Help us choose a title!

I’ve spent the past two years compiling a book on women. Definitely a labor of love! The book should come out on April 1st next year. But now it’s time to finalize the book title.

The main title is going to be “The Black Swan Effect.” Here’s the rationale behind the title, taken from the introduction to the book.

“The term “black swan” was a common one in sixteenth century London. Everyone knew that swans were white, and black swans presumably did not exist, so the term came to mean something farfetched, not real. However, in 1636, a Dutch explorer discovered nomadic, red-billed black swans in Western Australia. All of a sudden, black swans were no longer an impossibility and the meaning of the term changed. There is now a well-known species of black swans, but at first, all it took was one swan to change people’s minds forever.”

Having talked with a number of people, everyone loves the main title and the obvious analogy to women in the church. The help we need comes with the subtitle. Here are some of the possibilities:

The Black Swan Effect: Men lead; women follow? A response to patriarchy in the church (Do you think people understand the term “patriarchy”? “Men lead women follow” is deliberately a simple definition)

The Black Swan Effect: Men lead, women follow? Responding to gender issues in the church

The Black Swan Effect: A response to gender hierarchy in the church

Please let me know which one you prefer.

Photo Credit: ecstaticist via Compfight cc

20 thoughts on “Help us choose a title!”

  1. If these are your finalists, I’ll go with the crowd on #3. My mind immediately thought of “Exploring Gender Roles in the Church,” but disregard if you’re already set on the ones mentioned :).

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  2. I prefer the third option: ” A response to gender hierarchy in the church”. Hierarchy is as problematic as gender, and leading vs following is too narrow a picture of the gender problem.

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  3. Personally, I think that the third option has the greater effect and speaks straight to the heart of what you’re trying to convey to people.

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  4. The Black Swan Effect: Responding to gender issues in the church.

    I like #2, but I’d drop the middle sentence. I like “gender issues” rather than “gender hierarchy” or “patriarchy.”

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  5. I initially liked the second option best because the word hierarchy referenced church governance to me, not the broader issue of gender relationships in general.

    I guess my 25 years in the Catholic Church is showing. I don’t know if you are targeting Evangelicals as your market base or if you are hoping to reach the progressive Catholics as well. If you include Catholics, “hierarchy” tends to have a church authority connotation.

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  6. I’m with Lori. I like the second option modified to read “The Black Swan Effect: Responding to gender issues in the church”. I actually thought that before I read her comment too. But, if choosing from the titles exactly as they appear above, I would say #3, as it is more concise.

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