Faculty Book: Hester Eisenstein
Feminism Seduced: How Global Elites Use Women’s Labor and Ideas to Exploit the World
(Paradigm Publishers, 2009)
In a pioneering reinterpretation of the role of mainstream feminism, Eisenstein shows how the world’s ruling elites utilize women’s labor and the ideas of women’s liberation and empowerment to maintain their economic and political power, both at home and abroad. Her explorations range from the abolition of “welfare as we know it” in the United States to the creation of export-processing zones in the global South that depend on women’s “nimble fingers,” and from the championing of microcredit as a path to women’s empowerment in the global South to the claim of women’s presumed liberation in the West as an ideological weapon in the war on terrorism. Eisenstein challenges activists and intellectuals to recognize that international feminism is at a fateful crossroads. She argues that it is crucial for feminists to throw in their lot with the progressive forces that are seeking alternatives to globalized corporate capitalism. Hester Eisenstein (joint appointment, Queens College/GC) is professor of sociology at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: MAY 30, 2009