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Feminism Seduced: How Global Elites Use Women's Labor and Ideas to Exploit the World Paperback – January, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

With her trademark clarity and wit, one of the leading intellectuals of contemporary feminism builds a troubling analysis of where mainstream American feminism has gone celebrating gains for middle-class women, but also converging with ruthless corporate interests that exploit or marginalize most of the world's women. Hester Eisenstein's diagnosis, and her remedy, need to be heard by everyone concerned with women's interests and with social justice. --Raewyn Connell, author of Southern Theory

In this impressive book, Hester Eisenstein provides a provocative update of the classic argument of the relationship between Marxism and feminism. Through a historical analysis of the political economy of, what she calls, hegemonic or mainstream feminism, Eisenstein charts the transformation of labor feminism into mainstream feminism in the US, which entailed a shift from protection to equality, and which resulted in feminism unwittingly serving the needs of global capitalism rather than that of women. While some of the terrain particularly of feminism in the service of empire, the disciplining of women's labor under neoliberalism, and the war on terrorism has been covered by others, what sets her analysis apart is her unflinching critique of hegemonic feminism's complicity in abandoning issues of class and race even as it pays lip service to them. Finally, Eisenstein provides an outline for action which is much needed if we are to remain relevant to the lives of men and women facing the ravages of the current crises of global capitalism. --Manisha Desai, Director Women's Studies Program, University of Connecticut

Feminism Seduced offers a compelling - and deeply unsettling - historically grounded account of the unintended consequences of late twentieth-century feminism. Eisenstein provocatively argues that ideas derived from the mainstream women's movement were appropriated by global corporations and the political forces that sustain them, and effectively used to legitimate the surging social inequalities that have emerged both in the United States and worldwide since the 1970s. This cautionary tale makes for timely reading, as the global economic crisis opens up new opportunities for feminists and other progressives. --Ruth Milkman, UCLA

About the Author

Hester Eisenstein is Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Her previous books include Contemporary Feminist Thought (1983) and Inside Agitators: Australian Femocrats and the State (1996). She has taught at Yale, Barnard, and SUNY–Buffalo, and served as a “femocrat” in the state government of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers (January 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159451660X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594516603
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hester Eisenstein is a professor of sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center, The City University of New York. Eisenstein was born and raised in New York City, and is active in the CUNY faculty and staff union, the Professional Staff Congress. She has taught at Yale University, Barnard College (Columbia University), and the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has been a "femocrat" in Australia, and an activist in developing Women's Studies as a discipline. Her most recent book, Feminism Seduced, is a critical analysis of the development of mainstream feminism, intended not to trash the women's movement but to contribute to an international dialogue. How can intellectuals and activists help to strengthen the forces seeking an alternative to corporate globalization?

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eugene on January 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
I like how H. Eisenstein challenges the ideas of the feminist movement that by most are deemed progressive and liberating. Mainstream feminism, as the author of the book terms it, can be hurtful to not only women, by entire populations.

Historical analysis of the interwined roles of neoliberal economical reforms and mainstream feminism's individualistic approach to social inequality delineates the main issues of both. I can see why the book wouldn't gain much popularity among supporters of neoliberalism and feminist ideology, but it certainly is a necessary step towards the movement's self-critical and progressive discussion, which can only lead to its strengthening.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SkyeBlue on October 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very in depth book. Hard topics made easy. Really enjoyed reading this book a lot Not to mention she's a fabulous professor
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