And just like that, it’s March. Is it just me or is the year flying by?
For the month of March, I’m reviewing books through the lens of Little Women. If the sisters were here today with modern reading material, what would they be reading? What might they review? How would they use their unique voices to share their love of stories?
First up, we have Meg March. Meg was not my favorite as a child (let’s face it, everyone fancied themselves to be Jo), but the older I get the more I relate to Meg. She wanted a simple life filled with the people she loved and with beautiful things. She faced challenges that we can all relate to: peer pressure, envy, jealousy, shame, spending over budget…she is Every Woman, or at least a part of us all. But the thing I’ve grown to appreciate about Meg is her wilingness to eventually accept her circumstances and adapt as they change. I think that she is equal parts domestic lady and playful actress, and there’s no reason – apart from the time period in which she lived – that she couldn’t be both. That being said, when I think about what a modern Meg might be reading from her home filled with children and how she was raised in an existentialist family, I see her snuggled by the fireplace after the kids are asleep, reading something both thought-provoking, educational, and perhaps a bit challenging. I see her researching feminism, and I see her landing on a book titled, The Flipside of Feminism by Suzanne Venker.
The cover alone is a bold image. Here’s some of the back text:
“Forty years have passed since the so-called women’s movement claimed to liberate women from preconceived notions of what it means to be female – and the results are in. The latest statistics show that as women have gained more freedom, more education, and more power, they have become less happy.”
I’m perfectly aware that not everyone will agree with the content of this book, but I felt compelled to give it a chance and I feel even more compelled to let you know of it’s existence. If anything, we should at least research both sides of the argument. I began my study of feminism with a book that praised the movement. While I was challenged and intrigued by the message within the pages, I found it’s overall argument lacking. I began reading The Flipside of Feminism and again was challenged and intrigued, and then challenged again. The arguments are well researched and cause for possibly re-thinking everything I’ve been trained or taught to believe.
Regardless, the message that I found the most surprising and compelling was how much feminism has subtly weaved its way into our society. Many of us aren’t even aware of how much of our cultural truths are actually ideas that were implanted by the feminist movement (at least, I wasn’t). The book as a whole argues in favor of a strong, united family unit and explicity states the damage that the elite feminist movement has unleashed on the American people. You’ll have to read it to form your own opinions.
I honestly don’t care if you’re conservative or liberal or somewhere in between as long as you do the research necessary to support your beliefs. If you’re a Christian, I expect you to be studying the Scriptures and measuring every other theological, philosophical, and humanitarian text against the Bible. At the very least we should be doing as unbiased research as we can before we fully form our thoughts and opinions.
I appreciate Meg because she is a more complex character than meets the eye. She is more than the older sister, and in the few glimpses we have of her thoughts and character we find a woman who is trying to do her best at balancing her life, desires, needs, and responsibilites. I can’t say for sure what her final verdict would be upon finishing The Flipside of Feminism, but I know for sure that she would read it with an open mind, which is the best gift anyone can give a book.