Saturday, July 19, 2008

Restoring the Goddess: Equal Rites for Modern Women by Barbara G. Walker

I'll be honest: I did not read this entire book. I couldn't stand it. I tried to read as much as I could manage, but eventually had to give up.

This book is pretty much entirely a polemic against Christianity. I think it mentions the patriarchy of Judaism and also Buddhism a little, but it's mostly about how the Christian Church has been, and still is, keeping women down. Every chapter, from "What's Wrong with Patriarchy?" to "The New Age," focuses on that. There's also a strong veneration of science, which Walker seems to believe is never biased, and always prepared to change. Further, there is a great emphasis on how illogical Christianity is, with no satisfactory explanation as to why believing in the Goddess is any more logical. Such belief may certainly be beneficial, but you should be fair: apply logic equally or don't apply it at all.

Each chapter is comprised of several pages written by Walker, mostly poorly researched history, and then a number of pages containing anecdotes from women loosely relating to the chapter's topic. I didn't read too many of those. I'm not sure why one would need a book to showcase these things. It doesn't seem to include any women with slightly different perspectives, either.

If you want to read something by Barbara G. Walker, go for her knitting books. If you want to read about the Goddess, go for The Spiral Dance. However, if you are a woman who has been knocked about by patriarchal Christianity all her life and want reassurance that you're not alone and there is more out there, I would recommend this book.

(Oh, and there were no "equal rites" listed. I feel cheated.)

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