Unclean loins

Stephen recalls church teaching about female sexuality when he thinks in Telemachus of "woman's unclean loins, of man's flesh made not in God's likeness, the serpent's prey," and again in Proteus when he thinks of Eve's "Womb of sin." Thornton notes the reference to passages in Leviticus that describe women’s genitals as being “unclean” during menstruation and childbirth. The other details come from the creation myth in Genesis.

"The Woman The Man The Serpent" (1911), by John Byam Liston Shaw. Byam Shaw, as he was known, was a British painter born in India. Source: Wikimedia Commons.