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2-book-carter-art-gu7rq69e-1jimmy-carter-book A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power by Jimmy Carter (Simon & Schuster; 224 pages; ISBN 9781476773957; March 2014)
When Jimmy Carter made an appearance several weeks ago on David Letterman, he mentioned this book though it wasn't specifically discussed. I was moderately interested. So when I got a Barnes & Nobel gift card for my birthday from Mr. Scribe, I knew what I'd be spending part of it on at least.

It's a very personal book, and by that I mean that it's written from Carter's personal experiences and observations. While it touches on issues with treatment of women in other cultures and religions (Islam, Hinduism, etc.), the primary focus of the book is from Christianity, pretty much US Christianity. It might have been a stronger book with more of a scholarly approach, getting contributions from Islamic and Hindu scholars and those from other religions.

In the chapter, "The Bible and Gender Equality", Carter details the circumstances that led he and his wife Rosalynn to disassociate themselves from the Southern Baptist Convention, though they still are active in their local Baptist parish. His exegesis of various Biblical passages showing that the Bible, and even Paul, is not as misogynistic as some of its adherents (and detractors) would claim was quite interesting to me as a Christian woman who belongs to a progressive denomination now but who has skirted the edges of the fundamentalist movement in the past.

Some of the book seemed to be a bit disjointed in organization; the chapters on the important issues were interrupted in the middle by chapters on the work of the Carter Center and some of the observations Carter and his wife made in their travels, both when he was President and after he left office. So you have chapters on the criminal justice system, violence and war, and rape separated from the chapters on prostitution, "honor killings", spousal abuse and other issues. It did make the book a bit hard to follow at times. And a deeper exploration of some of the issues, such as salary disparities (especially in light of efforts towards pay equity though admittedly the book was written before those efforts were underway), would have been greatly appreciated. Again, perhaps a more scholarly approach with fewer reminiscences and more facts (maybe even some graphs and charts) would have been helpful.

Overall, it's a decent read; not too much new for folks who keep up with the news (both domestic and international) on a regular basis, but some "inside baseball" regarding his dealings with other countries that could be interesting to politics junkies (which probably describes the average Kossack).

Below the fold, tips and tidbits for the week...

• From the NY Times, an opinion piece on what happens to women athletes who have too much natural testosterone, and what they're forced to go through in order to "conform" to international competition standards.

Texas hospital revokes abortion providers’ admitting privileges to protect its “reputation”

• The BBC reports that the debate continues on the issue of women bishops in England's Anglican Church. As a member of the Anglican Communion (Episcopal Church here in the US), and one who has worshiped alongside many gifted women priests and bishops, I'm watching this discussion with a bit of interest.

• On a related note, Australia's first female Anglican bishop is visiting the UK for the Easter season, and has some comments on the debate over women bishops, and also women in the priesthood in general.

• From the How Can We Miss You If You Won't Go Away? Department: Everyone's favorite member of Ladies Against Women, Phyllis Schlafly (or as JeffW's late mother would say, "It's Shitfly!") speaks out on the gender pay equity debate, with predictable warnings against hurting men's feelings.

• And an awesome member of the younger generation has a response to Phyllis. (h/t ramara for the link!)

• Got mixed feelings about this one:

While there are some great links at that #WomenofWorth hashtag, and it's something worth promoting, I feel a slight disconnect to see it promoted by a company whose marketing surrounds the idea that a woman's worth is determined by how she looks.

• Some good news on the criminal justice front: a man who raped a 16 year old girl, then took pictures of the victim and threatened to publish them on social media if she told anyone about the rape, was sentenced to 9 years in prison in the UK for rape...and for taking an indecent photograph of a child.

• Stories of bra-burning feminists in the early days of the women's movement may have been overblown, it turns out.

• Just sad: actress Kirsten Dunst engages in a bit of victim-blaming.

• More of a local interest item, but the Santa Clara County Office of Women's Policy and AAUW San Jose is sponsoring a "Strong Girls, Strong Women" Leadership Conference in San Jose in May. Folks might want to check with their local AAUW chapters and see if they're putting on anything similar, or if maybe they'd get the idea to do one on their own.

• Finally, on the lighter side, these Disney Princesses don't need a Prince:

What's going on in your part of the War?

Originally posted to This Week in the War on Women on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips and quips (14+ / 0-)

    Will probably be out and about today (Saturday); have things to do and tonight will be at Easter Vigil service. Thanks for stopping by.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 01:54:10 PM PDT

  •  Ah, Phyllis LeShaft (5+ / 0-)

    Her latest genius idea:  we should increase the pay gap so women will have better-paid men to marry (which is what all women want, according to her)!

    Sheesh.  When is she going to take her own advice and stay home?

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 12:18:48 PM PDT

  •  Schedule (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Cali Scribe, second alto

    Apr 26 - jodylanec

    May 3 - Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    May 10 - cboswell

    May 17 - Cali Scribe

    May 24 -

    May 31 -

    June 7 - cboswell

    June 14 -

    June 21 - Cali Scribe

    June 28 -

    One of these days, we're going to have to get consistent on what time the weekly diary goes up:  some people are doing 5 pm Pacific/8 pm Eastern, and others are doing noon Pacific / 3 pm Eastern.

    Oh well, as long as we keep getting these awesome diaries.  Sign up in comments, or contact ramara or me!

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 12:23:00 PM PDT

    •  Tara, can you move my June date (3+ / 0-)

      to the 28th? Didn't realize when I spoke up for third Saturdays that June would fall on the 21st, and that's Mr. Scribe's birthday.

      I thought we'd decided at noon Pacific because 5 Pacific is the traditional WYFP? time.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 02:34:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rejiggered schedule (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ramara, second alto

        Apr 26 - jodylanec

        May 3 - Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        May 10 - cboswell

        May 17 - Cali Scribe

        May 24 -

        May 31 -

        June 7 - cboswell

        June 14 -

        June 21 -

        June 28 -  Cali Scribe

        We originally tried noon Pacific, but it wasn't getting a lot of comments, so I thought we'd decided on switching to 5 Pacific, where it does seem to get seen more.

        I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

        by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:05:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tara, (1+ / 0-)

          I can do either the 24th or 31st.

          By the way, zenbassoon has a diary on the rec list about the 12-year-old who responded so well to Phyllis Schlafly, and it's worth reading.
          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

          by ramara on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 07:31:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the 24's ok, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ramara

            may as well fill that slot.

            Apr 26 - jodylanec

            May 3 - Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

            May 10 - cboswell

            May 17 - Cali Scribe

            May 24 - ramara

            May 31 -

            June 7 - cboswell

            June 14 -

            June 21 -

            June 28 -  Cali Scribe

            Subject to change, as always.

            I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

            by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:43:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  There are several round-up series (2+ / 0-)

        that publish around midday on the front page, including Green Diary Rescue, so there really is no time where we are not competing. We changed early on since we were getting so little traffic, and also had writers, myself included, who got the posts up late.

        It may not be cause and effect, but our readership has improved with the later time, gradually becoming more consistent.

        Tara may have a different take on the change. But I do agree that we should have made it more of a discussion.

        Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

        by ramara on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:33:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some additions (3+ / 0-)

    A wonderful answer to why there are not more women in science from Neil De Grasse Tyson, saying we have to remove impediments before we even ask the question:

    Here's another young women striking back:

    https://www.facebook.com/...

    Our thoughts are with the kidnapped girls in Nigeria

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:50:56 PM PDT

  •  Take action (2+ / 0-)

    There is a gag order on Cecily McMillan's defense counsel, so it is up to all of us to make sure the facts of the case are spread as widely as possible. Info is here:

    http://justiceforcecily.com/

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:58:02 PM PDT

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