In today's culture, it is difficult to become the woman you dreamed of becoming in the days of your innocence. Turn the TV on for one moment and you'll see this clearly. Seemingly far gone is a woman who respects herself, has a healthy self-image and who knows when to say no. I'm sure that you know this full and well.
In Rosalie de Rosset's book, "Unseduced and Unshaken: The Place of Dignity in a Young Woman's Choices", she addresses this issue among many topics that affect women.
"To be a Christian woman of dignity, a woman must know who she is before God; she must have dealt thoughtfully with her personhood and made decisions about who she will be." pg 24
I discovered some familiarity in the pages of this book. The topics it addressed were real. I found myself to be one of those women.
One who is fighting to make sound decisions and go against the social norm for no other reason but that I seem to see differently than most people. I see beauty as not the recent fad from Hollister or Abercrombie but something that stems from a rich interior life. I see love as not an opportunity to get heated in the moment but something that is patient, is kind and does not envy. Having these ideals and principles seem to not prosper me in what society deems important but that's okay with me. Because I don't value or define success the same way as most.
Being faced with the glaring issues of culture, we may find ourselves asking if being conventional is even still possible? But oh, it is. It absolutely is.
"Finally, in one of the more powerful theological statements Jane Eyre makes, she teaches her readers the foundation of how one is to live when she says with desperate determination, 'I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad--as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation ..They have a worth -- so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane - quite insane: with my viens running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs." pg 30
Your Voice is Needed.
Most women fall prey to one of two vices. They either share too much or they don't share anything at all. Either they talk too much or they are too closed off to be vulnerable about anything. Pam Macrae shares brilliantly in the chapter discussing the necessity of you "Finding Your Voice". Below are some of her points well made:
"The goal is not to have unrestrained disclosure in every relationship, but to know at any level of communication that we are not holding back our true voice out of fear." pg 39
"One semester, a student summarized her observations in a classroom discussion by saying, 'I think part of the problem for Christian women today is that the world expects way too much from women and the church expects way too little." pg 51
"[Dana Jack] says, 'Self-silencing becomes obvious when women try to change their thoughts and when they tell themselves how they 'ought' to feel." pg 52
Within the pages of this chapter, the necessity of finding your own voice was expressed. I couldn't agree any more. With your voice being reciprocal with your identity, I find myself aching for my generation to find their own voice. It's a huge factor that the many are void of within their lives. Questions like "who am I?" and "what am I here for?" run rapid through our minds.
God, I pray for my generation to find our identities in You and You alone.
The Text Itself.
There are different categories of books because there are different genres of authors. I think that is necessary to understand when choosing to read something by someone. Their view points spill over into the pages of their books. For a pastor to author, his preaching methods will spill over; for a story-teller to be a writer, a story is what you will read; for a teacher to write, facts will be shared.
Overall, this book was a viable source of information about society, women and women issues. Undoubtedly it should be credited as such a piece of work.
But for me, I found it difficult to engage in it. At times, it read like a text book while other times it was worthwhile. I think that this is not a negative point but simply one of preference for the reader.
I did find it very intriguing that multiple women contributed to this book. IE: There are ten chapters in this book but Rosalie de Rosset only writes six of them. Other authors with varying backgrounds contribute in different chapters as guest authors. This is a rare complex but I appreciate it.
I recommend this book for anyone searching for more. Male or female alike, this is a great resource to have in your library. Thank you Moody Publishers and Rosalie de Rosset for allowing me the privilege of gaining more insight into these areas about women and culture.
Unseduced & Unshaken:
The Place of Dignity in a Young Woman's Choices
By Rosalie de Rosset