Creation, the Fall, and Wonder Woman

While meditating on what makes Women different from Men, I found myself returning back to the beginning, and I realized that all of our differences can be found in the first few chapters of scripture.

Man was made from dust, from the earth - an entity of order, rule, and structure.
Woman was made from bone, from living flesh taken from another - a creature of choices, changes, and growth.

 


Man was made to rule the world, to name the creature, to impose order where it was needed, to bring structure. He was made to protect the garden from outside forces.
Woman was made because Man was incomplete without us. They needed something more than just order, something more than duty. They needed an equal to love and be loved by. So, Woman was crafted from the bone of his bone, the blood of his blood. We were made to bring change - life - into the world, to be conduits of love. Woman was made to complete Man. Without Woman, Man couldn't be a complete image of God.

Man's failing at the fall was that he didn't defend the garden - and his bride - against the invader. He saw one who didn't belong, and yet, he didn't hold to his sacred call. He failed his task.
Woman's failing at the fall was being too trusting. Not critically thinking about or holding to what God had told them. Women embrace and cultivate growth, so the serpent knew how to speak to her. She corrupted her nature.

Man was cursed to forever have to now fight the earth. His curse relates to his work. The dust from which he was created would forever rise against him, and he would have to struggle to provide and defend those entrusted to him.
Woman was cursed to forever have to fight the flesh. Her curse relates to her call. The flesh from which she was created would now dominate her. To fulfill the deepest desires of her creation - bringing life and change into the world - she would have to suffer. Her heart would crave the union with man, but he wouldn't see her as his equal, and their union, while beautiful, could only bring about fruit through pain.

Man was made from the vastness of the earth, immovable, strong, a rock. Our movies, our tales of the men who are heroes all embrace this and showcase the power of man. Man is capable of such beautiful acts of heroism, and when they overcome their curse, they are truly magnificent. They become what they were made to be: Defenders, protectors, heroes. They emulate the Heart of Christ, fighting the powers of Satan. They tear down walls, rip apart enemies, build up fortresses to keep their loved ones safe. They bring order back into the world.

Woman was made from the rib of Man. From that bone that is solely for protection of vital, but vulnerable organs. Woman was made with the ability to bring life into the world, to be that which is loved, to love. The tales of Women who have conquered the curse, sadly, are few and far between. We have a few strong women to look up to, however. The martyrs, yes, but what about those who lived? Our hearts, as Women, beg to have someone showcase what it means to be woman. We don't want just the Black Widows and Malificents - women who live fueled by hate and revenge. We don't just want the image of womanhood to be that of docile mother either. We have the Disney Princesses to look up to, but few of them were strong women in their own right, most of them had to be rescued by the princes - and even those like Merrida were fighting against something instead of for it. Mulan is the closest to a good, strong woman, I think Disney has made, with Moana as a close second.

This is why movies like Wonder Woman are so important for us. Diana doesn't fight against anything but evil. She is confident in herself, she doesn't let men keep her down, and in fact, challenges them to become better. The movie ends with Diana and the men she fought with seeing each other as equals, with merit based not on ability but on nature of self. Diana fights against the curse of woman: To forever have our natures corrupted. Diana started on her mission not because there was some order that needed to be imposed but because there were souls captive. She didn't allow her mission to keep her from retaining her softness, from enjoying the little things in life: the glimpse of a baby, her first taste of ice cream, the magical nature of a snowfall. Men continually tried to tell her what she needed to be doing, but she didn't let them make her decisions. She didn't tell them they were wrong (usually), she just pointed out that she had a different call. She knew she had been made differently from Man. She knew it, and she embraced it. She didn't ask them to change for her, but neither did she let them keep her from being her.


Diana is everything I could have hoped for in a Woman role model. She encompasses the things that make us most fully woman. She is power, beauty, grace, crown, heart, and yes, in her own way, mother. She knows that the Amazons, Women of power and grace, were made to be better than the average man. So, she simply is. She struggles to understand them, but she always sees the best in them. In many ways, those that cannot fight for themselves, those incapable of seeing the error of their ways are her children. Any who want to fight beside her are her equals. She never demeans them -- in fact, she holds them to a higher standard. But she feels strongly that she is called to be, in her way, mother to the rest of the world. And oh, it hurts her so much to see their wickedness. The scene where she's hysterically looking around saying, "My mother was right. The world of men does not deserve you. She was right," is one of the most heartrending scenes in the movie for me. These are her child-pains. These are the contractions of her heart. She has to decide, then, and for the rest of her life, if she is willing to be mother.

But even in this, she shows the beauty of woman. The men went to continue fighting, continuing to try to impose order. Diana? She wanted to understand. When confronted with the knowledge that mankind is wicked, fallen, spiteful, hateful, and weak, Diana is still able to see, eventually, that they are "So much more than that." She doesn't try to change them. She simply loves them, and she makes it her choice to stay.

"I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind. But then, I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light, and I learned that inside every one of them, there will always be both, a choice each must make for themselves. Something no hero will ever defeat. And now I know that only love can truly save the world. So, I stay, I fight, and I give for the world I know can be."

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