Who's Afraid of Gender?

Who's Afraid of Gender?


Brought to you by Penguin.

From a global icon, a bold, essential account of how a fear of gender is fuelling reactionary politics around the world

Judith Butler, the ground-breaking philosopher whose influential 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 scary 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. They illuminate the concrete ways that this phantasm displaces anxieties and fears of destruction. Operating in tandem with deceptive accounts of critical race theory and xenophobic panics about migration, the anti-gender movement demonizes struggles for equality, fuels aggressive nationalism, 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 bold call to make a broad coalition with all those whose struggle for equality is linked with fighting injustice. Imagining new possibilities for both freedom and solidarity, Butler offers us an essentially hopeful work that is both timely and timeless.

©2024 Judith Butler (P)2024 Penguin Audio


  • An international celebrity academic. . . Butler's influence is immense
    Masha Gessen, New Yorker

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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