Tamar and Amnon: Not A Love Story

A 16 year old girl was raped in Steubenville, OH. No, this is not speculation. This is fact. She did nothing to deserve this and is now stuck with the additional trauma of watching this play out on social media. The two boys that raped her appeared to be good kids…athletes. However in the words of Ntozake Shange, they are latent rapists. Nice guys who smile and whisper nice things in your ear. May even hold the door open for other women. No one expected these young men to behave in such a manner. If this young girl was the ONLY woman ever raped we might think that they are mentally unstable and not allowed to be part of society. Instead, this young girl is called a slut and her supporters are sent death threats. What kind of world do we live in where we believe women are not human beings but objects that must be treated worse than dogs? HOW IS IT THAT YOU DON’T SEE THIS YOUNG GIRL AS A VICTIM OF A HEINOUS CRIME??

Before this story there was the story of Tamar and Amnon. Some believe that this story was redacted after David’s reign as king. If we’re honest, David wasn’t the best king. We just like him because he beat a giant and danced himself naked. As far as leadership, he was terrible. He could not manage his own household and decided to get a second wife just because he lusted after her. Oh…and had her husband killed so he could marry her since he got her pregnant. David wasn’t about any kind of life and he was well aware of his failure. I’m pretty sure it deeply affected him that he could not live up to the standard of a king. To add to that failure of being an absentee father, his son Amnon made a terrible choice. Tamar wasn’t drunk and neither was Amnon. Tamar pleaded…Amnon ignored her cries. Even though during biblical times it was clear women were property, this story was written from a perspective that argued the contrary. Maybe it was an attempt to illustrate the horrors women suffered under patriarchal systems. Women in fact do have a necessary voice that should be heard. It’s 2013 and women are still viewed as objects for men to take out their uncensored aggression.

I cringe when I see young girls and boys playing and whenever a young boy challenges her, she hides her voice. She doesn’t recognize her power. She plays into the unequal system of patriarchy that in fact controls all of us and has unreasonable expectations. For these young girls, I will write about Tamar and Amnon. It will be difficult but a necessary exegesis of the text will help us see the tragedy that is rape culture.

Stay tuned…


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