Melanie Dufty
 

Dirty Dress

A Novel

 

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I’m seeking agent representation for Dirty Dress in 2019

Dirty Dress focuses on the Lilith of Jewish mythology, who was married to Adam before Eve. Lilith left him when he insisted she was beneath him, including during sex.

Her refusal to submit saw her demonised through the ages, her story unheard.

Dirty Dress is a reimagining of a female ruled world overthrown by males, and offers an envelope-pushing exploration of gender identity and power with a message of unity.

 

The plot - High Priestess Lilith reluctantly upholds tyrannical female rule in Ancient Sumer, where it's been unquestioned for eons—until gem miner Adam warns her that men are rebelling. 

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Overview

What’s Dirty Dress about?

Lilith is high priestess of the temple of Goddess Inanna in the world’s greatest city, Uruk, in Sumer, the stronghold from which women have tyrannised men for eons.

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Since her brother was sent to the copper mines when they were children, Lilith has privately grieved the unjust treatment of males. But to ensure the temple’s secret prophecies of a male-dominated future do not come to pass, she must uphold the subjugation of men, including the lie they have no role in procreation.

Adam forges a volatile relationship with Lilith, and as the rebel threat rises, she allows him to build the world’s first army to protect her great city. This gives him more power than any man has known. It’s not just political—she’s in love. With a rebel attack imminent, and her conscience over the mistreatment of men and boys deepening, Lilith is torn between trying to prevent the dreaded prophecies arising, and honouring the truth her brother and Adam have made her realise—that women and men are equal.

When all choice is ripped from her she faces a hellish situation that looms for thousands of years, the fall of the feminine seeming to lie on her shoulders. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. Say what?

 

‘In September last year, I received one of the first printed Dirty Dress manuscripts. For the year prior, I’d seen Melanie go through the creative process of writing this book.

I always loved hearing the developments, about new plot twists and the characters as they came to life, and sharing in an abundance of rollicking laughter as she'd bounce ideas around with me - some more outrageous and brilliant than I could have ever dreamed up, while also absolutely PERFECT for the story.

I read it on an overnight flight from Perth to Dubai on my way to New York, and devoured it nearly entirely in one sitting. I was not only in awe of what I was reading, but also absolutely enthralled and gripped by the complexity and the incredibly profound messages throughout. Dirty Dress is told in the honest and bold voice of Lilith, her story largely unknown...until now.’

Jenna Lambert-Porter, first beta reader

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Why I wrote this book

I used to be deeply enraged and saddened by the way the feminine has been treated by the masculine. This was not only about females, but also how feminine qualities - like nature, feeling and sensitivity, and the cycles of life including ageing and death - were pushed into submission and depleted of some of their mystery and worth.

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Through investigating this over many years, in 2017 an epiphany emerged about the way the masculine and feminine have interplayed that left me flabbergasted.

 I’d read in a variety of sources that there was an era of feminine rule in our far distant past, which I resonated with, and it was presented as a time of peace and goodwill to all… until the masculine era came along and ruined it.  

But what I realised is, if you draw the lens out far enough to see a larger story, the feminine was just as overbearing and disrespectful to the masculine as vice versa.

 This made sense, as in the laws of energy the pendulum swings equally both ways. Suddenly, the playing ground between masculine and feminine became more equal to my eyes, even though one or the other seemed to dominate at different points in the game.  

 

What if you drew the lens out far enough to see a larger story of human evolution… I believe the feminine was just as overbearing and disrespectful to the masculine as vice versa.

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Astrological significance

As a qualified astrologer, I’m intrigued ~6,000 years ago marks a point in an astrological cycle when some believe a pendulum swung from a matriarchal to a patriarchal era – each as bad as the other – followed by a reunification beginning in our modern day, as suggested by the current groundswell in equality.

The screech owl, a story trope in  Dirty Dress,  has always been associated with Lilith.

The screech owl, a story trope in Dirty Dress, has always been associated with Lilith.

I’m fascinated by this ever evolving cycle in which the Earth's spin axis in space appears to trace a circle - it’s called the precession of the equinoxes and takes around 24,000 - 26,000 years.

There is another way of looking at this astronomical cycle. It’s a model called the grand precessional cross, developed by astronomer and astrologer Nick Anthony Fiorenza.  

The cross model can be split into four segments of about 6,000 years which explain evolution, showing a separation then reunification of the feminine and masculine energies. Kind of like a macro ‘she said, he said’ game before we reunite as equals. You can find out more about Fiorenza’s model on his website

We’re now at the stage when masculine and feminine come back together, possibly associated with the shift in consciousness birthed in 2012 as predicted by ancient Mayan astronomers and astrologers, among others.

I initially chose to set Dirty Dress 6,000 years ago from our current day because it aligns with the point in the cross model which marks the change from feminine to masculine domination. 

I then found out that this is also when Adam and Eve are believed to have existed. Based on chronological and genealogical biblical history, a range of scholars estimate that the beginning of mankind as referred to in the bible began about 6,000 years ago. These esteemed scholars include the discoverer of calculus and the laws of motion, Sir Isaac Newton and Polish mathematician and astronomer, Johannes Kepler.

 Also of great relevance is that 6,000 years ago is where the line is drawn between prehistory and history. Furthermore, the Jewish calendar begins 5,779 years ago. It’s a thing.

 

Dirty Dress is a reimagining of history where the balance between the sexes was starkly different. 

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interesting research

Some bibles state that the first woman (although Lilith is not named in any bible as the first woman… perhaps her name was removed) and Adam were made from the same blood red soil or clay, which can be seen as representing the womb. It was 100 or more years after that, based on biblical chronology, when Eve was said to have been made from Adam’s rib.

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Rib may have been mistranslated – it may actually have been Adam’s penis bone. Revered modern biblical scholar Professor Ziony Zevit⁠1 proposes that Eve was created from Adam's penis bone, also known as a baculum, as explained in his Yale University Press article.⁠1  The concept that Eve may have been made from Adam’s penis bone is metaphoric, yet isn’t it funny humans don’t have one? Of the primates, apparently only humans and spider monkeys are missing such bones, and most male mammals sport one including cats and dogs.

 According to Jewish mythology, Lilith was Adam’s first wife, before Eve.⁠  Lilith left Adam after he insisted she be subservient to him, including demanding she lay beneath him during sex.

 It is said that Lilith would not be lower than him, and paid the price during the forthcoming eons of patriarchal rule when she became the scapegoat for fear of feminine power, sexuality and fertility. She paid dearly for her refusal to fit into narrow models of the all-sacrificing wife and mother that the patriarchy prescribed. She’s been called an evil seductress, child killer and the first vampire. She’s also called a night demon and storm goddess.

 After thousands of years of being rejected and demonised, it’s time for Lilith’s voice to come out from the shadows. She’s ready to take her true place as an archetype of the empowered, sexual and passionate feminine that is within every person, and especially women – I believe she is now evolved, and seeks unity with the masculine. She wants to be equal, and so does Adam, a representative of the evolved masculine, who has also learned much over the last era of patriarchy. We missed each other.

The era of one of us being on top or made of this womb or that penis is over. They can never be separated. They are creation itself, and exist within each of us, in every creation, in every moment. The time is here to stand side by side in unity, and the groundswell we’re now seeing in equality and liberated self-expression, regardless of gender, will continue.

1 What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden? Professor Ziony Zevit, Yale University Press 2013

 

Thank you to my developmental editor, Alida Winternheimer, in Minneapolis, USA. She is a gifted creative and expert writing craftswoman, and crucial in getting this novel plotted and written.

Deepest gratitude to Melaney Ryan of the Melaney Ryan Institute of Applied Consciousness. Without her help, and the miraculous benefits of her practices, Mahat Meditation and ITA energy medicine, I would not have been equipped to make this book manifest.

Watch this space.

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Inspirations used in dirty dress

Below are a few images that inspire parts of Dirty Dress

 
 

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