Shallow pop-fiction such as Fifty Shades of Grey undermines women's dignity: author

Impoverished pop-fiction with "flat characters" such as in Fifty Shade of Grey was cheating young women of a dignified view of themselves, according to the author of a new book, Unseduced and Unshaken: The Place of Dignity in a Young Woman's Choices.

Dr Rosalie de Rosset says the success of books like Fifty Shades and the Twilight series represents a frustrating trend among today’s women, but she is no less complimentary of Christian writing.

Of the vast array of Christian books targetting women, Dr de Rosset says much of it consists of "Jesus fixes everything” scenarios that do not reflect anything like the complexity and depth of real life.

“They are not well written and they are not theological.” she says. 

Dr de Rosset is a Professor of Literature, English and Homiletics with a 42-year connection with Moody Bible Institute and a PhD in Language, Literacy, and Rhetoric from The University of Illinois,  Chicago.

In an interview published on the Christian Today website, Dr de Rosset discusses the choice of literature for women as a source of dignity or otherwise.

By not reading good quality books, women are missing out on an education that could help them confront their own life challenges and relate to other people in different circumstances, particularly hardship or suffering, the article reads.

“When you look at popular fiction, it is action driven. The question is: what is going to happen next? The question with classic literature is always: why did this happen," Dr de Rosset says.

In appealing particularly to young Christian women, she called on them to reject “cotton-candy” novels for the more rewarding classics of English literature. Her book is peppered with quotes from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Churches, Christian books failing young women

And she takes churches and Christian bookstores to task for the lack of leadership and choice on offer.

“We need to forget about these very famous women who have written a shallow book and gotten very successful because some of it is so cosmetic.

“And we need to get away from talking so much about family and children and how a woman needs to minister to her husband.

“Where do you hear from the pulpit ‘Read well, think discerningly’? No, we hear find a good man,” Dr de Rosset says.

“And even Christian bookstores have entered into the conspiracy because the chances of finding Jane Eyre on the shelves of a Christian bookstore are practically zero.

“It’s not talked about from the pulpit, it’s not seen as important. There is this idea that the book has to be explicitly Christian without any attention given to what it says.”

Unseduced and Unshaken was published in July 2012, 240 pages, paperback by Moody Publishers. It is available from Koorong and Word Bookstore.

Or purchase here from Booktopia: - Australia's #1 online bookstore


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