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How Women Sound – Luke 24:10-11

September 26, 2018

ἦσαν δὲ ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ Μαρία
καὶ Ἰωάνα
καὶ Μαρία ἡ Ἰακώβου·
καὶ αἱ λοιπαὶ σὺν αὐταῖς ἔλεγον πρὸς τοὺς ἀποστόλους ταῦτα.
καὶ ἐφάνησαν ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν ὡσεὶ λῆρος τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα,
καὶ ἠπίστουν αὐταῖς.

They were the Miriam of Magdala
and Jo’Ana
and the Miriam of Jacob
and those left with them; they talked to the Commissioned about these very things,
and it seemed as they faced them like trashy, trifling, trumpery talk about these very things,
and they were untrustworthy to them.

It is in large part according to the sounds people make that we judge them sane or insane, male or female, good, evil, trustworthy, depressive, marriageable, moribund, likely or unlikely to make war on us, little better than animals, inspired by God. These judgments happen fast and can be brutal. Aristotle tells us that the highpitched voice of the female is one evidence of her evil disposition, for creatures who are brave or just (like lions, bulls, roosters and the human male) have large deep voices. If you hear a man talking in a gentle or high-pitched voice you know he is a kinaidos (“catamite”). The poet Aristophanes put a comic turn on this cliché in his Ekklesiazousai: as the women of Athens are about to infiltrate the Athenian assembly and take over political process, the feminist leader Praxagora reassures her fellow female activists that they have precisely the right kind of voices for this task. Because, as she says, “You know that among the young men the ones who turn out to be terrific talkers are the ones who get fucked a lot.” – Anne Carson

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