Biblical humor about women and gender remains elusive for many readers, for its recognition may imply the realization that it's a cruel and disrespectful humor, ridicule rather than good-natured fun. But viewing humor as social critique, as is largely done in the essays in this volume, with respect to both the texts read and their actual or implied author, may be fun as well as significant for understanding the biblical worlds. As most of the essays show, writing about women is writing about men as well. In other words, it is writing about gender roles. The critique of women, womanhood and femaleness implied by biblical and related texts serves, in equal measure, as a critique of men, manhood and maleness in the texts, of the texts authors, and of the texts' commentators and readers.
Contributors include Scott Spencer, Mary Shields, Kathleen O'Connor, Toni Craven, Kathy Williams, Athalya Brenner, Gale Yee, Amy-Jill Levine, and Esther Fuchs.