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“Sexual Decoys: Gender, Race and War in Imperial Democracy”

 Zillah Eisenstein

Zillah Eisenstein

Sexual Decoys: Gender, Race and War in Imperial Democracy
Zillah Eisenstein, Ithaca College, New York, USA
ISBN: 9781842778166 Order Hardback at £55.00
ISBN: 9781842778173 Order Paperback at £14.99
Publication date: 01/01/2007

About the Book

In this book, Zillah Eisenstein continues her unforgiving indictment of neoliberal imperial politics. She charts its most recent militarist and masculinist configurations through discussions of the Afghan and Iraq wars, violations at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib, the 2004 US Presidential election, and Hurricane Katrina. She warns that women’s rights rhetoric is being manipulated, particularly by Condoleeza Rice and other women in the Bush administration, as a ploy for global dominance and a misogynistic capture of democratic discourse. However, Eisenstein also believes that the plural and diverse lives of women will lay the basis for an assault on these fascistic elements. This new politics will both confound and clarify feminisms, and reconfigure democracy across the globe.

“…a passionate and exhaustively detailed indictment of the anti-woman crimes of U.S. imperialist aggression. In particular, her work calls on women within the U.S. to resist the claim of “protection of women” by a capitalist system intent on exploiting and degrading
women and sexually oppressed minorities throughout the world.” -Minnie Bruce Pratt, Poet-activist

“Zillah Eisenstein‘s Sexual Decoys is an incisive critique of the rightwing mobilization of gender and race for imperial designs. The book insightfully illuminates the contradictions of war waged in the name of spreading democracy. Asking whether terrorism is the new
version of the old communist menace, Eisenstein contextualizes current militarization policies, and boldly exposes their noxious fallout for democracy.” – Ella Shohat, New York University

“Zillah Eisenstein‘s latest feminist text is a provocative, insightful reading of the gendered and racialized complexities of the wars in Afganistan and Iraq and the ways in which the metaphor of “sexual and racial decoys” can be deployed to illuminate contemporary US
government machinations here and around the globe. Very little escapes Eisenstein‘s critical gaze: the Bush administration, Laura Bush, Condi Rice, Hillary Clinton, Katrina, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, neoliberal/imperial feminism, diversity in the academy. Sexual Decoys is sure to be controversial because of its biting critiques of both conservatives and liberals.” – Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Director of the Women‘s Research & Resource Center at Spelman College


1. Gender as politics in another form
2. Re-Sexing the wars of/on terror
3. Terrorized and privatized democracy
4. Diversifying and racializing decoys
5. Ungendering feminisms and the pluralisms of sex


About the Author

Zillah Eisenstein is one of the foremost political theorists and activists of our time. She has written feminist theory in North America for the past twenty-five years. Her writing is an integral part of her political activism. She writes in order to share and learn with, and from, others engaged in political struggles for social justice. She writes about her work building coalitions across women’s differences: the black/white divide in the U.S.; the struggles of Serb and Muslim women in the war in Bosnia; the needs of women health
workers in Cuba; the commitments of environmentalists in Ghana; the relationship between socialists and feminists in union organizing; the struggles against extremist fundamentalisms in Egypt and Afghanistan; the needs of women workers in India.

Zillah Eisenstein is Professor of Politics at Ithaca College in New York. Throughout her career her books have tracked the rise of neoliberalism both within the U.S. and across the globe. She has documented the demise of liberal democracy and scrutinized the growth of imperial and militarist globalization. She has also critically written about the attack on affirmative action in the U.S., the masculinist bias of law, the crisis of breast cancer and AIDS, the racism of patriarchy and the patriarchal structuring of race, the new
nationalisms, and corporatist multiculturalism.

Her most recent books include: Against Empire, London (Zed Books Ltd), Hatreds: Racialised and Sexualised Conflicts in the 21st Century (New York, Routledge, 1996), Global Obscenities: Patriarchy, Capitalism and the Lure of Cyberfantasy (New York, NYU Press, 1998), ManMade Breast Cancers (Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2001).

Thanks to the Global Sisterhood Network for sending this to me.




2 thoughts on ““Sexual Decoys: Gender, Race and War in Imperial Democracy”

  1. Thanks for this post – evidently, I need the book!

    Posted by profacero | January 5, 2007, 3:29 am
  2. Doesn’t it look great? I’m definitely getting it.


    Posted by Heart | January 5, 2007, 5:00 am

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