Friday, October 28, 2011

Addressing Misogyny In SOS Chapter One

I bet you didn't know that Song of Solomon Addressed Misogyny. Actually, it really only gives a picture of it as anger of brothers against a sister, the Beloved, and the Chorus's and/or Lovers drawing her away from it to a safe place.

First, the verses where the Beloved admits the anger of her brothers and their ganging up on her and oppressing her, making her their servant rather than their sibling or equal.

Songs 1:5 “I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon. 6 “Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, For the sun has burned me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; They made me caretaker of the vineyards, But I have not taken care of my own vineyard."

Her brothers are not treating this nobleman's daughter (SOS 7:1) as a fellow heir but as something less than themselves, a servant or slave, someone for them to lord over. Though she had her own inheritance, her own vineyard, she's not allowed take care of it. She is persuaded or coerced or forced, by her brothers, to take care of their vineyard, their vision, their calling. Her brothers do not allow her to own her own vision/vineyard. She's not allowed to develop her own talents or take care of her own business. And she's been burned by their harsh treatment.
What follows in chapter one, is the healing and protecting powers of the king working toward the beloved because those who should have been looking out for her well being were too busy taking advantage of her and stealing from her.
Her brothers are referred as her mother's sons. They can be symbolic of anyone who is abusive towards us within or without the church.


Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

The phrase "mother's sons" could be a form of distancing. I.e. they share the same mother but not the same father. In mixed marriage settings stepsiblings and half siblings are not always as close to each other as biological siblings descended from the same mother and father are. As a step sibling I've certainly noticed this in a variety of practical ways.

In patriarchal societies fatherly lineage was what counted. The distancing statement could speak of the unwillingness of half-siblings (i.e. mother's sons) to properly recognize the woman as part of the same family.

Mara Reid said...

It could mean all that and probably does mean that first of all on the first level of understanding.

On the symbolic level, I've heard people refer to 'mother' as being symbolic of the world or of the church (i.e God-father, church-mother). Whether there is anything to that or not, this I know.
People in the world have burned us, people in the church have burned us including supposed 'brothers'.

On another symbolic level, it could be about brothers mistreating a sister because she is a sister rather than a brother.
Back in the day, whereas a man might have multiple wives, a woman would not have multiple husbands. Unless the beloved's mother was widowed, calling her brothers her mother's sons might indicate that they are NOT half siblings, but rather whole.

Of course it is not clear, nor do I feel it's meant to be clear, black and white, one way and no other way at all.

Poetry can contain so many things on so many levels and can speak so many different things to so many different people and yet have a deep honestly throughout.

To the wounded soul, the symbolism can meet them at the point of need.
~Half-sibling (half breed)
~Mistreated in church (spiritual abuse)
~Actual child abuse in the home
~ETC to infinity.

God is infinit. His healing is for all for any reason. The symbolism and/or take away from these verses do not have to be confined down to something small. It can be viewed open ended and far reaching.