Exodus Deflowered and undoing rape culture

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Exodus Deflowered Cover LARGE EBOOKI am in process of writing the sequel to my book of biblical erotica – Genesis Deflowered – that expands the text of the King James Bible to turn it into an erotic novel.

The sequel takes on the next book of the bible, Exodus. Exodus Deflowered.

Hey look at that sexy cover over there on the left!

The process of how verses get changed, researched and edited is pretty interesting.

Exodus 2:11-14 is a pretty solid spot to demonstrate this. To put this section in context, Moses is a Hebrew kid pulled from the bulrushes and raised as a privileged son of Egypt. But he has a calling towards justice and he knows of his Hebrew-ness. He is walking around doing official stuff and suddenly he sees something going down…

 

Here are the original verses:

 

 

 

And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.
And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?
And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.

Pretty straight forward…Moses decides to kill some Egyptian guy who is beating up one of his Hebrew brethren and then buries the body in the plentiful Egyptian sand.

I didn’t touch it.

There isn’t much there (besides a murder) and it certainly isn’t erotic. Move on, Stillman…

Now there is an apocryphal book of the Bible called “The Book of Jasher” that basically retells the book of Genesis and Exodus but with some different details and stories. It is fascinating and can often give stories a really new take. I have been using it as a jumping off point since I started writing GenDef.

In Jasher 71:3 a reason for the murder is given – the Hebrew man who is being beaten up had come to Moses earlier and told of an Egyptian who had raped the Hebrew’s wife and then threatened to kill the man. I had read this and considered using it but Exodus is filled with so much cruelty that I didn’t want to add more cruel rape stuff into the modified text. It seemed better to just move along.

But then my editor Veronica Tuggle implored me to look at the Exodus section again and re-read the section from Jasher and see if I could find something else there.

I got this note from Veronica close to the news about the horrible shootings at UC Santa Barbara by the 21 year old man who was motivated by his intense misogyny and sense of entitlement to sex. There had been lots of pieces circulating about how “rape culture” (that is in quotes because it is unique phrase, not because I am minimizing it) is embedded in our culture. And thinking about this I came up with a different take on this scene…

And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand and delivered the Hebrew from the hand of him that smote him.
And when the man had returned home he took Moses with him to show to him the life that he had saved. And the Hebrew man thought of repudiating his wife, for it was not right in the house of Jacob, for any man to come to his wife after she had been defiled. But Moses spake unto the man and said, Cleve unto this thy wife for she has done no wrong in the eyes of the LORD. For her goodness and her beauty are unsullied. Be still and know her. Take her to the garden hence.
And the wife of the Hebrew man shed tears for now she had been given life. And the man offered his wife to Moses as a payment of his debt to him. But Moses said, Brother thy wife is thine own. Grace her with love as the kestrel greets the day with song. And Moses went back.
And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?
And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.

While the scene is not erotic in the slightest (unless you find the song of the kestrel a turn on) and still totally  paternalistic hopefully it speaks to the fact that the dignity of a woman is still present even if she is raped. To have this fact spoken by Moses will hopefully elevate the importance of the point.

One of the over arching themes of these books is that women should have sexual agency and shouldn’t be shamed for that.

In a small way this section hopefully serves that end.
As for the more patently sexy stuff…that is in there too. Any favorite Exodus sections you are hankering to get a preview of?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you’d like to hear more news about Exodus Deflowered, biblical erotica and how to get free books please click here http://eepurl.com/BlHOj

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2 comments
DinaDawn
DinaDawn

The themes of a woman's sexual agency v. rape in the Bible remind me of the story of Dina. Do you cover this in your book? Have you read The Red Tent?

mstillman
mstillman moderator

@DinaDawn oh, yes. The Dina story is really an important one that is deeply explored in Genesis Deflowered. The Red Tent...I own it and I know what happens in it but I have not read it. But now that I am editing Exodus Deflowered and writing Leviticus Deflowered I could read it and not have her influence my writing choices.

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