[Yes, this may seem like a strange book to review. I came across it while browsing for books to critique for Book Hub and thought, hey, why not? There is such controversy over recent Supreme Court rulings I figured it would be good to have an extra resource to have on hand during discussions. I discovered this book is NOT such a good resource-as you will discover in this review.]
From the start I knew Dear Brothers and Sisters: Gender and its Responsibility by Elder George would be an opinion-based book, as George said so himself in the introduction. But I was not prepared for the un-researched, vaguely spiritualized, unsatisfactory sense of un-resolution that I found in this piece.
I was at least expecting his opinions to be based on certain credible bases of thought, such as logical reasoning, anthropological observation, societal functionality, or historical precedent. There were elements of these areas of study, but not enough to give his opinions much basis for acceptance.
Honestly, this book felt more like a tumbling of subjective thoughts that were barely organized enough to divide into the multiplicity of short chapters that this book is comprised of. I definitely got the impression that there was a problem, though it was never clearly defined. What was worse, through the course of 38 chapters, I never got a clear impression of what the author was trying to prove. The ‘call-to-action’, the solution to our society’s woes, the implicit answer to this controversial question of gender-ness was never clearly specified by the author (besides that it had something to do with gender).
I’ll say it outright, I am in agreement with the author that there are differentiated roles for the two genders; equal, but different. Men and women both have responsibilities for which they are best suited, and both genders must accept those responsibilities in order for society to function. There are indeed recent attitudes that break away from a historical view of gender differentiation stemming from the feminine movement, the break from a traditional family, and the dissolution of authoritative hierarchy, of which have, and will continue to, create long-standing issues for our society.
My hope was to glean a new perspective on why these problems were, indeed, problems; to get someone else’s point-of-view. Traditionally, the argument for family and gender roles derive, in large part, from a Judeo-Christian element-and I was looking forward, perhaps, to a different, albeit sympathetic, take on the matter. Unfortunately, I do not think that this book has any persuasive element to offer that is worth reading and promoting to a wider audience, especially for those who may disagree with the book’s entire premise (nor even for those who do agree).