This is a book I just finished reading this week.
While the introduction from Rachel Held Evans and the introductory poem(?) piqued my interest, I found the first couple chapters to be difficult. Not that I didn’t agree with the points the author was making or that it was poorly written. It was more like I felt as if I was trying to intrude into a conversation. And then it hit me: this is how women feel ALL THE TIME. So congrats, Mr. Progressive Egalitarian, you’ve gotten a taste of what this book and women within it are raging against. It was quite a revelation.
In any case, once I got my head around the fact that I needed to just listen instead of interrupt, I found the book very enjoyable. Ms. Bessey is a wonderful storyteller, painting vivid pictures of the struggles women deal with both inside and out of the church. And I’m not quite sure why she doesn’t feel called to preach, since large chunks of the book are stirring call-to-action sermons.
A few caveats: Ms. Bessey is unabashedly a JESUS Feminist with strong charismatic leanings. Those who approach their feminism from a secular viewpoint are likely to be annoyed (at best) by the tone. And, as I mentioned earlier, parts of it are very much in the style of a sermon. So if you are not a fan of that medium, you might find your mind wandering or wanting to skip ahead. Also, those who don’t already ascribe to an egalitarian viewpoint are not likely to moved by her arguments. They are not terribly thorough or in depth, nor are they intended to be. This is not a scholarly book. These are outlines, and maybe a good starting point for a conversation. As such, the inclusion of “additional reading” was a wise choice.
Well done, Ms. Bessey. The Church needs more voices like yours.