The Big Push

Exposing and Challenging Sustainable Patriarchy
£9.99 Recommend

Leading feminist analyst Cynthia Enloe asks why patriarchy is proving to be such a sustainable cultural, institutional and economic system.

Decades of feminist campaigning have resulted in real advances — a woman newsreader is no longer unusual; many police departments are equipped with rape kits; more than half of the national legislators in Bolivia and Rwanda are women; a woman candidate won the popular vote in the recent U.S. presidential election. And yet patriarchy continues to thrive.

From the institutional acceptance of sexual harassment within major news organizations to the exclusion of Syrian women from international peace negotiations, this book is a fierce and incisive exploration of patriarchal culture and how we are unwittingly sustaining patriarchy — for example, by falling into the celebrity trap, imagining that tourism is without consequence or casually using ungendered concepts (e.g. ‘child marriages’) to make sense of the world.

With grace and energy, and in the most accessible and inviting prose, Cynthia Enloe reflects on examples from her own life and the experiences of women from around the world, to show that only by asking ‘where are the women?’ and making women’s experiences visible, can we engage effectively in civic life and make sense of today’s global politics.

Helena Kennedy QC

5 April 2017

This is a manual for taking us to the finishing line of gender equality. A jolt of new energy for longstanding feminists and a 'must read' for our new generations. Without understanding the incredible tentacles of patriarchy and its reinventions, we are destined to fight old battles as well as new ones. Cynthia Enloe, a great scholar and source of wisdom,  pries open jammed patriarchal doors and nails the continuing reasons for gender inequality. A brilliant critique and a manifesto for our resistance.

Beatrix Campbell

31 March 2017

Cynthia Enloe is an adventurer, an intellectual with a light touch and inveterate ‘feminist curiosity’; here she is again travelling across time and space – revisiting her own great history as an activist scholar, the landscapes of new and old wars, new and old political settlements, new and old trades in banana and bombs; in all of them she shows how thinking about gender, the renewal of patriarchy and women’s resistance, is vital to making sense of the world. It is a joy to travel with her. 

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