• Women of Different Desires: Disrupting the “Barren Motif” in the Hebrew Bible

      Schipper, Jeremy; Levitt, Laura, 1960-; Leuchter, Mark (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      It is often left unquestioned that women in the Hebrew Bible desired children. Though this is highly probable, many scholars make the assumption that all women necessarily wanted children. Universalizing the desire for children reduces complex characters to stand-ins for a supposed motif. This also essentializes the role of a female character to that of child-bearer, when actually these women have many different roles. Furthermore, many scholars make the claim that having children is the only way for a woman to improve her status in ancient Near Eastern societies. Yet women did not always receive a change in status because of childbirth. Therefore, the reasons why women desire children are quite varied.