Lilith is very much an icon for the modern woman with progressive desires. She is a symbol of the divine feminine, persevering through centuries of oppression. She is a spectacle, a teacher, and a goddess — with a number of different qualities that women aspire to in their plight toward full independence and freedom.
One aspect of Lilith’s persona that many women adore the most, myself included, is her side of healthy rebellion. Since the very beginning, Lilith was a rebel — but one with a cause. And her cause was demanding respect and acknowledgement of her independence, especially as it pertained to her sensuality.
As the story goes, after Lilith wedded Adam — Adam ordered Lilith to “lie beneath me.” And yes, we’re talking about a sexual moment here. In response, Lilith said, “you lie beneath me! We are both equal, for both of us are from the earth.” When Adam didn’t change his mind or even hear her, she fled.
And Lilith didn’t flee out of fear or victimization. She left her marriage because it fundamentally opposed what she knew to be true: the validity of her body, sensuality, and sexuality. We can call her a rebel — but she was only standing up for what was true: that women are equal. Is she such a rebel then? Or perhaps the world got it wrong?
Lilith: The Rebel
When you go against the social norm in any manner, you will likely be painted as The Rebel. From this understanding, Lilith was indeed a rebel. In an era when women were expected to be fully submissive, she was the exact opposite and made it known.
Lilith was a rebel because she refused to accept the thought that she was somehow underneath men in value and worth. She knew she was born on this earth as an equal — which meant that her body was just as entitled to pleasure, enjoyment, and sex. She also knew that she was living in a world that was not going to accept such a value.
Instead of going back on her beliefs — Lilith made the choice to leave. Another act of independence. And she fled the garden to an alternative where she was cast as a murderer, conniving seductress, and demon. She was not willing to sacrifice her autonomy — at any cost. And there is so much to learn there.
Learning from Lilith: Rebellion
Now, things have changed quite a bit for women. We talk about having sex more openly. We try new things and partners. We dabble with sex toys. But are things equal?
We know they aren’t. There are still a ton of norms in place that are the equivalent of demanding that we “lie beneath.” We needn’t look far to find the inequality:
And the list goes on. We may be enjoying the liberties of being a woman today, but that doesn’t mean we’ve reached equality. In other words: there’s still much to rebel against.
Given the nature of this blog, we’ll focus more on the subject of sexual inequalities, like the orgasm gap. Channeling our inner Lilith means that we rebel against the sexual norms that do not support our equality and independence.
How to Rebel
When it comes to rebellion, the main lesson from Lilith is to discover where it’s right for you to take your stand. It won’t be the same for all of us, as we all have different desires and values.
For some, embodying our rebellious Lilith-side means clearly asking our partner for what we want in the bedroom. It means rebelling against the assumption that we should be silent about our wants and needs, focusing only on our partner.
For others, rebellion might mean experimenting sexually – perhaps with toys, pornography, or whatever feels exploratory to you. It means rebelling against the assumption that women should be always “ladylike,” behaved, and reserved.
Or maybe, it means rebelling against pornography because such an insanely high amount of it depicts violence and demhunaization against women. See how rebellion looks a little different depending on the woman?
To rebel is synonymous with standing up for your values. And oftentimes those values will clash against the norms. Rebelling is standing up for your values, like Lilith, at all costs.
It’s Not Easy, or We’d All Do It
If it was easy to tap into our inner Lilith, we’d be living in total respect and equality. But social norms are thick — they’ve been repeated for so long that it’s easier for people to keep running the grooves of social behaviors than try something new — even when that something new is much better for themselves.
It takes some time and serious determination to rebel. To stand up for what we feel is right, when the voices on the other side are louder. Rebelling requires that we get comfortable being uncomfortable — as going against the current can often be.
It helps me to remember that rebels have edge, style, and bravery. They step up to the plate like they’re on a mission, and frankly — I don’t know why sex should be any different.
Just like Lilith, it’s time for us to reclaim our full sensuality. Until we respect our own bodies by advocating for them, unconditionally, how can we expect others to?
Harnessing our inner rebel starts with identifying what our values are in the first place. What are the values embedded in the very foundation of our being? Which ones are we advocating for, and where have we grown quiet? Once you answer these questions for yourself, you’ll know where it’s time to put your foot down.
Remember that Lilith was completely rejected centuries ago, but now she is revered. That’s the thing about the truth: it always prevails.