Paradise. A garden to care for and to be cared for by, but in this garden was something terrible. In the center was forbidden fruit. God had given all of creation to two people, Adam and Eve, but forbade only one thing: to eat of that fruit. Enter the serpent, that ole crafty crook. There, he tricked the woman into eating that fruit. She then enticed the man into eating the fruit as well. A verdict of guilt was handed down — with the woman at fault, but the man suffering the consequence.
The immediate consequence was pain in childbearing for her and hard, unappreciated work, for him. The extended consequence was that the human race was now separated from God and thus dying. Sin had entered into the world.
All thanks to Eve who ate the fruit and then forced/led/seduced/enticed Adam to do the same.
Kelly Gissendaner is on death row, with several attempts by the State of Georgia to lay waste to her body via the justice system. Thus far, they have been prevented due to the conditions of the drugs to be used in lethal injection. If you are unfamiliar with the story, Kelly killed her husband and is now facing the death penalty for her actions in holding the knife and driving it into her husband’s body 8 times.
Except she didn’t. Rather, in 1997 she forced/enticed/seduced Gregory Owen (her man on the sly) to kill her husband Douglas Gissendaner. Douglas was granted a life sentence, with the possibility of parole in 25 years (from conviction). To be fair, Kelly was offered the same plea deal but refused because she maintained that she did not actually kill her husband. She wanted only what the actual killer got. The prosecution, as we know, won with the defense that Gregory was simply Kelly Gissendaner’s weapon (homicidal maniacs don’t kill people, the girlfriends do):
“Yes, Greg Owen took a knife and stabbed Doug Gissendaner to death, but Kelly Gissendaner is more responsible,” lead prosecutor Phil Wiley said. “She got him to do it. Why? Greed. Pure and simple greed…Greg was Kelly’s weapon in this case, her instrument.”
Kelly Gissendaner has admitted to conspiring with Gregory Owen — as Owen himself has admitted. This much is known and accepted. However, the sentence remains what it is — the prosecution argued that in the end, the wild seductress that she is, she deserves to be put to death rather than the man who savagely (and yes, while murders are brutal, some are more savage than others) murdered another man.
Our legal system places more blame on the woman than it does the man. Is that because Kelly Gissendaner forced Gregory Owen to kill Douglas Gissendaner? No. According to records and testimony, Gissendaner and Owen conspired together and worked the plan together, although only one stabbed the husband 8 times. But, the prosecution suggested it was more of the wife’s responsibility than the boyfriend.
We know from experience that this is not the only time this happens. In many instances, when a woman is raped, people blame her. In cases of abuse, even abuse caught on camera, women are to blame — even if they are the ones who end up in the hospital. And yes, women are sometimes blamed when their husbands are brutish oafs, and the marriage ends in divorce (note this pdf from the last 1800’s/early 1900’s). Women are blamed for the end of marriage, the lack of quality dates, and even the end of men. And yes, there is even now a “War on Men” from the same people who have brought you the “War on Christmas.”
The Georgia prosecutors knew exactly what to do and how to present the murder. Kelly Gissendaner is the one who is the ultimate sinner — because she is the actual murderer because she seduced her boyfriend with sex in order to kill her husband. Thus, boyfriends don’t kill husbands — wives do.
At no point should you think I think either one is innocent. Both are guilty. If one dies so should the other one. While I believe that our prison system should be about rehabilitation, I do not believe her rehabilitation should drive her clemency.
We must stop repeating this story and stop repeating the story badly.
If you ask most people, the fault lies with Eve. After all, she was the first one to take the fruit and then to give the fruit to her husband who had no choice but to eat it. Only a few people will read closely enough to note that Adam was alongside Eve during the discussion with the serpent. Further, only a few people will notice that Adam’s defense for eating the Fruit is an accusation against God: “The woman YOU gave me…” The man did not blame the woman, but blamed God.
Women don’t entice men to eat fruit, the God who gave the woman to the man does.
Perhaps our world would be different if we took responsibility for and control over our own actions. Finally, stop reading Genesis 3 as a reason to blame women for the evils in the world or for the actions of depraved men.