March 17, 2008
Dance of the Dissident Daughter
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: a Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine by Sue Monk Kidd
A traditional Southern Baptist wife and mother, Sue Monk Kidd had never really questioned her role as a woman in the church or society as a whole. Yet a series of incidents led her to realize all was not right, and that she needed to look for spirituality outside of mainstream religious institutions. Whereas before she was taught that authority was only in the Bible, she came to see her own experiences as valid- that she was her own authority. I found the book to be an inspiring source of ideas for developing one’s own personal spirituality- creating ritual, sacred spaces and concepts of Deity.
One thing I found refreshing about this book, is that Kidd does not bash men or blame them as a group for inequality. She acknowledges that both men and women are hurt by patriarchy- that men need the Divine Feminine as much as women do. Nor does she say mainstream Christianity is wrong per se, only that it has its limitations and needs to strive towards balance in matters of gender as well as between human beings and the natural world.
The main criticism I do have of Dance, is that I question the accuracy of some of the information on ancient religions and cultures she presents as facts. However this is a memoir, not a scholarly work so I’m going to cut the author some slack in that area.