Dec. 2, 2021
Eve After Eden
By Jemi Lassiter
When Eden is the path and place determined for you, living a life designed and defined by you takes courage and a new skillset.
I wonder who Eve would be if she existed today as she did in the Bible. Would she be curious or naive? Would she be fully aware of who she is or shrinking to fit in? Would she only see herself as a “help mate” and a companion to someone else rather than an original work, a new being, the prototype?
More importantly, I wonder about her redemptive qualities. (After all, she was supposed to die after eating that apple.) Aside from God’s mercy and grace, I wonder why she was spared.
I wonder about Eve because — as often as she is talked about in sermons on Sunday, in study sessions on Wednesday, added into convicting statements at any given moment as to why women endure their trials and discomforts — I know so little about who she was after Eden.
It is her mistake, her misstep, that defines who she is more so than being the first woman or the mother of all mankind. She gave Adam the apple. She was deceived by the serpent and then caused Adam to sin.
Her mistake is the description assigned to her with the most ease. I imagine that today, gossip would start with a side-eye to a good girlfriend or a lazy Saturday FaceTime call to the bestie quickly followed by a bit of shade being thrown at Eve.
You know Eve, the one who gave Adam the apple?*Insert side eye and smirk.*
You know Eve, the one who cursed all women to periods, cramps, bloating, painful childbirth, and every uncomfortable moment of being a biological woman? *Insert pursed lips and an eye roll.*
Or, you know Eve, the one whose son’s were acting a fool? (Girl, Cain killed Abel.) *Insert eye roll, shift weight from one foot to the other, and sip some sweet tea.*
Eve lived a long life after Eden. She had children after Eden. She did something, many somethings, after Eden… But, what was after Eden for Eve when her shortfall and consequences define her now? (I wonder if they defined her so adamantly in biblical times.)
When Eden is the path and place determined for you, living a life designed and defined by you takes courage and a new skillset. I think that new skillset is comprised of Eve’s redemptive qualities.
I think Maya Angelou and Nina Simone, renowned artists and women of great character, knew what after Eden looked like.
I think Anita Hill and Vanessa Williams, women who addressed cultural taboos on a national stage and paid dearly for it, know what life after Eden requires.
I think countless other women know what it is like to live a life divergent of the expected path and still find acceptance, fulfillment, grace, happiness, joy, peace and so much more.
With so little to reference of Eve, I have been looking for modern day examples of women whose trials had the opportunity to define them. I want to learn of the redemptive qualities in an Eve-like woman.
I found with ease Monica Lewinsky, a woman whose indiscretions in her 20s defined her for decades. I found with ease Rachel Dolezal, a woman whose preferred racial identity caused a national conversation on race, race relations, and the difference between being an ally and being an imitator. I found with ease Kim Kardashian-West (Do you really need a link?), whose leaked intimate experience with a celebrity triggered a redefining of the Kardashian name and creation of a public persona spread across three generations now. But, these women were nationally critiqued, examined, and scrutinized. Their “after Eden” resulted in either being publicly ostracized or internationally embraced.
These women’s stories seemed just as out of reach to me as Eve herself. Their experiences were too far removed from me. Too grandiose for me. Just all around too much. Their stories were also captured by a media industry that dissected and sensationalized nearly every aspect except one: Personal impact.
For Eve, there was no other person but Adam on the face of the Earth. (If he gave her the silent treatment, it must have been brutal.) I imagine they were each others world. So, what is after Eden for an Eve whose world has turned upside down at a personal, rather than national, level? What hidden gem did she find in herself? What new skillset or redemptive quality revealed itself?
This is what I will be exploring in Eve After Eden. Join me for the next few weeks as I uncover the stories of today’s women living an “after Eden” experience.
* "Eve After Eden" was originally published December 2, 2021 on Medium.com.