Queen of the Manor

August 23, 2010

Chris Rock “Kill The Messenger”: What Do Women Want? (HBO)

I’m going to get smacked by the entire women’s movement but let’s face it, women get what they want because they know how to get it. Hard work and patience are all well and good, but knowing how and when to influence is something women have and men learn.

Take the Book of Esther. Here we have King Xerxes, who strips a queen of her crown simply because she refuses to be a party favor at the B.C. equivalent of a boys’ night out. His friends convince him the punishment will keep women in their place and reinforce the idea that “Every husband should be the master of his home and speak with final authority.”

So Xerox starts looking for another queen. He chooses Esther because she’s beautiful. Her intellect isn’t mentioned but is of little consequence because all women — even those with little thought — are capable of getting what they want even if they portend to have everything.

We know two things about Esther. 1. She is beautiful. 2. She doesn’t tell Xerox she’s Jewish.

Xerox’s prime minister, Haman, decides to kill all Jews and gets the king to sign off on the slaughter. When Esther gets word, she calls on her Jewish trump card. First, she invites both men to a banquet and when she appears, Xerox immediately says, “What is it Queen Esther? Tell me what you want, and you shall have it — even if it’s half my empire.”

Building her own empire, Esther turns down the offer and simply asks Xerox and Haman to attend a second banquet. They agree. At the second banquet, the king asks Esther the same question. Esther, ever so polite and conscious of word choice, drops the J-bomb:

“If it pleases Your Majesty to grant my humble request, my wish is that I may live and that my people may live.” (Hello, I’m Jewish. Please change the entire course of history so that I may live with my people.)

Xerox murders Haman and issues an edict allowing Jews to fight and ravage their attackers. After the Jews win, the king again asks Esther what she wants. In all of her femininity, Esther asks Xerox to murder Haman’s sons and he does. Without hesitation.

In the end, Xerox was true to his word. He spoke with authority and, according to his placement in the records of the kings of Persia and Media, was the master of/figurehead of his own home. In fact, his life and “the great and wonderful things” he did, are recorded in the official records of the kings of Persia and Media.

Poor little Esther, who was forced to lived under her husband’s thumb, got a small mention in a scroll confirming the rules for Purim (the holiday celebrating this whole ordeal). She also changed the course of history.

Stopping Point: Job

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4 Responses to “Queen of the Manor”

  1. This is wonderfully fresh! I love the addition of Chris Rock. He’s hilarious. In fact, another member of the network just met him at a Yankee’s game last week and said Chris graciously signed a napkin for the kids. Cool.

    I also loved that Xerxes turned into Xerox halfway through. It’s funny, but it also says something about male leaders and leadership as it is preached today. Just Xerox Marcus Buckingham and you’ll be successful. Or Chris Anderson. Or pick your favorite inspirational leader.

  2. Interesting point on an engaging post, Marcus.

    Thumpme, this is my first visit here and I read your About page. I recently finished the hilarious “Living the Year Biblically” by AJ Jacobs. He did it because he had a similar curiosity as you. Is your reading going well so far? Any surprises? Disappointments?

    I always got a kick out of Esther, and you’re right: she got what she wanted. Good thing she wanted good things!

    • thumpme said

      Thanks for reading! I haven’t read “Living the Year Biblically” but it’s now on my list.

      Hm. Surprises? Disappointments? Honestly, I wasn’t expecting anything so I can’t really speak to either of those. I had no idea what I was getting into. Every day my opinions change. Sometimes it’s the reading, sometimes it’s my life situation, sometimes it’s my mood. I’m really looking forward to going back through these posts when I’m finished. I really want to see if anything has changed.

      The reading is going well. Sometimes the text is a little dull and sometimes I get frustrated. I’m flying through this (about 30 to 40 pages a day) so I know I’m missing a lot. Very curious to see where this goes.

      Thanks again for reading.

  3. […] of the proverbs there’s a little shout out to the “Capable Wife.” Capable is a far cry from wonderful, perfect or fantastic, but Biblically, it’s progressive. Five hundred pages before the capable wife, women accused of […]

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