READING PROVERBS 7 IN THE CONTEXT OF FEMALE ‘BLESSERS’ AND SUGAR MAMAS IN SOUTH AFRICA
AbstractThe image of a woman who is portrayed negatively in Proverbs 1-9, that is, Woman Stranger, has been engaged variously by Hebrew Bible scholarship, especially by feminist biblical scholars. Some have argued that Woman Stranger is in fact one woman symbolic of a variety of traits. The trait that seems to feature glaringly in Proverbs 7 is that of a woman who exercises her sexual powers outside the boun-daries of conventional heterosexual marriage. A new phenomenon occurs in present-day South Africa. Should the phenomenon be regarded as a sign of the deconstruction of patriarchy and its power to control female sexuality? It entails among others, the seduction of younger men, designated as Ben 10’s, by older women (read: female ‘blessers’ and/or sugar mummies), something akin to what Woman Stranger is portrayed as doing to the young man in Proverbs 7. The main question addressed by this article is: If the preceding South African phenomenon is used as a hermeneutical lens to read the text of Proverbs 7, which light might be shed on such relationships especially in present day South Africa? To the honouree, Professor Hendrik Bosman, which teachings and commandments from the wisdom acquired and imparted through his teaching and parenting may he impart in the context discussed here?
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