Kiki Smith - Lilith, 1994 - Bronze, silicon, and glass.
“In medieval Jewish lore, Lilith was Adam’s first wife. When she demanded to be Adam’s equal, she was evicted from the Garden of Eden. Lilith flew away to the demon world, replaced by the more submissive Eve. Smith catches us off guard with Lilith’s pose and placement. Most sculptures receive our gaze passively, but Lilith stares back with piercing brown eyes, ready to pounce.”
my mother told me this story over and over when I was little
"Always be Lilith, never Eve"
"Always be Lilith, never Eve"
Ever since reading about her story when I was younger, I never sought to be Eve again.
Lilith is the one men fear. Because Lilith knows she does not need men to validate her existence.
THIS SCULPTURE IS AWESOME, THE LILITH STORY IN GENERAL IS AWESOME, but, uh, I would feel remiss if I did not take the time to point this out: the story of Eve is not one where a woman chooses to be subservient to a man. Like. At all.
Here, in brief, is the story of Eve: God creates heaven and earth, blah blah, animals, trees, blah blah, man in God’s image blah, Adam blah blah, don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge blahhhhhhhh. Then one day Adam is all, “Hey God, I finished naming all the animals and plants and everything weeks ago, I’m bored as shit down here — see, shit, that’s a word I made up for the stuff that comes out of butts, I’m bored enough down here to name the butt stuff.” So God’s like, “Ugh, whatever, I’ll make you a friend out of something, you’re not using all your ribs, are you?” and creates Eve. And Eve and Adam? Yeah, the text doesn’t label them anything but equals during their time in the garden. Literally 100% of the description of their relationship, at the beginning, is:
The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (GENESIS 2.23)
Now, I grant you, it’s not the most ideal situation I’ve ever heard described, feminism-wise, but like. They are both naked, and neither is ashamed. There is no suggestion here that Eve was originally created to be subservient to Adam. Which will be important. In a second.
SO right back to the story, Adam and Eve hang out in the garden for awhile and this serpent is all, “Hey Eve, how about some fruit,” and Eve is like, “Sure, what kind of fruit you want, it’s the Garden of Eden, we’ve got literally every kind of fruit there is,” and the serpent is all, “You know that one fruit on that one tree that is the only thing in the entire garden we’re not supposed to eat,” and Eve is like, “Balls.”
And then the serpent comes at her with like, moral relativism and liberal arts college theology major shit, all, “But why would God put the tree there with a big sign on it that said NOT THIS TREE DEFINITELY DON’T EAT THE STUFF ON THIS TREE THIS TREE RIGHT HERE SEE THIS IT IS THE FORBIDDEN TREE DON’T YOU EAT OF IT if he didn’t, secretly, totally want us to eat of it?” (Real talk: I am with him on this one.) So, whatever, okay, you all know this part of the story, Eve eats some fruit, and it’s the Tree of Knowledge so she gets all this knowledge about good & evil & everything, and then she convinces Adam to eat some fruit and get some knowledge too. And then God notices them like, hiding behind fig leaves and giggling about how they both have genitals (the Tree of Maturity it is not), and gets real pissed and kicks them out, the end.
EXCEPT. The reason I am bothering to type this out (not to mention google biblical excerpts like I’m 13 and studying for my Bat Mitzvah again) is that. As punishment? For eating of the Tree of Knowledge, and convincing Adam to do so also? God curses Eve with the pain of childbirth, and with being subservient to Adam. I mean, literally, this is what it says:
To the woman [God] said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” (GENESIS 3.16)
EVE BEING SUBSERVIENT TO ADAM. IS A PUNISHMENT. IN THE BIBLE. IT IS A PUNISHMENT FOR GOING AGAINST THE WILL OF GOD. If you’ve ever heard of the concept of “original sin,” this is what that’s referring to (er, and it’s also a hard cider but the cider is named after the concept, not the other way around, although presumably in the Garden of Eden with all its wonders it would’ve been possible to get hard cider, so don’t quote me on this). And the concept of original sin is an entirely separate discussion because it’s
ridiculous repressive sexist bullshita complex topic in theological discussion that I am frankly unqualified to speak on, and also because one time Phillip Pullman wrote this entire series of books that was kind of about it and frankly as a result any conversation I try to have on the topic devolves rapidly into a discussion of what kind of daemon everyone would have (mine would be a barred owl).
So, look: I am so here for this sculpture, I am so here for the telling of the story of Lilith, I am so here for encouraging young women to know that they do not need men to validate their existence. I am so. Here. For. That. But I am hesitant at the phrasing, “Always be Lilith, never Eve.” I am hesitant about breaking this story down to the idea that Lilith was inherently resistant and Eve was inherently submissive and that thus Lilith was inherently better, both because it’s canonically not true (again: tricked into tasting the fruit initially or not, Eve gave Adam his helping of her own will, Eve was punished for defying the word of God), and because I think that plays into the garbage idea that there is a correct way to be female, not to mention the garbage idea that women are constantly in competition with one another.
I just. This is a story that has had unimaginable impact on history and culture and women and how society thinks about women. This is a story that has been used to demonize women for centuries. Whether you believe in it or not (and I’ll confess freely that, despite identifying strongly as Jewish, I mostly don’t), you can’t argue that it hasn’t been majorly impactful, because it has been majorly impactful. And while I love the sculpture, and the spirit in which I know this discussion about it is intended, it breaks my fucking heart to see us championing Lilith by (further) demonizing Eve. Eve, whose name means life, whose role in this tale is to be mother of all of humanity and who is seen, more often than not, as the punishment granted to her against her will for a choice she made. Which, incidentally — that’s something I’ve always found pretty telling. Something worth thinking about, you know what I mean?
Both, that’s my point. Both is good. At very least, one without disparaging the other.
Read this whole thing.
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Fuck self consciousness. This is what I need.
Every person has a right to have moments like this, every day.
“I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
who the fuck talks like this?
Terminally ill teenagers who cope with their almost-unbearable fear of death by being pretentious. Which is probably not the worst possible way to handle terminal cancer.
THIS for some reason made me so happy. I don’t really know, sorry for seeming so… unintelligent… but it’s lovely to see people who are faced with dying inevitably, living and experiencing the most emotion that makes us human. I’m fucked, I know.
Many Healthy Greetings
Here’s something to think about, from you to me.
Ever remember a moment where somebody made you feel special or good?
Ever stop to think about how that could change somebody’s moment/day/week/month/year/life?
One of the most vivid moments of my life, and what actually lead me to my career as a Cosmetologist, is a moment like that.
Just somebody telling me they liked my eyeliner. Somebody telling me my eyes popped and that they are GORGEOUS.
That was the first time I wore any sort of cosmetic AND wore it to school.
In middle school, nobody ever called me nice names. And I am pretty confident with that fact. I had deep emotional scars from bullying in middle school, all because I also had a real boyish look going on.
That moment, I actually remember out of the sea of horrible lonely moments.
Moments where I believed them. Moments where I thought I was ugly, boyish, manly, not good enough.
When that girl told me my eyes popped, it was like she gave me one golden sparkly beautiful scale on my canvas of dull fish scales.
It made me feel good. Good on the inside, something actually more positive about myself.
However, as the years passed, I wore my makeup.
Most of my basic skills with makeup is all self taught. My mother never even sat down and told me the purpose of a lot of the shit in her makeup bag. At one time I remember I didn’t even KNOW WHAT EYELINER IS.
That’s crazy. I used to know practically nothing about cosmetics.
Now, as displayed in the photo below, this is how I look now with my typical everyday load of cosmetics on my face. Not bad, eh?
I usually do the glamorous cat eye look with my eyeliner, drawn out dramatically and about as flawless as I can. Practice DOES make perfect.
So if you’re struggling, or discouraged all because of failure or you think you’re not good enough, just stop.
Stop, just breathe. You can actually do this.
Whatever it is you’re doing, you can do it. Just calmly begin and walk yourself through the steps. Get those voices in your head silent.
Fucking silent, because negativity has no place with your success and beauty.
You’re good enough. Your soul is fucking beautiful.
Let your potential pour through.
You did it. I knew you could.
I love you, you’re fucking amazing.
Hugs for days.
That is why I joined the industry of Cosmetology. I want people to realize their worth. Their souls are beautiful. Don’t let anything else stop you from seeing it.
This is how I feel EVERY TIME.
Kim Kardashian finally got something right.
I actually had a good day so far. I did pretty much everything I said I was going to do. I did enough work in school, I stayed off of Facebook, I actually talked to some people in school, and I woke up smiling with a positive mood.
So what’s wrong now? Is it bad that I get sad? Not really, I think it’s okay for someone to be allowed to be sad or shed a tear for a couple minutes. I’m just not letting this reoccurring depressive mood halt or hinder my life.
I want to propel into something great, something or somewhere different from what I am/doing now.
It’s just also that I want to be alone. I want to see nobody, lay in some bed, and do nothing. Relax, be by myself.
Perhaps this is my stupid Virgo side wanting to be an introvert. Perhaps this is me trying to heal myself. I often go through the most lifechanging mental breakthroughs in my head when I am alone. Maybe this is just part of my nature, since in the back of my head my voice might be trying to tell me I don’t need anyone.
In reality however I do want someone and their love. And, I have that in my boyfriend. He just isn’t giving it to me in the ways that I want. Which is understandable, because we are trying to work our relationship out.
And shit like that doesn’t happen overnight, if you want it to be strong.
I don’t know. I’m on this planet to give love fully, experience all of my emotions fully, and to just experience everything. So when somebody doesn’t return that to me in ways I want, or give me instant gratification like I am used to from him, it pisses me off in a personal way.
But I am trying to work on that. To stop being so girlish and childish. It only makes sense however that I react that way, because I view it as me giving him my love, which is personal to me, and he doesn’t do the same. So I wonder why, and it hurts.
I know why, and it hurts me more. So in the back of my head I remember in ways I do deserve it. I got to think long term instead of short term.
In all reality I just want somebody who remembers all the stupid sentimental shit with me, has private jokes with me that we can’t even begin to count or even remember them all, treats me how I treat them…
At least I know what I want. That’s a start.
I just feel alone.
Remember that episode of courage the cowardly dog where a furry bunny runs away from abusive dog dude to be with her lesbian cat lover
because that is all you need to remember
This episode is actually what got Courage taken off the air because a coalition of moms thought it carried lesbian symbolism and they threatened to sue the network if the show wasn’t removed from the air.
Many people at Cartoon Network cite Courage as their favourite show during its run and say that they would not have taken it off, had they had a real choice.
So the show ran the remaining episodes and was not renewed for another season.
… Are you fucking kidding me?!Really… REALLY? THIS was why they canceled Courage? Look, I’m tolerant of any belief, but anyone who would bitch about this episode can go fucking die for all I care.
They do realize that she left a fucking abusive relationship, which takes a fucking hell of a lot of effort, to be happy. The moral of the fucking story is to be happy, and to know your worth. It’s not about a fucking lesbian love scene you fucking worthless trash, it’s about telling little girls that they CAN ESCAPE an abusive relationship.
For fucks sakes, I’ve never been so anti-biggot in my life until right now.
I love all of these comments so much.