| Quote #7
"You loved Ishullanu, your father's date gardener,
Dirty pun alert: apparently, in ancient Babylonian, the same word was used for "vulva" (female sexual organs) and "date palm." Supposedly, this was because they looked the same. (Don't ask us.) Given that this is part of a Gilgamesh's rejection of Ishtar, it looks like Gilgamesh doesn't approve of Ishtar's behavior. So, is the problem here that Ishtar has a tendency to destroy the mortals she sleeps with—or is it that she's sleeping with them at all?
| Quote #8
"May you not be able to make a household,
Here, Enkidu is dying and cursing the Shamhat. Even though not everything in his curse against Shamhat is overtly concerned with sex (though there is that wish that "a gateway be where you take your pleasure"), you could say that, in a more subtle way, everything in it is concerned with sex. That's because, what Enkidu is describing, and hoping befalls Shamhat, is basically the life of an elderly street prostitute—a woman who has spent her entire life being exploited by others for sex. Nice, Enkidu.
| Quote #9
Let my mouth which has cursed you, now turn to bless you!
Here, Enkidu turns his former curse into a blessing—but note that the focus is still squarely on sex: Enkidu wishes that all rich and powerful men be consumed with sexual desire for Shamhat, and reward her appropriately for her services. Does this series of blessings show a more positive view of women's sexuality than the previous quotation, or is it just the flip side of the same narrow-minded view?