Book Review: Eve’s Revenge

Lilian Calles Barger has written a profound, powerful meditation on what it means to be a woman in the (post) modern world.  Eve’s Revenge argues that our culture teaches women to hate their bodies, to view them as enemies on the path to self-fulfillment.  She explores the roots of this worldview, the disembodied reality it creates, and the insufficient response (thus far) of the various aspects of the Feminist movement.  True to her thesis, Barger doesn’t settle for abstract, theoretical answers  to the disintegrated and dissatisfied world we experience.  Ultimately, Barger believes that the solution is an embodied faith in the crucified and resurrected Jesus of Nazareth, and she closes her meditation with practical, concrete advice for moving forward.

Barger writes as a women, to and for women, so as a male reader, I felt a bit as though I was listening in on someone else’s conversation, but never excluded.  Rather, I was challenged to reflect on what part I played (as a male) in creating the world Barger illuminates.  Even more, Barger’s passion drew me into her writing.  I was shocked at the reality most women today live; I mourned when I asked my wife, Amanda, about Barger’s commentary and she confirmed its accuracy.  As an academic, Barger demonstrates that she is as well-versed and clever as anyone, and the emotion of her rhetoric was a breath of fresh air.  I didn’t feel as though I was just listening to Barger’s mind; I felt as though she was baring her soul.

Barger’s book is a welcome, refreshing voice in the ongoing conversation about sex and sexuality.  With honesty, clarity and transparency, Barger invites us to find wholeness by resisting what our culture teaches us about ourselves – body and soul.

Bottom line: It’s a difficult book on a lot of levels, and if you read it, you won’t look at yourself or the world the same again. So what are you waiting for?