The True Woman 101 book is a devotional meant to help Christian women learn what it means to be a “true woman” and live as God wants them to live in terms of their relationships with men. The authors give some valid critiques in terms of society’s flaws: there can be a “battle of the sexes” that puts men down, and some are condescending towards women who stay at home and care for their husbands and children. The graphic design of this book is fabulous: on one page, there’s a picture of a king and a queen, which I think really demonstrates the design team’s understanding of a godly theology that this book could have conveyed: that men and women are of equal sight in God’s eyes, even though they may be total opposites. There is a constant theme in the images of artistry that portrays the idea that God is an artist.
With that said, there are so many problems with this book that I can’t recommend it. Much of this book explains gender in terms of marriage, which would be fine if this book was for married couples only, but we don’t become male or female when we get married. Even the authors affirm this: they state that our gender is assigned to us at birth. The other surprising part about this book is that one of the authors is single, so if anyone should remember that gender doesn’t rely on being single or married, it should be a single person.
Another fault of this book is that the authors are obsessed with putting down feminism, which shouldn’t be the focus of this book. It is true that there is an angry, mean version of pursuing women’s rights but the authors refuse to acknowledge that there are “traditional” women who believe in women’s rights that they are enjoying: things like owning property, inheriting an estate, voting, working a job and earning the same pay as a male colleague, and not getting sexually harassed at work… these are all things that are “women’s rights” that women couldn’t always enjoy.
The way that these ladies brush aside employment is also interesting…. they make a sweeping assumption that their readers will have the opportunity to stay at home and be a homemaker. The reality is that lots of women would love to stay home, but can’t for financial reasons or other circumstances. Not every woman is a power-hungry career woman who can’t wait to rise the corporate ladder! They quickly mention the Proverbs 31 woman and say “she owned a business”, mentioning this woman as if she is some kind of exception to the rule, as if working outside the home is “second best”. These authors don’t seem to understand that lots of women are working because they have to.
Truth be told, if you’re looking for a Biblical model of an amazing woman, Proverbs 31 is all you need. She considers a field and buys it. Her husband calls her blessed. She excels at anything she does. And she doesn’t need a hanky from a women’s conference to praise the Lord.
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.