[quote=Della]What the text actually says is that labor pains would be greatly increased, which means there was already some pain associated with labor.
It’s referring to the fact that labor and birth would have been quicker and less painful before the fall of man. Of course, some women have very little pain or labor and others suffer a great deal no matter if they are good, bad, or indifferent, so it cannot be applied personally to anyone.
All it’s really telling us is that humankind lost something it was meant to have–perfection of body and mind. The fall corrupted our nature, darkened our intellect, and weakened our will. God is talking about consequences here more than about punishment.
And as to women having twice as much to do and to suffer, well that is a by product of our culture, not a factor of the “curse.” If women will try to do everything they will have all the difficulties of a man as well as of a woman. Not that women shouldn’t be a part of the work force or be professionals, but if we are, we have to accept the fact that we are either going to have to be able to “get a woman in” to help out and put our children in daycare (when they are little) or bear all the burdens of business, home, and children alone. That is why G. K. Chesterton advocated family businesses–because the husband and the wife could work together as well as care for their children, but we’ve let modern corporations take over our lives and we are stuck with it.
In most third world countries the women do all of the farming and manual labor plus they raise the children. In addition if they live in non-Christian countries they are treated like chattel. It is only because we have a high tech society in America that gives women the option of working outside of the home. So I have to agree with the notion that women have more curses placed upon them. Also, if Eve had never partook of the forbidden fruit but only Adam did she still would have been cursed by God since Adam was the head of the human race?