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A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power Hardcover – March 25, 2014
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“A tour de force of the global abuse and manipulation of women, including statistics that will stun most readers with details that cannot be ignored…The scope of the material is astounding…Mr. Carter's A Call to Action should not only be required reading in America, but should also serve as the template for a complete reinterpretation of the religious views behind our treatment of each other, to discover what he claims is the true meaning behind the miracle of creation.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
“A Call to Action reinforces his dedication to wiping out injustice—and his ability to move others to join his cause.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“When reading A Call to Action, I got the sense that this is a man who has spent nine decades advocating for women and will continue to do so until his last breath. He is a man on a mission, listing 23 challenges he and The Carter Center are determined to work on for the betterment of women. He demonstrates how he used his influence throughout his lifetime to push women’s rights forward . . . Carter’s book overwhelms as well as inspires.” (Huffington Post)
“Women’s studies scholars and readers interested in international human rights may find these accounts of discrimination and abuse disturbing but should be challenged to respond to Carter’s call for action.” (Library Journal)
“A Call to Action ends with a list of recommendations to ameliorate the condition of women and girls worldwide, such as having more women in higher public office and involving religious scholars to give a more forward-looking interpretation to their faiths. It is this commitment to a progressive religious outlook that makes Carter almost a lone voice in U.S. politics.” (Progressive.org)
“[Carter] wrote his book with deep knowledge, insight and compassion…Indeed, it is time to wake up.” (Morning Call (PA))
“A Call to Action enhances [Carter’s] role as elder statesman and human rights warrior by focusing entirely on the enslavement, degradation, and torture that women endure around the world. . . . an important book that should serve as a reference guide and instructional manual for dealing with the atrocities against women.” (The Daily Beast)
About the Author
Jimmy Carter was the thirty-ninth President of the United States, serving from 1977 to 1981. In 1982, he and his wife founded The Carter Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people around the world. Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. He is the author of two-dozen books, including A Full Life; An Hour Before Daylight; Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid and Our Endangered Values. He lives in Plains, Georgia.
Top customer reviews
What will raise so much objection to his work is that he points out how all the major religions can be used to justify female inferiority and thus the ill treatment of women. The Bible, the Koran, and Hindu texts all have passages explicitly claiming male superiority. Of course, the statements are contradicted elsewhere in the sacred writings, but male leaders have no trouble selecting the passages that enforce their superiority.
Carter doesn't hesitate to shine light on the United States and its rampant sex trade. One can't help but admire his courage when he picks out Atlanta as the busiest place in the business of sex, but what must be most admired is how he tells of leaving the religion in which he was raised-and served as a Sunday School teacher-when he realized how much sex discrimination existed in the Southern Baptist denomination. He also takes on the Catholic Church for its sex discrimination.
Its a book that's sure to be discussed and cursed for a long time. A tremendous eye opener.
Of particular interest was his personal story about religion and his ultimate decision, along with his wife, to leave the church he had been attending for years.
Interestingly, one woman, Angelina Jolie, took the route of creating a movie showing the sexual abuse of women during wars. I wanted to at least share the trailer for the movie, but found that most information has been taken off due to content... Isn't that the reality of it all...a movie that shows the reality of war is not allowed to be showed because of how horrendous the activities "in the movie" was...but we've done nothing much to speak out to stop these atrocities actually happening within any war zone...
Carter shares his personal experiences as he became aware of what was happening in the world. For instance, during the 1963 speech of Martin Luther King, he was struck by his son being in Vietnam, as King condemned the government for being the biggest purveyor of violence, noting that he had to condemn that before he could condemn the spreading violence in the ghetto... King went on to say that we could not look at freedom without the concurrent commitment to peace and non-violence.
Carter went on to tell of his realization that women, who were disproportionately affected, could not have equal rights without the recognition of how violence has placed women in that unequal position. Quoting Pope Francis in 2013: "Faith and violence are incompatible," Carter points out that violence may not be more than there was in the past, but the key thing is that we know better and globally, we have sought to improve human rights in every possible way.
Moving forward into the book, Carter covers Spousal Abuse, for instance, by noting that many men use Matthew 5:39 about turning the other cheek, by stating that Christian women are required to just take it... That is quickly turned into the third choice (taking it or returning the violence) by going to a women's shelter...
Why are we still failing? That's what I wanted to know...
This is not an easy book to read, especially for women. Men? Some will agree but will they have the strength of characters to speak out when misinformation about some religious practice is used to commit violence? There are many people and groups speaking out more and more, with specifics, such as those by Ritu Sharma, Cofounder and President, Women Thrive Worldwide, who openly states "There is no religion that despises women. Hatred cannot come from the Heart of God..."
There is much to learn in this book. The primary confirmation for me was that God, in no way, wants women or men to be objects of violence... and that anybody who uses religion to justify violence is doing it based upon his own will not God's! Frankly that was worth reading the book for me; however, there is much more powerful material that needs to be read, some of it perhaps new to those men who are willing to listen and, then, be strong enough to speak out.
Note that the United States is only 23rd in the world as a country who absolutely treats women and men with equal status... and that, further, they had improved and then dropped again. Violence has indeed increased and it's coming from all sectors of the United States as well as across the world... It is especially reprehensible to know that many use the Bible and other religious texts to justify the treatment of women, rather than to strive to understand what is actually being said...
In one way or another I have fought for betterment of the way women have been treated for all of my adult life...Admittedly it was my own personal battle in the professional arena mostly. Now, I can see what is happening across the nation and the world on a much broader scale. Reading this book has expanded greatly my base of knowledge and awareness...An important contribution of the book. This is highly recommended to women and men...Stop what has and is happening to women, children, and men around the world!