Saturday, May 23, 2009

Does God Hate Women?

Ophelia Benson has collaborated with Jeremy Stangroom on a new book that sounds provocative and worthwhile:

Perhaps you're wondering what kind of book it is. The title might be a clue: Does God Hate Women? [Amazon link] It's about the role of religion in the subordination of women, and it's critical of many religious practices and beliefs and claims.

It's not an ecumenical kind of book. It's not conciliatory. It's not about can't we all get along. It's not about cohesion, or respecting all religious and philosophical beliefs, or universal blanket tolerance, or saying that at bottom we all agree on the basics. It's not that kind of book. It's the other kind. It makes moral and political claims, and it disagrees with and opposes other moral and political claims. That's the kind of book it is, and that's always been the kind of book it would be. There's never been any ambiguity about that. It's always been a book that some people were going to disagree with.
Reading between the lines of Ophelia's missive, I detect that she has been dealing with people -- publishers? editors? readers asked to give input? -- who are concerned with the non-conciliatory, combative tone and content of the book.

I can say this: I plan to read this book. I'm sure there are people who wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole, and others who might give it a glance but wouldn't short-list it for the next round of Christmas stocking stuffers, but it definitely sounds like my kind of book. And I know I am not alone in that.

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