• Jael Is Non-binary; Jael Is Not a Woman

    Author(s):
    Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (view group) , Aysha W. Musa
    Date:
    2020
    Group(s):
    Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies
    Subject(s):
    Queer theory
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Jael, Judges, non-binary, gender ambiguity, Judges 4-5, Biblical studies, Gender
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/y6zg-7s57
    Abstract:
    In this article I suggest that the non-binary identity of Jael (Judg 4–5) has been erased or overlooked due to dominant discourses of heteronormativity and binary gender. This biblical narrative depicts Jael performing roles and behaviours which have been identified as masculine (violent, warrior, killer) and feminine (mother, seductress, nurturing). Moreover, Jael’s name appears in the Hebrew masculine form, alongside Jael’s feminine label of “woman/wife.” Despite such evidence of gender ambiguity, interpretations of Judg 4–5 tend to identify Jael unproblematically as a woman, thereby ignoring this character’s non-binary potential. This article contributes an original reading of Jael by interpreting the text from a non-binary perspective, employing queer methodologies. Inviting the reader to look beyond hetero-binarized expectations, my investigation reveals Jael as a gender ambiguous character.
    Notes:
    Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies 1.2 (Spring 2020), pages 97-120.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial
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