Reviews

Missionary to the Amazons

Controversy and intense media scrutiny marked Dee Jepsen's 14 months as President Reagan's Special Assistant for Public Liaison to women's organizations, until she resigned in October 1983 to work for the unsuccessful reelection campaign of her husband. Senator Roger Jepsen of Iowa. President Reagan's extemporaneous remark that "if it weren't for women, men would still be walking around in skin suits and carrying clubs" and the vigorous debate over the perceived "gender gap" made life at the White House challenging for Mrs. Jepsen. Feminists criticized her conservative politics and opposition to the ERA, and (not surprisingly) she quickly became the object of unflattering stories in the Washington Post.

Mrs. Jepsen's book, however, does not focus on her time at the White House. Instead, it thoughtfully critiques militant feminism and asserts that women can only discover their true identity in Christianity:

Some women had been looking for their identity in the wrong place before, only in their husbands and children. Now many merely shifted the search, seeking identity in their work—their careers. True identity is not to be found in either place.

Beyond Equal Rights is not so much a book about women as it is a book about one woman. Dee Jepsen. She allows the reader to confront the difficult choices facing women today by recounting...

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