Who's Afraid of Gender?

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Who’s Afraid of Gender? offers a thoroughgoing answer to its titular question, a sweeping analysis of why it matters, and an inspiring counter-vision committed to freedom and equality for all. We desperately need this book - and Judith Butler - to teach us how and why anti-gender ideology partners with fascist passions, how and why we must resist such an alliance, and how and why we need to stand together “on the side of livable life, love, and freedom. - Maggie Nelson

Judith Butler is the most important philosopher working in the United States today, and the one whose legacy is most likely to survive the test of time. Here, in clear, precise prose, and with devastatingly analytical precision, they dismantle the global attack on ‘Gender Ideology’, revealing it for what it is―an attack on democracy’s freedoms. - Jason Stanley

From a global icon, a bold, essential account of how a fear of gender is fuelling reactionary politics around the world

Judith Butler, the ground-breaking philosopher whose work has redefined how we think about gender and sexuality, confronts the attacks on gender that have become central to right-wing movements today. Global networks have formed ‘anti-gender ideology movements’ dedicated to circulating a fantasy that gender is a dangerous threat to families, local cultures, civilization – and even ‘man’ himself. Inflamed by the rhetoric of public figures, this movement has sought to abolish reproductive justice, undermine protections against violence, and strip trans and queer people of their rights.

But what, exactly, is so disturbing about gender? In this vital, courageous book, Butler carefully examines how ‘gender’ has become a phantasm for emerging authoritarian regimes, fascist formations and transexclusionary feminists, and the concrete ways in which this phantasm works. Operating in tandem with deceptive accounts of critical race theory and xenophobic panics about migration, the anti-gender movement demonizes struggles for equality and leaves millions of people vulnerable to subjugation.

An essential intervention into one of the most fraught issues of our moment, Who's Afraid of Gender? is a bold call to make a broad coalition with all those who struggle for equality and fight injustice. Imagining new possibilities for both freedom and solidarity, Butler offers us an essentially hopeful work that is both timely and timeless.

Only Judith Butler’s dazzling intellect and moral confidence could orient us inside the maze of projections, confessions, displacements, and co-optations that make up today’s wars over gender. It is the dream of a bygone, authoritarian masculinist power that unites the various fronts of this battle―and only solidarity between all who are in fascism’s crosshairs has a chance of saving us. A profoundly urgent intervention - Naomi Klein

The global war against so-called 'gender ideology' is one of the most politically consequential and psychically intriguing phenomena of our present moment. Underneath it lies, Judith Butler argues in this powerful new book, a yearning for the restoration of a mythic patriarchal order in the face of mounting existential despair. As ever, Butler offers us a compelling diagnosis of the anxieties, fears and fantasies that structure our political present, pointing us towards both its darkest dimensions and its possible undoing - Amia Srinivasan

Judith Butler has been brilliantly troubling the landscape of gender construction for over three decades. At a time when anti-Trans and anti-LGBTQIA rhetoric and ideology is creeping into every facet of our lives―from school boards and libraries to legislation and political campaigns―Who’s Afraid of Gender gives its reader a roadmap away from surprising oppositions within the progressive left. Their work calls for solidarity in the face of the weaponization of anti-gender ideology wielded by the political right. Butler makes us aware that there will be no freedom without gender freedom. A timely must-read for anyone actively invested in re-imagining collective futurity - Claudia Rankine

Format/pages: hardback / 308 pages

ISBN: 9780241595824

Publisher: Allen Lane

Year: 2024

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