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Alice Codner | Fri, 07/15/2022 - 00:08 | Permalink

Despite the fact that it can’t be answered definitely, I’m interested that you argue that David didn’t rape Bathsheba (the general direction of the arguments).  

I think the fact that the narrator took the offense to be against Uriah is key here.  I note that the narrator is an educated male in a patriarchal society.  It seems in this situation obvious, then, that the narrator of course takes this perspective and would believe that Bathsheba is taking advantage of the circumstances.  If women are simply property, is it even possible to sin against them?  Would non-consensual / coercive sex even be note-worthy for that narrator? If Bathsheba was trying to have a child who was the king’s heir, it is odd that the death of that child is seen as David’s punishment, rather than hers.  I wonder how she felt about her baby being first killed to punish someone else, and then ‘replaced’.

I wonder how the telling of the story would have been different if the narrator was female.  I wonder how retellings would be different if historically, interpretations by women had been given equal attention. We don’t know what happened, but we do know that when men with lots of power who are morally bankrupt want something, and see women as a some thing, that they will get it — that he will get her.  The status of her consent is not even on the table.  

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