URGENT MESSAGE FROM MOTHER, BY JEAN SHINODA BOLEN

I loved the title of this book: Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World. Sounds good, right? Sounds good to me. I had to bring it home.

Well, it is not as interesting as it seemed at first sight. It looks like a diploma paper or something. Actually, the author herself says that the book started as a speech that she wrote for a women’s conference. That’s what it remained to the end. It is a mishmash of stories of women from around the world, of religious, political, cultural ideas involving women and their role in maintaining peace, in defending themselves, their children, the planet.

I am not saying it is a bad book. It depends what what you use it for. Once upon a time I worked in an NGO that specialized on women’s issues and I appreciate how useful such a book would be for our conferences and seminars.

One thing that will stay with me is the story of the women from a village in Uganda who used toy whistles to help each other against domestic violence. If one of them was beaten by her husband, she would whistle and all the women in the village would come to her defense. They would all surround the husband and tell him: “Beat me! Beat me!”

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