The stories about our origins are sometimes quite shocking. When the Lord God presents man with the woman he has just taken from his side, Adam exclaims, playing on the words, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. / She shall be called ‘woman’ (‘iššâ), for she was taken out of man (‘îš)” (Gen 2:23).
The reader shares Adam’s amazement that he has finally found “help to match him.” However, this first reaction cannot sustain even a superficial examination. First, one is surprised that Adam speaks of the woman in the third person singular: he speaks about her, but he does not speak to her. And if we read to the end of the account of the first human couple, we see that Adam does not once address his wife; and this is reciprocated.
What does Adam see in the woman God presents to him? Nothing but his own reflection: “bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh.” This may be called narcissism. It excludes difference, thus complementarity.