The Big Push

Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy
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'This is a manual for taking us to the finishing line of gender equality. Without understanding the incredible tentacles of patriarchy and its reinventions, we are destined to fight old battles as well as new ones. A jolt of new energy for longstanding feminists and a "must read" for our new generations.' — Helena Kennedy, QC

Decades of feminist campaigning have resulted in real advances, and yet patriarchy relentlessly continues to thrive.

Cynthia Enloe pulls back the curtain on patriarchy to reveal not only the blatant sexism we can all identify, but also the insidious persistence of particular forms of masculinity and authoritarianism in daily life.

These diverse and illuminating essays — which take as their starting point experiences from her own life and those of women from around the world — explore the resilience of patriarchal beliefs and values, and identify the unwitting nature of our complicity. She shows how, simply by noticing, questioning and crafting fresh feminist concepts, we can update our resistance and challenge patriarchy’s self-perpetuating core.

Nadje Al-Ali

13 June 2017
In what has clearly become a unique Cynthia Enloe lens and approach, The Big Push connects the dots in an engaging and original manner. It exposes the intricate and often invisible ways in which patriarchy survives and sustains itself. Yet, in a post-truth era in which populism, Brexit, Donald Trump, nationalist political parties and right-wing anti-immigration movements flourish, The Big Push also provides us with hope. Enloe leaves us in no doubt that feminist resistance is alive and kicking everywhere: intersectional transnational feminist analyses and activisms are locally and globally at the forefront of challenging patriarchy and its brothers: militarism, authoritarianism and neo-liberal economics.

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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