The death of feminism : what's next in the struggle for women's freedom /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Chesler, Phyllis.
Imprint:New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
Description:ix, 241 p. ; 24 cm.
Language:English
Subject:Feminism.
Women's studies.
Women -- Violence against.
Women -- Islamic countries.
Muslim women.
Feminism.
Muslim women.
Women.
Women -- Violence against.
Women's studies.
Islamic countries.
Format: Print Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/5788658
Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:1403968985 (alk. paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Review by Choice Review

The title is unattractive, but the book itself is much less polemical and more engaging. Although unapologetically critical of feminist alliances with the Left, Chesler is nonetheless distinctively feminist in her arguments in favor of the US invasion of Iraq and for a more assertive critique of Islam in general. Arguing from personal experiences as a woman once married to an Afghani, a long-time feminist activist, an observant Jew, and a writer with an increasing number of ties in neoconservative circles, Chesler offers a credible though anecdotal account of what she believes are the weaknesses of multiculturalism and misplaced sympathy for Palestinian and other Arab terrorists. While criticizing some neoconservatives for anti-feminism, she sees them as allies in fighting the violence of honor killings, the degradation of veiling, and the power of patriarchs endemic in the Arab world. She is far more critical of what she perceives as feminists' unpatriotic tendencies to hold the US and Israel to unrealistic and dangerous standards of tolerance of their enemies, and of other feminists' unwillingness to debate rather than denounce their political differences with her. Not "balanced," but thoughtful, the book deserves an equally engaged but respectful critique from feminist readers. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. M. M. Ferree University of Wisconsin

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Chesler, an active member of the women's movement for four decades, makes a serious charge against her sisters: she feels they have abandoned their commitment to freedom and feminist values, and "become cowardly herd animals and grim totalitarian thinkers." Chesler (Women and Madness) takes liberal feminists to task for not speaking out against what she sees as the most important threat to Western freedom: Islamic terrorism. She has penned a cross between a cri de coeur and a deeply rhetorical polemic that makes scores of provocative points, but because of sometimes offhanded scholarship (e.g., listing unsourced news items as research), a proclivity for overgeneralizing and an anecdotal approach to arguing, will probably fail to win over readers who don't already agree with her. Her sense of urgency leads her to paint, with broad strokes, a frightening portrait of current U.S. academic and political culture: the campuses, she says, have "bred a new and diabolical McCarthyism" spearheaded by leftists and approvingly quotes a feminist scholar saying that "women's studies has become... the most retrograde of disciplines" because of its single-minded reliance on postmodern theory. As in her last book, The New Anti-Semitism, Chesler raises important issues, but her style will alienate the very people she means to reach. (Nov. 5) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Chesler (The New Anti-Semitism) has produced an angry polemic calling American feminists to reexamine their priorities. In her view, feminism has become a victim of a natural female desire for affiliation at the expense of disagreement. The feminist clique in which she used to claim membership has now withdrawn, she writes, into "rigid intolerance of difference" represented by leftism and anti-Americanism. She makes this point mainly in regard to her concern that Islamism is such a great threat to women's rights, if not all freedom, that opposing it should be the primary task of all feminists. In the midst of this resentful diatribe, in which she singles out some activists personally for having snubbed or attacked her, Chesler adds a poignant chapter describing her 1960s captivity by her own in-laws as a young bride in Afghanistan. This juxtaposition indirectly provides an explanation for the vehemence of her opposition to exploitation of women in Muslim societies. For larger public libraries and academic libraries that collect contemporary opinion.-Lisa Klopfer, Eastern Michigan Univ., Ypsilanti (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Chesler (The New Anti-Semitism, 2003, etc.) aims a loud wake-up call at her fellow feminists, charging that while feminism is not exactly dead, it is failing, suffering from the disease of politically correct passivity. She argues that Western feminists are not focusing on the really important problem: jihadic Islamic terrorism. Western feminists, she claims, are largely leftists infected by a multicultural relativism that is actually a disguised form of racism and sexism, and they do not understand the dangers to our lives and our values represented by reactionary Islamism; further, she says, they have become rigid and intolerant of diverse opinions, silencing and harassing anyone, such as herself, who disagrees with them. Chesler's personal experience with Muslim male psychology and the Islamic way of life is the subject of a chapter titled "My Afghan Captivity," in which she tells of her mistreatment and virtual imprisonment in Kabul as the bride of a Western-educated Afghan and of her eventual escape back to the United States. She uses the expression "gender apartheid" to describe the position of women in fundamentalist Islamic societies, which seems a curiously bland term for cultural acceptance of genital mutilation, forced marriages of young girls, stoning of women and "honor" crimes. The author provides a host of examples of the brutal crimes committed against women by fundamentalist Muslim men, not just in non-Western countries but also in Europe, where millions of Muslims have emigrated in past decades and are largely unassimilated and hostile to Western culture. American feminists, she urges, must make the plight of Muslim women one of their top priorities. In her final chapter, Chesler calls on American feminists to rethink their priorities and work to make U.S. foreign policy reflect their concern for women's rights everywhere. A fierce polemic, filled with vigorous arguments and distressing human stories. Copyright ┬ęKirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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