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W Stands for Women: How the George W. Bush Presidency Shaped a New Politics of Gender [Hardcover]

Ferguson , Michaele L. Ferguson , Lori Jo Marso

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Book Description

Aug. 1 2007
Taking seriously the "W Stands for Women" rhetoric of the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign, the contributors to this collection investigate how "W" stands for women. They argue that George W. Bush has hijacked feminist language toward decidedly anti feminist ends; his use of feminist rhetoric is deeply and problematically connected to a conservative gender ideology. While it is not surprising that conservative views about gender motivate Bush's stance on so-called "women's issues" such as abortion, what is surprising - and what this collection demonstrates - is that a conservative gender ideology also underlies a range of policies that do not appear on the surface to bear any relationship to gender, most notably foreign and domestic policies associated with the post-9/11 security state. Any assessment of the lasting consequences of the Bush presidency requires an understanding of the gender conservatism at its core. In W Stands for Women, ten feminist scholars analyze various aspects of Bush's persona, language, and policy to show how his administration has shaped a new politics of gender. One contributor points out the shortcomings of "compassionate conservatism," a political philosophy that requires a weaker class to be the subject of compassion. Another examines Private Lynndie England's participation in the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in relation to the interrogation practices elaborated in the Army Field Manual, practices that often entail "feminizing" detainees by stripping them of their masculine gender identities. Whether investigating the ways that Bush himself performs masculinity or the problems with discourse that positions non-Western women as supplicants in need of saving, these nuanced, accessible essays highlight the far-reaching consequences of the Bush administration's conflation of feminist rhetoric, conservative gender ideology, and neoconservative national security policy.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press (Aug. 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082234064X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822340645
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 558 g

Product Description

Review

"Making lasting feminist sense of the George W. Bush presidency--long after it's over--will be a crucial intellectual task. W Stands for Women is going to be essential reading as we all tackle this challenge."--Cynthia Enloe, author of Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link "Full of strikingly original and meticulously theorized readings of contemporary public life, W Stands for Women is one of the most intellectually and politically exciting books that I've read in years."--Catherine A. Holland, author of The Body Politic: Foundings, Citizenship, and Difference in the American Political Imagination

About the Author

Michaele L. Ferguson is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder.Lori Jo Marso is Professor of Political Science and Director of Women's and Gender Studies at Union College. She is the author of "Feminist Thinkers and the Demands of Femininity: The Lives and Work of Intellectual Women."

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