life. Menstruation ages have dropped, meaning what Larry is proposing here is that girls as young as 9 could be married.
My own cycle started at 11 years old, and I can tell you I was nowhere near ready to marry. I was still playing with my Barbies, riding my horse, going to Camp Fire Girls meetings, and giggling over how cute Donny Osmond was. My only adult actions and responsibilities revolved around caring for my horse.
Little girls should be free to ride their horses, or play with their dolls and coloring books, not forced into lifetime relationships and sex. We’ve talked about this so much here that I’m not even going to cite the statistics again that show how early marriage harms girls in every way, physically, emotionally, financially.
Besides, we all know that it is unlikely in a Gilead that Larry would even qualify for his own Econowife much less anything better.
Some ideas need to stay fiction, this is one of those.
I leave you with this, Larry’s take on why Gilead happened and why something similar seems to be on track in the United States. Larry does not say it, but his idea of Biblical Gender Roles includes sexually abusing little girls.
The real problem that caused the collapse of the United States in the Handmaid’s Tale is the same problem that might actually cause the collapse of the United States in the not so distant future. And that problem is the widescale abandonment of traditional gender roles which I would argue are Biblically based.
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