The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy / Edition 1

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The Gender Knot, Allan Johnson's response to the pain and confusion that men and women experience by living with gender inequality, explains what patriarchy is and isn't, how it works, and what gets in the way of understanding and doing something about it. Johnson's simple yet powerful approach avoids the paralyzing trap of guilt, blame, anger, and defensive denial that often result from conversations about gender. He shows how we all participate in an oppressive system we didn't create and how each of us can contribute towards its dissolution. He argues persuasively that something much better is possible and that our individual choices matter more than we can ever know.

This revised, and updated edition features expanded discussions of:

* the core characteristics of patriarchy and its power as a social system
* the relationship between individuals and social systems
* Women's movement assessments of patriarchy and gender inequality
* key-and controversial-terms such as sexism, privilege, and political correctness\

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Editorial Reviews

Selma Miriam
From Selma Miriam, Bloodroot Feminist Bookstore: \ "At last a man who got it right . . . . he creates a unique political context in which women and men can have feminist conversations . . . . and brings a freshness to . . . feminism that encourages us and gives us hope." \
Michael Kimmel
From Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America: A Cultural History: \ "As any knitter will tell you, the way to untangle a knot is not to pull hard on one end, but to gently shake the entire skein until all the threads are loosened. In this book, Allan Johnson gently and patiently shakes the patriarchal knot until each of the constituent threads becomes analytically clear. In doing so, he gives men a way to be part of unraveling that oppressive knot, rather than simply tugging defensively on their end." \
From the Publisher
"The Gender Knot illuminates vast areas of previously unexamined and unnamed effects of 'power over' social systems, and provides a beacon of hope and a message of courage. This book is brilliant and life-changing"-Judith V Jordan, Ph.D., Director of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, Wellesley Centers for Women, and Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592133833
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 434,784
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Allan G. Johnson is a nationally recognized sociologist, nonfiction author, novelist, and public speaker best known for his work on issues of privilege and oppression, especially in relation to gender and race. He is the author of numerous books, including Privilege, Power, and Difference. His work has been translated into several languages and excerpted in numerous anthologies. Visit him online at and follow his blog at

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Table of Contents

Pt. I What is this thing called patriarchy?
1 Where are we? 3
2 Patriarchy, the system : an it, not a he, a them, or an us 27
3 Why patriarchy? 51
4 Ideology, myth, and magic : femininity, masculinity, and "gender roles" 78
5 Feminists and feminism 99
Pt. II Sustaining illusions, barriers to change
6 Thinking about patriarchy : war, sex, and work 133
7 What patriarchy? 154
8 It must be women 178
Pt. III Unraveling the patriarchal legacy
9 Shame, guilt, and responsibility 207
10 Unraveling the gender knot 224
App Resources for unraveling the knot 245
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 21, 2009

    A must read

    I am a student at the University of Utah, taking a diversity class. One of our readings is chapter 10 from Unraveling the Gender Knot. As I was reading this chapter I was so engrossed by the message of the content that I had to go online and find out more about this book. If chapter 10 is this impressive I will be purchasing the book to have in my library of the most meaningful and life changing books to read. Thank you Alan G. Johnson for getting the message out to both men and women about how we can live equally and rid of the oppression women (as well as other populations)live with everyday.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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