Blood comes before the scar; hunger before the apple.
–Leslie Jamison, “Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain”
1. defending or protecting someone or something from attack: helping to keep a person or thing safe
2. behaving in a way that shows that you feel people are criticizing you
It’s not my fault the new rosebushes didn’t get watered. I was running errands, taking the kids to soccer and music lessons, and I have an essay for American Lit due tomorrow. Why didn’t you do it?
When my husband complains, I first point out that it’s not my fault, and then point out why he is culpable instead.
It’s not my fault the dinner burned. I had to get our son into the shower, and make our daughter do her homework, and couldn’t you hear the oven timer?
But more often than not, my husband was merely stating that the rosebush was suffering because everyone forgot to water it. He didn’t mention the burned dinner other than to ask, what’s that smell?
I grew up in south Louisiana’s Bible Belt. I read my Picture Bible, with its comic strips, until I knew all the stories. There were plenty of moments where Jesus gave women grace and forgiveness—the Samaritan woman at the well and Mary Magdalene come immediately to mind. But the women in the Old Testament were out of luck. Jesus wasn’t born yet.