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The Red Tent

If there is one thing I wish to understand it is the World of Women. My protruding DNA seems to have frustrated any chance of obtaining such knowledge, but nevertheless I still struggle with want of wisdom.

Like all other truths they are purest when plucked from the source. And I found my most recent flower of femininity via literature. This has happened once before, when a beauty with brains recommended Margaret Atwood’s, “A Handmaids Tale.” This same blessed intellectual recently suggested I read, “The Red Tent.”

I’d been aware of the title for quite awhile, and after reading Orson Scott Card’s series on the same subject matter, (i.e. The Women of Genesis), I questioned picking it up. I’m glad I didn’t, I wasn’t the same man back then and I doubt I would have enjoyed it as thoroughly as I did.

The book centers around one of the Bible’s most overlooked characters, Dinah. The daughter of Jacob and Leah, Dinah made a brief appearance in the Book of Genesis as a victim of rape and the cause for revenge. She suffers through similar plights in this fictitious adaptation, but a grander story is attached to the whole affair making it one to remember.

However, what I enjoyed most was the title itself and its application to the narrative. The Red Tent is the place where the female characters go to celebrate the pains of their monthly menstrual cycle. There the earliest deities are recognized; the divine shapes of womanhood and the powers of procreation. Being a theologian it was enchanting to recall the truths of our earliest cultures; peoples led by matriarchs and the magic of the womb. To be reminded of the esteem in which women were once held, and the sacred rites reserved for them alone was humbling. In contrast, to see how patriarchy has afflicted the fairer sex led my mind to deeper thoughts.

In the end I was left with a truth that only a woman could relay, “of all life’s pleasures only love owes no debt to death.” Certainly a profound reminder, but it is one still shrouded in mystery. All I can decipher is this: to love a woman and be loved by the same is similar to supping from the Fountain of Youth. It inspires ideas of immortality, and removes the scars of sin and suffering. It opens the minds eye, and silences the cynic’s speech. It is a gift best received with grace, and I thank Dinah and her story for helping me learn how best to accept it.



  • Anonymous

    serious subject matters but all were relayed elequintly!  Ive been trying to get away from such serious ventures these days I dont think my fragile pysche could hand it!

    • Anonymous

      This was certainly heavy, but it was handled with care. I am now onto the second “A Song of Ice and Fire” book, so it is nice to switch things up. After that… Scientology time! LOL.

      Thanks for always reading big bro!

  • Chris Elliott

    Interesting topic and theme. Once again, very well done. This is NOT my type of novel, but I could definitely see why you like it. Well done Slime.

  • KWgirl

    Not having read the book, I can’t comment on it, however, it does sound quite interesting. 

    My take on your quote is for me to quote another one, from the 70′s…Love means never having to say you are sorry. Which to me, means things done in love, are generally done without any ulterior motive other than the fact that you LOVE the person, no strings attached.

    • Anonymous

      Of course you quoted “Love Story” :) Great movie. The amount of 70′s cinema you and dad sent my way is amazing! Love you mom, and I suggest you read this book. The romance is juicy, but the quality is everything but cheap.

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