Tony Baker writes the following in his ill-considered post on gender:
Let me attempt to bring my gender constructions out of the subflooring of the argument and into the proper living space. The fall narratives, from Eden to Babel to the origin of the Nephilim, are about the disorder than comes of too much taking. In the latter case, the Sons of God find the daughters of men desirable, and “take” them as wives (Gen 6). The “Sons” are pure activity here, and the “daughters” are so passive that the text implies a Sabine-like rape.
There is here, as in my Prometheus reading, an association of boundary transgression and gender. Masculinity is associated with active violating of “kinds,” and the feminine is a pure receiving. The important thing to notice, though, is that this is precisely what invokes God’s displeasure, and becomes the set-up for the flood cycle. Archetypal gender bifurcation (though not gender itself) belongs only to the fallen form, for Christianity, not to our proto- and eschatological versions. If both woman and creation are “feminized” in the narrative while the earthly and heavenly “sons” are masculinized (Cain, Nimrod, David’s “taking” of Bathsheba), this is a split archetype that belongs to our broken form.
I have written frequently in comments that I find it disturbing that he uses what he regards as a rape scene as the paradigm for masculinity and femininity, which supposedly contains a grain of truth that is revealed through the parallels with the consensual passivity of the Virgin Mary (immediately after the passage I quote). That is a core point that I simply cannot let go — if your account of the meaning of masculinity and femininity is derived from a rape scene, something has gone badly wrong, something that requires not “clarification,” but repentance and conversion.
Yet there are a lot more questions to ask about his use of this passage. First, it’s highly questionable to use it as a paradigm of intra-human relations, given that both the Jewish and Christian traditions have almost unanimously regarded the “Sons of God” as being angels (or some form of supernatural being). Hence the link between this scene and the Flood is God’s displeasure over cross-breeding that produces a scrambling of hierarchy, with an implied parallel to Eve’s submission to the advice of the “lower” creature represented by the serpent.
Second, why would you jump to the conclusion that something like rape is involved? Presumably the “Sons of God” would be attractive beings for all kinds of reasons, and the Hebrew Bible is very frank about women’s sexual desire (Song of Songs, provisions in the Levitical code requiring soldiers at the front to return home for their conjugal duties, etc.). We know from elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible that the tradition can unambiguously present rape, with considerable outrage, so why not assume the human women were flattered by the attention of such powerful beings? The supposed passivity of Bathsheba is equally puzzling — given the scheming nature we see later in the stories, I believe it’s totally plausible to read her as a more or less conscious seductress who wants to “trade up” (and then aggressively positions her son as the heir, etc.). In any case, her behavior certainly doesn’t match up with that of a traumatized prisoner.
So I’d propose that the post is actually even worse than it appears at first glance, in that Tony is reading an active-passive rape-like dynamic into stories where there’s no reason to believe that is going on.