Writer and speaker Rob Carmack suggests that Christian men need to start reading more books written by women.
…in the Christian publishing market, it is a rare thing for men to seek out and read books authored by women. Last year, I was reading an excellent book by Shauna Niequist entitled Cold Tangerines. A friend of mine saw that I was reading this book and said, “Isn’t that a girl book?”
It wasn’t his fault; it’s the marketing and the culture. I told my friend that the book had been written by a woman, but it was really a book for anybody.
In the past year or so, I have discovered several great female writers, and I always feel disappointed when I recommend these authors and their books to my male friends only to be responded to with the question, “Aren’t those girl books?”
Can we please agree to stop thinking this way?
If that were Carmack’s only concern, I would heartily agree. Men who don’t read women authors just because they are women strikes me as equivalent to refusing breakfast from anyone who’s left handed. No. It’s when I read through Carmack’s recommendations that I think I detect the author’s real intent.
According to him, the two primary books written by women that Christian men should read are books on… Christian feminism.
Does reading books written by women on other subjects or from other perspectives count? I hope so. Because the ones Carmack suggests are mostly from religious progressives.
I recently finished Kathy Keller’s short book (more like a long essay) “Jesus, Justice, and Gender Roles.” And my favorite read of 2013 was “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” by Rosario Butterfield. This year, I also finally got around to reading Lauren Winner’s “Girl Meets God.” Not to mention, one of my favorite fiction reads of the year was written by a woman, Kat Heckenbach.
But now I feel like I’m defending myself.
Which is what these kind of charges always make you do.
The reason I avoid some “girl books,” namely the ones Carmack recommends, is because they’re part of the current wave of religious progressivism. It has NOTHING to do with the authors being… girls.