The Ladies Auxiliary by Chris Wind


This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent

I am Eve. The bad girl, the evil woman. I stand accused, and sentenced.
without a trial. for life. Because of my single action, millions of individuals
have been born with 'original sin', have been guilty even before they acted,
doomed before they started. I alone have been held responsible for this sad
and pathetic fallen race. Therefore, let me begin by correcting this: if I were
free not to fall in the first place, they were free not to fall after me; and if I were
not free, then I can't be held responsible—for my fall or theirs.

Now, let us further examine the charges, let us correctly define that

I have been condemned for choosing knowledge over ignorance—the
fruit I ate came from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In
a society that praises pursuit of knowledge and honours men of wisdom,
why have I been viewed with disfavour? Had Adam reached out first,
would he have been so rebuked? —Or is the state of ignorance
requisite for women only? (Histories pass on Socrates, they pass over

In the same vein, I chose experience over innocence. In a context of
attitudes that value experience, the disapproval of my action can only
imply the desire that women, like children, live in a state of

I have also been condemned for disobedience. If that were the issue,
then why wasn't the tree so named—'the tree of obedience and
disobedience' or 'the tree of temptation'. By naming it what it was
not, God either deliberately tempted me, or deliberately deceived me.
And he should be judged, not I.

Perhaps though, the tree really was a tree of knowledge. In that
case, one should wonder what insecurities led God to prefer obedience
over knowledge. Indeed, one should wonder why he went so far as to
forbid knowledge. The reason is evident in Genesis (3:22-23): he
didn't want us to equal him. He sent us out of Eden to prevent our
eating from the tree of life, because already we were as wise as he
for having eaten from the tree of knowledge, and if we had made it to
the tree of life before he found us, we would've been immortal as
well—we would've been as godly as he.

And that takes me onward, for counted among my sins is that of pride.
Considering that later, through his son, God commands us to 'follow
in his footsteps', I find the label of pride odd for the action that
would do just that—make me like God. Furthermore, I find it odd to
be condemned for being like God when, after all, he created us in his
image (Gen 1:26-27). And God certainly is proud: to create us in his
image can be called narcissistic, and to prefer us to spend our time
admiring him rather than learning about him is equally evidential of
pride. (As an aside, I would think that my knowledge would increase
my admiration; that wasn't why I ate the fruit, but if it was, would
it have mattered? Did God ever ask my intent?)

I have also been charged with a lack of faith. Yet I took it on
faith in the first place that God told us not to eat from the tree:
remember, he gave the command to Adam before I even existed (Gen
2:16-17). Further, I had faith in the serpent, I trusted the serpent
to be telling the truth. Is it dishonourable to trust?

And is it reprehensible to act on that trust, as I did then in
offering the fruit to another, to Adam? God commanded innocence, then
held me responsible for an act of innocent intent. For how could I
know my faith was misplaced? How could I know the serpent was evil
until I had knowledge of good and evil? By telling us not to eat of
the tree, he insisted on ignorance—but then held us responsible, for
an act of ignorance.

Lastly, I have been condemned for using my reason, for it is through
the exercise of reason that I decided to eat the fruit. The serpent's
explanation of God's motives (Gen 3:5) seemed very reasonable to me.
God's command on the other hand, not to eat of the tree of knowledge
of good and evil because then I'd die, seemed a touch unreasonable.
Where is the fault in using that faculty given to me by God? The
fault is not mine, but God's—he made reason guide our will and left
our reason prey to deceit.

Or did he? History has it that the serpent's words were false, that
I was deceived. But God's explanation (Gen 3:22 “Behold, the man is
become as one of us”) is identical to the serpent's (Gen 3:5 “Ye shall
be as gods”): the serpent was telling the truth. And so I stand
condemned, for listening to truth. And for offering that truth to


I am Noah's Wife. That's it. Jus' Noah's wife. Mrs. Noah.
A no-name person. My sons have names. Shem, Ham, Japheth. And my
grandsons have names. Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech,
Tiras, Cush, Mizraim, Phut, Canaan, Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, Aram.
But me I don't have a name. I'm jus'—Noah's wife.

That's why I'm here. To set the record straight. See everybody's got
me pegged as mean an' a hen-pecker somethin' fierce. Especially
hilarious is the time where I refused to get on the ark. Well let me
tell you, that weren't a bit funny. There's a few things you don't
know about all that. Why do you think Noah wanted me so bad on the
ark? Love? Pah. Now that's funny. That man never loved me.

No siree, he wanted me on the ark because I was the one gonna look
after all them animals. I was the one gonna clean their shit, feed
their mouths, tend their litters, doctor their sick. What did you
think, Noah was goin' to? No, he was gonna be too busy navigating, I
can tell you that. Noah was gonna stand there like he always has,
givin' orders and tellin' us they came from God. So that means I was
supposed to look after him too. (My sons? Well, they each had a
wife. Yup, there was Shem's wife, Ham's wife, and Japheth's wife.)

An' I was supposed to look after the ark—just you think about
keepin' that thing clean and healthy: 300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30
cubits—that's long as a football field and three stories high! (An'
only one window—lord, what a stench!) See he figured me to be game
warden, housekeeper, and cook (an' we ain't jus' talkin' a week, we're
talkin' close on two months)—an' all while me in a state of constant
pregnancy. No thanks.

An' that's just what I woulda got—no thanks, no pay, no credit. If
the flood destroyed the world an' all its people, where do you think
all o' you came from? Me! An' I ain't even given a name. To read
the Bible you'd think he begat all o' you hisself. An' you'd think he
begat only sons. Well it ain't so.

An' if that ain't enough, when it was all over, God made his covenant
with the men. Oh I knew he would. 'Course he includes me, I suppose,
if us women come in under the category “of the fowl, of the cattle,
and of every beast of the earth with you”. Flattering, hunh.

I am Mary of Bethany, thirteenth apostle. That's right. There were
thirteen of us. One of us was a woman. One of us wasn't mentioned.
One of us was neatly written right out of the records. No, you cry,
that's impossible. Impossible? You've read Orwell, the Ministry of
Truth. —but that's a fiction, about the future. What about Russia?
—there maybe yes, but not here. Pope Joan then? —but that's in the
past— Touche. The Bible was written in the past. The distant past,
when male domination was an integral part of society. And it was
translated in the less distant past, when male domination was still
accepted. And it was edited——what do you mean, edited? I mean
edited, I mean certain parts cut out. Haven't you heard of the
Apocrypha? They're the gospels and epistles not admitted to the New
Testament, of 'doubtful authenticity', my Oxford reads. Doubtful,
hell. Threatening to the status quo is more like it.

Haven't you ever wondered why some of the apostles are mentioned a
lot and others named only once, if that? How much do you know about
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, and Thaddeus? Very little. Why?
Because for one thing, like me, they were not part of the inner
clique. There was something 'wrong', something not 'kosher' about
each of us. I was female. The others, well, I'll let them speak for
themselves—I am speaking for myself here. Finally.

Besides not being 'in', for most of my apostolic life I couldn't read
or write. Knowledge is power, you'd better believe it. It's not a
sufficient cause, but it is a necessary cause. Stop a minute and
think. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John—they are the ones you know about:
they are the ones who could write. And since they wrote about
themselves, or others of the 'in' group, even second-hand knowledge of
the rest of us is scarce. Further, have you ever noticed how
incredibly similar their stories are? That's because they
collaborated, got together to make sure their accounts matched—they
felt that the movement (their following, their power, their
conspiracy?) couldn't afford to allow any discrepancy, to reveal
anything but a solidly united front. (Though of course they did mess
up from time to time. Look at the naming of the Apostles. Luke
must've been so nervous about eliminating my name that he lists
'Judas, brother of James' where the others list 'Lebbaeus

My ignorance wasn't voluntary, I can tell you that. I wanted to
learn how to write. There was so much about Our Lord that needed to
be written down, clearly and completely. But women were not allowed
at the schools, and no man I pleaded with would condescend to waste
his precious time teaching some woman to do something she didn't need
to know how to do and probably couldn't learn anyway. So I never had
the chance to declare my love and devotion or to record Christ's
thoughts, feelings, and actions so that others could love Him too.
Furthermore, because I couldn't read, I couldn't double-check what the
others had written. I had to take it on faith that what they said
they had written really was what they wrote. And when they refused to
read it to me, as they often did, I simply had to trust that they were
writing the truth—the whole truth.

But it appears that the whole truth is not there. Is it because they
didn't write it? Or is it because people along the way have taken out
or changed parts? Probably both.

It seems that most of the men just eliminated mention of me
altogether. It was easiest that way. Luke, I think, felt a little
guilty and uneasy about the whole thing. He had trouble just wiping
me out like that, and he tried very hard to justify it. I remember
many lengthy talks with him during which he tried to find weaknesses
in my faith, errors in my understanding of Christ's teaching. He
never did, of course. I don't know what it was with him. It might've
been that was so very traditional and conservative that he just could
not accept a woman in such a position. It's clear Thomas
couldn't—the following is from his gospel: “Simon Peter said to them,
'Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.' Jesus said 'I
myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may
become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will
make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.'” (Fortunately,
that passage was one correctly labelled inauthentic by a later
editorial decision.)

You are shocked to have found all this out, I can tell. Good. And
you ask, outraged, why hasn't this injustice been redressed? Why
hasn't the Bible been re-edited, the Apocrypha re-evaluated? No doubt
this is being done on an ongoing basis. But we are still in a time
when male domination is accepted as the norm, and any re-consideration
has left the earlier decisions (to change or omit) unaltered. Have
you not picked up a recent history text? Still, well over ninety
percent is devoted to what men have done in the past; women certainly
existed, and certainly did things, but they are simply not mentioned.
Have you not picked up a recent science text? It describes the
discovery of radium as by Pierre Curie, with the assistance of his
wife. Now that happened not so long ago that we don't remember it was
the other way around. Enough? Let's go on.

It's time for the whole truth now. I was His favourite. No one
understood Him like I did, no one followed in His footsteps like I
did. I remained faithful to Jesus at the cross. And I remained
faithful to Him at the tomb. The other (male) apostles ran away,
betrayed Him, denied knowing Him, doubted Him. Not me.

And there is one more part of the whole truth you should know: the
Last Supper—I was there. In fact, it was at my house. Oh I know,
Mark (14:13-15) and Luke (22:10-12) tell it a different way. They say
Christ said 'Go and you'll meet a man bearing a pitcher of water,
follow him to his house and he'll show you a room all prepared.' What
an unlikely story! Rooms don't prepare themselves—and men never
carry water, it's the women who go to the well. No, what happened was
that Jesus asked me to have it at my house. Much as I resented the
possible sexist interpretation, I thought it a great honour to be
chosen to prepare my Lord's last supper. Oh I realize I'm not in
Leonardo's great work of art. That is not surprising.

But I am in Bouts' painting. Go look. There I am. Right by His
side, where I belong.

[end of extract]


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