A Woman’s Work 1989

This was my first book with SPCK, also published in the USA and Malaysia. It’s a popular version of my PhD thesis on women’s work, given added emphasis by the cartoons of the perceptive Posy Simmonds.

The Christian ideals of love and self-denial are usually thought to demand the unceasing, unquestioning and often unrewarded service of others. A Woman’s Work examines the way this service ethic is traditionally applied to women, and the damaging effect it can have on both those who serve and those who are served.

This book is currently out of print, but I have plans to make it available as an ebook.





Distorted Images 1991

Shortlisted for the Winifred Mary Stanford Prize

When I discussed Distorted Images on the radio in the north-east, one steel worker was so angry, he threw a dish at his radio! Yet the book is sympathetic to men, and one which many male readers found just as valuable as female ones.

Distorted images of women are expressed not only in everyday stereotyping, discrimination and harassment, but also in pornography, domestic abuse, and other forms of sexual violence. Distorted Images looks at how Christian teaching has reinforced these problems: how women are often falsely idealised as well as denigrated, and how men too become distorted when viewed as either superhuman gods or uncontrollable monsters.

This book is currently out of print, but I have plans to make it available as an ebook.



Reconstructing Family Values 1994

While a changed culture around women’s and men’s roles means I’d write differently on that subject now, contemporary debate around family values often sounds very familiar: Should mothers work outside the home? Does smacking children instil discipline? Why are the kids of today so wild? Should the church insist on a firm, traditional line? Reconstructing Family Values would be easy to update using current examples, and is still relevant.

Reconstructing Family Values questions whether ‘family values’, as traditionally understood, really do help to sustain either families or society. The book provides a perceptive and much-needed analysis of family relationships, viewed in the context of wider public debates about crime, education, and the moral state of the nation. It examines attitudes and assumptions that underlie different approaches to parenting, and goes to the heart of what matters for people in their different experiences of family life – both as children and adults.

This book is currently out of print, but I am offering individual chapters as free ebooks to subscribers to my monthly newsletter.