I apologize for this past month or so of radio silence. Belén was attending wedding after wedding. I was in the process of a break up and moving. Now we’re back though! And we don’t even want to go out anymore because Portland winter has begun, meaning it’s time for constant drizzle and hot toddies.
The above comic derived from a joke I made to a friend about how a woman can be a bitch forever, and it’s true. We’re a bit more conscious as a society of how calling a woman a bitch is essentially writing them off as a variety of things, but always, always someone who does not deserve our time or attention. I appreciate attempts to reappropriate the term bitch, Bitch magazine coming quickly to mind because it is usually a quick and cutting insult. The word may be used as an intended barb, but to transform it to mean a fiercely opinionated person who doesn’t take shit from anyone, well then, I wouldn’t mind being called a bitch forever.
This comic came out of a conversation between Maria and I about, you guessed it, Noah. I kept talking about “Noah’s wife,” until finally I said, “This is ridiculous. I’m sure she had a name! I want to know her name!” She does have a name. A Jewish text calls her Emzara. An Arabic work titled her Haykêl. In Cyprus she is Barthenos. In the Armenian tradition she is Nemzar, Noyemzar, Noyanzar. She has no lack of names, and yet we never hear her story. An account of the flood through her eyes is most likely relegated to the halls of academia to be gleaned through various manuscripts and “historical context.”
U.S. history, religion, culture is shaped by the narratives of man and men. Women are taught that we are supporting characters, helpers, not leaders. I do not think most men realize with what ease women are proscribed to footnotes and Other re-tellings. It is assumed a woman’s perspective will put a new lens on a situation, but one taking place from the shadows rather than the forefront. Where are the women in our stories? What are they doing? Why are they doing it? I want to at least KNOW THEIR NAMES!