So, finally, in Genesis 3:16 women are given the ability to have children. Why has God been blabbering on about going forth and multiplying when it wasn't until this point that Adam and Eve actually could?

The punishment women receive is a joke. First, God makes them bear children. This curse seems to have magically spilled over to all other mammals as well; who'd have thunk it? Sure, evolution explains female childbirth in great detail, but it requires much less effort to say, "God did it!". Also, how is this a punishment? Granted, the incubation period causes cramps and morning sickness, and the birthing procedure isn't exactly comfortable, but women tend to unanimously agree that childbirth is a magical experience that they wouldn't give up for the world. The second curse is misogyny; God makes them subservient to their husbands. Well, that's just plain bullshit. Patriarchal societies debase women of their own accord, God had nothing to do with it. While matriarchies are rare, they do exist, and often demonstrate a higher quality of life for all citizens than a patriarchy.



Noobyon writes:


I thought the curse was that women would suffer pain during childbirth, not childbirth itself?!

Having said that - how DID all the other animals get cursed.. man this god guy is a bit of a dick!

Noobyon writes:


Also according to your link (to Wiki) "There are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal"

Ray writes:


Yeah, God does seem to be kind of a douchebag. Honestly, for an omniscient being, it doesn't seem to have a very good idea of what is/are (a) appropriate punishment(s).

hmmmm.... writes:


i agree. It says god would greatly multiply pain during labour.
no other animal in the world has as much difficulty as well as death during childbirth as humans do

Winterset writes:


To hmmmm....

Since pain is an abstract concept determined by context, and amongst all known species on the planet only humans have the ability to reliably relate context to other humans, I find it difficult to believe that it's rational to say "no other animal in the world has as much difficulty as well as death during childbirth as humans do". All we know is that current popular assumption is that human females have a really rough time of it and the other animals we commonly observe either don't have the same physical makeup and birthing process (pelvis construction, birth canal size to fetus size, upright stature, tendency to give birth while laying on their backs, etc.) exhibit fewer outward displays of what we recognize as "pain".

Anyone who has ever seen a dog get hit by a car and live with massive injuries can tell you that animals don't display pain in the same way humans do. Their pain thresholds are much, much higher than ours. That doesn't mean they're not feeling just as much pain. It only means they don't display it as dramatically as we do.

hmmmm.... writes:


i agree with Winterset that pain is an abstract concept. but prior to the introduction of modern obstetric care the number of deaths during childbirth was way high. and it still remains the same in many developing parts of the world

Mr-know-it-all writes:


Interestingly enough, I would beg to disagree. Pain is both a very concrete and a very abstract concept, and the second isn't at stake here. This isn't the "oh how sad I am" kind of pain, but rather the "owowow man this sword is stuck across my pelvis owowow!". It is indeed a very definite thing, determined by the amount of pain neurotransmisors derived from a given amount of damage.
And to top, "difficulty as well as death during childbirth" doesn't have anything to do with pain. Now, whether or not humans have the highest of those two may or may not be true, it would seem to me that killer whales beat us in that departament.

And as for the matriarchal societies, it has been side that all tribes are/were matriarcal before the causal relation between sexual intercourse and reproduction is widely known, and upon that discovery, they start drifthing to the patriarchal side. There surely must be other factors to account for, but one thing is for sure: if matriarchies have a higher life quality, it is because they tend to have fewer individuals/population density, rather than any inherent advantage they may or may not have.
And please note that I'm not saying they are better or worse, they might or might not be but what I'm saying is it doesn't matter. Any possible inherent advantage a matriarchy could have over a patriarchy (or viceversa) is almost surely made void by other, more pressing and unrelated, differences between them, like technological development or commercial status.

Ladyofthemasque writes:


...The Army did a test in regards to pain tolerance. They asked a male soldier and a female soldier to each stick their hand into a bucket of ice water at the same time, and to not withdraw their hand until they absolutely could not bear it one moment longer. The icewater was considered the best way to induce pain without causing irreparable damage.rnrnThe man pulled his hand out several minutes later...and the woman pulled her hand out several minutes after *him*. The Army repeated this experiment with different soldiers, and found the same general trait. Pain tolerance thresholds are different between the genders, with women being capable of tolerating more pain, in general.rnrn(There are, of course, exceptions to every rule...but in general, women tolerate higher levels of pain. We don't LIKE it, but we can endure it.)

Winterset writes:


Pain is, as LOTM pointed out, entirely subjective even when taking into account the exact same degree of neurotransmissions and pain-receptor activations. I, myself, have a fairly high pain tolerance. I know a many men, however, that have higher pain tolerances than myself. And of all of them, the ones who actually explore pain tolerances know that, in general, men can't hold a candle to women.

Pain, as a physical sensation, is subjective. Pain, as a motivator, is even more highly subjective. All subjective things are directly related to context, by definition of the word "subjective". Therefore pain as a physical sensation is dependent upon context.

If you still don't believe that, I'd recommend looking up your local BDSM community and having a chat with an experienced sub. It will be an enlightening, if strange, conversation.

Mr-know-it-all writes:


Not to be smug, but that, again, is pain threshold, not pain itself. It still stands true all said, but as per the wording of the book in question, it referred to pain in itself as punishment. Whether it is a withstandable punishment or not doesn't seem to come into play.
And the point was, what? I have forgotten, sorry.

kris writes:


interesting discussion, but... i don't think that pain thresholds are exactly the point here.

i understand this kind of a just-so story: why is it that we as a species have so much difficulty with childbirth, when the ewes, cats, chickens and all other creatures we can observe during birthing seem to cope a lot better? (and, as for adam's punisjhment, why do we have to work so hard and may still starve, when the birds get to sing and play all day and still get by?)
for an answer that is several thousands of years old, it isn't even so bad. not true, naturally, but an interesting story to tell.

Kim writes:


Taken metaphorically, it actually explains it quite well: humans acquired self-consciousness (big heads and neotony*) and it made childbirth harder (big heads and neotony).

*I hope I spelled that right. It means born very immature, not yet able to survive on one's own. Approximately. I guess it really contributes more to the death of the baby than the mother....

Katy writes:


Interesting discussion on this page. Regarding childbirth and differences between creatures and humans ... you'd be surprised how like humans some animals can be about childbirth. I had a pet rat named Lilith that I bred (I was a hobby breeder for awhile); she had always lived with her sister Jezebel, so I kept them together except for the actual time that Lilith was with the male rat (Jack). Anyway, shortly after Lilith had her babies, I wanted to pick up a few and make sure her milk was flowing well, maybe get a head count to see how many she had, etc. Now, sometimes mother rats get a bit nippy, so I was naturally cautious and pulled my hand back right away when she moved her head toward my hand. However, about 1/2 hour later I decided to try again and this time I didn't flinch back. Imagine my surprise when she didn't bite me - instead she very carefully took one of my fingers in her teeth and brought my hand toward her; after bringing it roughly adjacent to her head, she let go and then used her head to push my hand back until it was cupped over her back, which she then arched into my hand ... SHE WANTED A BACK RUB!!!! Isn't that amazing?? Rats are the coolest people ... I miss having them - they make really astonishing pets at times. But His Majesty my Cat (again) would not approve the loss of attention to Himself, so ...

TheAlmightyGuru writes:


Rats are cool creatures, and that's a cute story. However, I wouldn't be that surprised how human-like animals can be, because humans -are- animals! But, I get your meaning. :-)

Katy writes:


I got a million interesting critter stories. Just recently Fluff, a young tomcat who has claimed my husband as his, greeted my husband by meowing at him. Hubby asked "what is it?" and Fluff meowed again, so hubby asked "what do you want?" to which Fluff meowed and then, very deliberately, pawed at the wall. Hubby asked "you want pettings?" and a very emphatic MEOW answered him. Amazing bit of communicating. Also recently my husband and my older tomcat, Erasmus, had a bit of a quarrel. Erasmus was sitting in the window when hubby woke up so I told my hubby to give Erasmus some pettings - Erasmus meowed vociferously, as if to say "I don't want HIM touching me!!" Just to test, hubby reached out toward Erasmus, which caused another loud meow, quieted when hubby moved away.

See what I mean when I said my cats talked to me? :-)

TheAlmightyGuru writes:



What's that boy?


Timmy fell down a well?

Meow. pushed him didn't you?


wm writes:


it said that it will greatly increase her pains in childbirth... as in she could already do that and probably already did, now it hurts... a lot


Oh the irony!