Who's Afraid of Gender?

Who's Afraid of Gender?

Summary

ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2024 ACCORDING TO THE TIMES, GUARDIAN, FINANCIAL TIMES, NEW STATESMAN, THE INDEPENDENT, THE SCOTSMAN, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, AND TIME

Shouldn't we know what we're arguing about?

From one of the most influential thinkers of our time, an enlightening, essential account of how a fear of gender is fuelling reactionary politics around the world

Judith Butler, the ground-breaking philosopher whose work has redefined how we think about gender and sexuality, confronts the attacks on gender that have become central to right-wing movements today. Global networks have formed ‘anti-gender ideology movements’ dedicated to circulating a fantasy that gender is a dangerous threat to families, local cultures, civilization – and even ‘man’ himself. Inflamed by the rhetoric of public figures, this movement has sought to abolish reproductive justice, undermine protections against violence, and strip trans and queer people of their rights.

But what, exactly, is so disturbing about gender? In this vital, courageous book, Butler carefully examines how ‘gender’ has become a phantasm for emerging authoritarian regimes, fascist formations and transexclusionary feminists, and the concrete ways in which this phantasm works. Operating in tandem with deceptive accounts of critical race theory and xenophobic panics about migration, the anti-gender movement demonizes struggles for equality and leaves millions of people vulnerable to subjugation.

An essential intervention into one of the most fraught issues of our moment, Who's Afraid of Gender? is a galvanizing call to make a broad coalition with all those who struggle for equality and fight injustice. Imagining new possibilities for freedom and solidarity, Butler offers us an essentially hopeful work that is both timely and timeless.

Reviews

  • Only Judith Butler’s dazzling intellect and moral confidence could orient us inside the maze of projections, confessions, displacements, and co-optations that make up today’s wars over gender. It is the dream of a bygone, authoritarian masculinist power that unites the various fronts of this battle—and only solidarity between all who are in fascism’s crosshairs has a chance of saving us. A profoundly urgent intervention
    Naomi Klein

About the author

Judith Butler

Judith Butler is a philosopher and Distinguished Professor in the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley. Their books, including Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter, have been translated into over twenty-five languages.
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