It is supper time. A family sits together at a broken and uneven kitchen table. The table is split in half with a large crack running down the middle. The wife sits at the higher end of the table with her daughter while the son and father sit at the lower end. They are all sitting with their heads bowed with the food the men have prepared on the table. The Matriarch speaks.
Dinah: “Dearest Mother God, Creator of all things, guard us and keep us from subjugation and bless us with equality and liberation. Bless our family, especially our daughter, Eve, who will soon be the woman of the house. Bless this food for the nourishment of our bodies. Amen.”
Eve: “Thanks mom.”
Dinah: “Of course, dear.”
The mother serves herself a plate of food, then hands her daughter an empty a plate to serve herself. The husband, Cain, and their son, Adam, look on as the mother and daughter eat. The husband and son are hungry, but the mother and daughter ignore them. The mother and daughter continue eating together and engage in conversation.
Dinah: “So, how was school sweetheart?”
Eve: “It was okay. I didn’t do as well as I wanted on the math test, but I’m really staring to love my cooking class.”
Dinah’s face goes white as she purses her lips. She speaks softly and carefully.
Dinah: “What was that I heard?”
Eve: “I…like to cook?”
Dinah: “What have I told you about cooking? Cooking is men’s work; we’ve been over this. A woman should pursue a career more suited to her gender.”
Dinah, turning to her husband: “What do you think, husband?”
Cain, looking surprised caught off-guard: “Well, um…I…your mother’s right, Dinah.”
Dinah, turning back with a satisfied smile: “Thank you.”
Adam: “I don’t like to cook.”
Cain: “You’ll get used to it, son. The man bears the stain of the first sin; don’t you forget that.”
Adam’s stomach growls loudly
Eve: “What was that?”
Dinah: “I think they’re hungry, dear.”
Eve: “Oh…should we let them eat now?”
Dinah: “Alright, but don’t give them too much. They can’t control themselves when you give them too much. Plus, they make such a mess.”
Eve fixes a plate and hands it to Adam who when fixes a plate for his father. They have no silverware but eat anyway. They are both very hungry.
Dinah: “Not too fast now or you’ll make yourselves sick. You can’t do any housework if you’re sick.”
Adam eats a bit too fast. He spits some of his food out on the table.
Eve: “Yuck! Mother, look what Adam did!”
Dinah: “Adam! You eat your food like a civilized person!
Cain: “He’s doing his best.”
Dinah: “What was that?”
Cain: “Sorry…I just meant…he’s only a boy, that’s all.”
Dinah: “That’s a poor excuse for bad behavior.”
Adam: “Maybe if you gave him silverware he’d – ”
She looks at Cain angrily, speaking slowly, but firmly.
Dinah: “You know why he can’t. You know what happens when you give men a bit of control. They can’t handle it. It goes to their heads. Besides, after all you’ve put us through, you should be grateful.”
Cain, bowing his head in submission: “Yes, dear…of course.”
Adam, wiping his mouth with is shirt: “I’m sorry mom.”
Dinah: “You’ll learn soon enough.”
Adam: “I will. I promise.”
Dinah: “Good boy.”
Eve: “Mother, I’m finished.”
Dinah: “Give your plate to Adam, dear.”
Eve hands Adam her empty plate.
Eve: “Can I go play with dolls?”
Dinah: “Honey, we’ve been over this. Dolls are for boys; trucks are for girls.”
Eve: “Right. Can I go play with trucks?”
Dinah: “Yes, dear.”
Eve excuses herself from the table and runs off into the living room. Dinah follows after her to make sure she is playing with trucks. The father and son are sitting together at the table.
Cain: “Yes, son?”
Adam: “Will it always be like this?”
Cain: “It’s just the way it is, son. You’ll understand when you’re older.”
They both get up to wash the dishes together. Adam, remembering the stain of his sin, scrubs the dishes extra hard with is hand, cutting it in the process. He bleeds into the dishwater and begins to cry. The father notices this and reprimands him.
Cain: “No pain, son.”
Adam wipes the tears from his eyes and continues washing, burying his emotions in the hot, soapy water.
Adam: “No pain.”