Date of Performance/Collection: 04/05/15
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Indonesian
The informant and I live in the same residence hall, and for this folklore collection, we got pizzas together and just sat down and ate them in my room while talking and sharing stories.
“Women are equal to men, because when God made Eve, he took a part of Adam’s rib. If He had taken a part of Adam’s head to make her, that would have meant that she is above him, because she cam from the highest point of the body. If He had taken a part from Adam’s leg or his foot, that would have meant that she was below him, because she came from a lower part of the body. Since God had taken from the rib, that makes them of equal status since the ribcage is sort of a midway point of the body.”
Background & Analysis
The informant’s parents are from Indonesia, however the informant herself was born in the U.S., but is fluent in both Indonesian and English. The informant’s mom grew up Christian and went to a Catholic, all girls school. Nowhere in the actual bible does it mention this interpretation of Adam giving rise to Eve. When I asked whether the informant thinks that Indonesia has more gender equality, she said no, however in this particular scenario, since her mom had grown up in an all-girl’s school, they were more likely to learn variations on Bible scriptures that undermined the original intent of the Bible.
This particular interpretation of a very well known story, gives me a bit of hope for the future. Obviously gender inequality has gone down over the past years, however with popular culture and strict interpretations of the bible, our society will never make it to the desired endpoint. With folklore coming into play however, I see a trapdoor opening up.