The W Effect: Sexual Politics in the Bush Years and Beyond


In this unique and essential collection, Molly Ivins, Maureen Dowd, Maria Hinojosa, and a host of other frontline thinkers, journalists, and activists employ wit, outrage, and cold, hard facts to expose the “W Effect,”a comprehensive incursion into women’s rights. In recent years, women around the globe have come under attack—both literally, in the case of war and punitive repression, and more subtly, in the case of eroded rights and economic power. Yet this dangerous trend has not, to date, been comprehensively ...

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In this unique and essential collection, Molly Ivins, Maureen Dowd, Maria Hinojosa, and a host of other frontline thinkers, journalists, and activists employ wit, outrage, and cold, hard facts to expose the “W Effect,”a comprehensive incursion into women’s rights. In recent years, women around the globe have come under attack—both literally, in the case of war and punitive repression, and more subtly, in the case of eroded rights and economic power. Yet this dangerous trend has not, to date, been comprehensively documented and deconstructed—in part because women are finding it harder to gain access to the mainstream media.

Both a harsh reality check and a hopeful starting point for new action, The W Effect brings together the premier feminist voices to provide cutting-edge reports; fresh, empowering analyses; and engaging, provocative ideas for the future—including a resource guide for information and activism. At this pivotal time, The W Effect is a necessary book for feminists of all ages and genders, for all progressive activists, for students, and for anyone interested in current politics and the future of women’s rights and women’s lives in America and around the world.

With reports on: affirmative action, the Patriot Act, welfare “reform,” sexual freedom, reproductive rights, the impact of the religious right, education funding and Title IX, public health policy, globalization, international HIV/AIDS policy, the International Court and the U.N., and more.

Journalist and broadcaster Laura Flanders was the founder of the Women’s Desk at FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting), where, for 10 years, she hosted the syndicated radio program CounterSpin. Flanders currently hosts “Working Assets Radio” and is a contributor to The Nation, The Progressive, Ms. and In These Times. She is the author of Real Majority, Media Minority, The Cost of Sidelining Women in Reporting and Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species (April 2003).

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
President George W. Bush has said that "W is for women"; Bushwomen author Flanders has assembled a group of 60 or so issue-oriented essays by various authors who argue the contrary. The "Family Time Flexibility Act" can actually result in the loss of pay for professional women by reclassifying them as managers ineligible for overtime. Women in Afghanistan remain remain disenfranchized (to the point of being at risk of rape by armed factions and of forced marriage) despite their "liberation" from the Taliban. The administration's support for the gradual recriminalization of abortion, for the campaign against Title IX, for the imposition of global gags on discussing family planning and for the cutting of welfare and health care by converting to block-grant financing, together result, Flanders argues in her introduction, in the "W Effect"-i.e., "stealth misogyny." Though many of the pieces were previously published in places like the Nation or Ms. by the likes of Ehrenreich, Steinem, Pollitt and Sheehy, an account of the sharp rise of domestic violence against military wives and excerpts from "Baghdad Burning," a Baghdad woman's blog by "Riverbend" that reports firsthand on the occupation, are just two of the less familiar sources and stories. While there are a few diatribes that pompously overstate, the polemics always take off from verifiable facts on the ground. (July 1) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558614710
  • Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY, The
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Flanders is the host of Working Assets Radio, a daily call-in program heard on public radio (KALW-FM) in San Francisco and on the Internet. She writes a column for and appears regularly on MSNBC, Fox News Watch, PBS, and CBC. She's the former Director of the Women's Desk at FAIR.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : feigning feminism, fueling backlash
A mean-spirited America : today, I fear my own government more than I do terrorists 3
The power and the glory : who needs the Christian Coalition when you've got the White House? : the religious right's covert crusade 5
TeamBush to abused women : fuhgedaboutit! 11
Hardly sporting : don't gut Title IX until you know what it does 15
Orphaned by the drug war 19
Better safe ... ? 24
Raising the voices of Afghan women : an interview with Masuda Sultan 29
Call me American : a young man contemplates going to war 36
Sneak attack : the militarization of U.S. culture 38
Working-class women as war heroes 39
Reading, tracing, and locating gender in 9/11 detentions 41
Upstanding Native women 45
Hidden casualties : an epidemic of domestic violence when troops return from war 47
A cautionary tale from Kosovar women to women in post-war Iraq 54
Baghdad burning : girl blog from Iraq 56
Roe in rough waters 65
Wedding bells and welfare bucks 70
Altared states : women on welfare talk about marriage 78
My late-term abortion 81
Sex, lies, and abstinence 85
Bush's war on the condom : U.N. report documents the failures to curb AIDS 91
"Tell me everything" : teens talk back about abstinence education 94
Why we need same-sex marriage 96
Globalization and poverty : economic globalization has become a war against nature and the poor 105
Kitchen table politics : an interview with Rhonda Perry 111
Global sex rules : the price of silence 114
Strange bedfellows : conservative Christians and the Bush administration are aggressively pushing a controversial "pro-family" agenda on the international stage - and they're teaming up with Islamic theocracies to do it 121
The unequal AIDS burden 128
... and the poor get poorer 133
Working women's lives and the "W effect" : an interview with Ellen Bravo 138
Wal-Mart values 145
Why privatizing government services would hurt women workers 152
Social security is a women's issue 156
Women's priorities would be sacrificed to pay for Bush tax cuts 158
Latina girls' high school drop-out rate highest in U.S. 165
Unconscionable care : is the religious right compromising your health care? 167
Bush's basket : why the president had to show his balls 175
Veiled intentions : the U.S. media's hug and run affair with Afghan women 177
The thong vs. the veil 180
On rescuing Private Lynch and forgetting Rachel Corrie 182
Celebrating the many roles of women 185
Unsung heroes 187
The truth about women and the recession 189
Queers without money : they are everywhere, but we refuse to see them 193
Whatever happened to the gender gap? 198
Four 9/11 moms battle Bush 207
Against the war but married to it 214
Arab women staying alive 220
Women of the promised land 223
Women are opening doors : Security Council Resolution 1325 in Afghanistan 229
Shelf life, librarians : liberals with backbone 235
Against Rosa's odds : on the road with a welfare warrior 240
Mighty in pink 244
Whose security? 253
No place for a woman 258
Transnational feminist practices against war 263
A mystery of misogyny 268
Gender smarts : will sex ever make us as smart as race when it comes time to vote? 271
Building a movement for reproductive self-determination : an interview with Dorothy Roberts 273
U.S. feminisim lite : claiming independence, asserting personal choice 280
War on terror or war on women? : the view from Latin America 285
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