Female Anatomy a Touchy Subject for Christian Bookstore, Claims Author
The disdain more commonly reserved by the religious Right for those who are perceived as moral deviants is seldom turned upon one of their own. Yet this is precisely what Rachel Held Evans, an evangelical Christian author, claims is happening to her. Why? Because her second book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, contains the word “vagina.”
Evans’ latest book details her life as a Christian wife and her attempts to adhere to the teachings of the Bible in as literal a way as possible. In the book, Evans outlines the details of her experiment, from making her own clothes and abstaining from gossip to remaining silent during church services and even pitching and living in a tent in her yard during her menstrual period.
Despite the somewhat radical nature of Evans’ exercise in scriptural literalism, the author claims her book will not be stocked by LifeWay, a major Christian bookseller with 160 stores across the U.S., due to two uses of the word “vagina.” In the first, the term is used in in a description of the rape of a Congolese adolescent, and in the second, Evans recounts signing a pledge of sexual abstinence at age 15.
According to The Guardian Books, Evans was advised by her publisher, Thomas Nelson, against the inclusion of the second reference, because Christian bookstores “apparently have a thing against vaginas.”
A spokesperson for LifeWay told Slate that Evans’ first book, Evolving in Monkey Town, did not sell well enough to warrant carrying copies of her second title. The bookseller’s representative added that, according to Evans, “there are a lot of places to sell books, and LifeWay is not the only outlet.”
Issues of doctrine aside, is LifeWay’s apparent response to Evans’ use of anatomical language appropriate?
Image via rachelheldevans.com
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