Esther 1:17, Question 2. What reasons does Memuchan give for severely punishing Vashti?

The Chida writes that Memuchan argues that Vashti’s actions would be a bad influence on women, and would lead to social upheaval from within the home. The Malbim writes that his argument had more to do with political upheaval resulting from a perceived weakness in the king if he does not act. Taken together, the situation would be quite similar to the political and social climate in the wake of the feminist movement in America. For all of its positive intentions and contributions (equal pay for equal work, etc.), it seems the increase in unwed mothers and divorce since that time certainly indicates a level of instability. That being the case, one can ponder what one would do had one the ability to pinpoint the very moment feminism started, and stop it in its tracks. Certainly, this instability is not what Achashverosh would have wanted.

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