Daughters of Eve (Or, I need sleep)

Philips and Reay’s Sex before Sexuality was interesting to me especially because of the opening paragraph with the subversion of the male seducer trope. Men are expected to be the ones that chase and dominate women, not the other way around. I’m not totally familiar with the history of Adam and Eve (except for the small discussion we had in class) but I am familiar with women being put into categories such as the prude, the temptress (or the ‘slut’ since temptress seems a bit outdated), etc. If you don’t belong in one of the categories, then you obviously belong in the other. It’s black and white without any type of gray area. If a woman has sex outside of marriage, she’s considered to be less ‘pure’. I remember talking about a similar topic in another one of my classes where we discussed Prosper Mérimée’s work. He believed all women to be the daughters of Eve; that they were there to lead men to temptation. This connects back to the idea of the image we get in the first paragraph in which men are the more pure sex and women are dirty, less than. Men are allowed to be sexual without repercussions but there is a stigma against women for doing the same. This also can be tied back to the other essay, Goldberg’s “The Utterly Confused Category” and the idea of policing sex acts. The ‘temptress’ trope is often used to pit the ‘pure’ girl against the ‘impure’ one and judge women based off of their sexual history. I think these two essays have a few similarities that would be interesting to point out and discuss. Sex is a slightly controversial topic and yet it’s very prevalent in the media, especially when it comes to television shows and movies. It’s odd how, as a nation, we seem obsessed with sex and still cannot have proper, open conversations about it.




3 thoughts on “Daughters of Eve (Or, I need sleep)

  1. First off, mostly agree with your argument! I think the fact that there’s a binary imposed on women placing them as being either slutty or conservatively prude illustrates our incapability to have a straightforward discussion on the female profile. I do disagree on one stance however, I believe that there is an expansive gray zone and that a majority of women fall within it. I think there are many decisions and actions that must be presented before one can try to title/label a woman or anyone, for that matter. In regards to the women that fit the gray zone, there’s really not set line that branches a woman from being the supposed “slut” or “prude”. Try as you may, but there are instances where one decides to present themselves differently and stray from their normal actions. For example, my friend Brianna, wears abnormally short clothing. Some may perceive that to be slutty (I place my judgements based on more information) however, that why that perception creates a sense of temporality that is associated with the judged individual and narrows one’s view of them. Those are just some thoughts knocking around in my head; thoughts on them?


  2. This topic is a very important one that I think our society touches less upon because the word “slut” and the concept of slut shaming seems very harsh. It does not seem like something we should be teaching our youth about. In my school, we did not have “sex ed” until junior year of high school. This, for many, was a conversation long overdue but what we did not talk about was bullying in the sexual world we live in. Calling someone a slut or a whore is not any less of bullying than it is to call someone fat or ugly. This comes back to the idea you brought up of women typically being seduced, yet women are the ones targeted for the term slut. In our society is a man has sex with many partners they are applauded by their fellow male friends which if a women decides to have sex with just as many partners she is considered a slut. In my opinion this brings us back to the physical makeup of ones body. The women is the one being penetrated, which in some way is seem worse as a male being the penetrator. This also brings us to the point you made of what a woman’s clothing may lead a man to perceive. If a woman is “asking” for sex then she is a slut. If she is saving herself for marriage she is a prude. I think it is an endless cycle of never being good enough for society.


  3. I like that you brought up the idea of all women being the daughters of Eve. Something we didn’t mention in class about this story, is that Eve was supposedly made out of a rib from Adam’s body. I think this is problematic because it implies men literally are responsible for everything good, and women wouldn’t be AT ALL here without men. This sort of reminds me of the way many men in power probably view women. Now imagine people who hold office who believe the story of Adam and Eve to be literal, and the legislation they may consider that would harm women because of their belief.


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