Women have always been sexual scapegoats for society

It may not seem obvious to all who read this passage that the woman saved from stoning is, in fact, a scapegoat. One could read it as simply another attempt to trap Jesus or an example of what happens when keepers of the law hold a criminal to the letter of the law. But such a reading would ignore the nagging questions that rise to the surface with just a bit of curious scrutiny. For example:

Why do the scribes and Pharisees bring an accused woman before Jesus to test?

Why do they choose a sexual act like adultery rather than a religious crime, like blasphemy?

Why is the man involved in this crime not arrested, or accused, or even mentioned?

There is a simple answer that explains all of these mysteries, one that we have already explored briefly in the previous chapters but that becomes much clearer in this story: women have always been sexual scapegoats for society. The fact that a woman was the Pharisees’ go-to object of wrath and blame, a person that they knew would arouse the murderous rage of a religous crowd, reveals how unconscious it is for humans to turn to women’s sexuality when they want to instigate a mob. 

From “Scapegoats: The Gospel Through the Eyes of Victims” by Jennifer Garcia Bashaw – Fortress Press