Hot Off the Presses!

New book releases!

  • Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality
    Gail Dines
    Beacon Press
    PORNLAND; How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality takes an unflinching look at today’s porn industry: the stories woven into the images, the impact on our culture, the effects on us as men and women, the business machine that creates and markets porn, and the growing legitimacy of porn in mainstream media. Above all, PORNLAND examines the way porn shapes and limits sexual imaginations and behaviors.
     
    Although we are surrounded by pornographic images, many people are not aware of just how cruel and violent the industry is today. PORNLAND shows how today’s porn is strikingly different from yesterday’s Playboy and Penthouse magazines— how competition in the industry and consumer desensitization have pushed porn toward hard core extremes. And, with the advent of the internet and other digital technologies, users don’t have to wander far to access porn; today, the average age of first viewing is about 11 for boys, and studies reveal that young men, who consume more porn than ever before, have difficulty forming healthy relationships.
     
    PORNLAND also looks at how our porn culture affects the way women and girls think about their bodies, their sexuality and their relationships. PORNLAND; How Porn has Hijacked our Sexualityargues that rather than sexually liberating or empowering us, porn offers us a plasticized, formulaic, generic version of sex that is boring, lacking in creativity and disconnected from emotion and intimacy.
     
    Born and raised in England, Gail Dines received her Ph.D. from the University of Salford, UK. She began her activism volunteering at a rape crisis in Tel Aviv and started the Haifa-based feminist movement – Woman to Woman – in her living room at the age of 22.  Since arriving in the United States in 1986, Gail has taught at Wheelock College where she is now professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies and chair of the American Studies Department. For over twenty years Gail has been researching and writing about the porn industry and pop culture and has published many articles on such varied topics as the image of women in Hollywood, racism in porn, the hypersexualization of our culture, and the ways images shape our sexuality and our relationships.
  • Men and Feminism
    Shira Tarrant
    Seal Press

    There’s no denying that men’s involvement and interest in feminism is key to its continuing relevance and importance.

    Addressing the question of why men should care about feminism in the first place, Men and Feminism lays the foundation for a larger discussion about feminism as a human issue, not simply a women’s issue. Men are crucial to the movement — as fathers, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, and friends.
     
    From “why” to “how” to “what can men do,” Men and Feminism answers all the questions men have about how and why they should get behind feminism.

     

    Shira Tarrant aims to show once and for all that men can be feminists too… Kudos to the author for this blame-free book that encourages readers to embrace equality—and provides precise, simple steps to get [there]. —Brandy Barber, Bust Magazine
     
    [Men and Feminism] is brief, it’s engaging, and it doesn’t mince words in explaining exactly what feminism has to offer men, and why they should get behind it. —Cate Simpson, Bitch Magazine 

    What’s that? You don’t think that men have been a part of the feminist movement? Oh how mistaken you are! … Tarrant does a brilliant job at showing us how we must pay attention to the plight of boys and men under patriarchy in order to bring out a more just world. —Veronica I. Arreola, Feminist Review

     

    In addition to being Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at California State University, Long Beach, Shira Tarrant is currently writing her next book, The Sex Wars: Pole Dancing, Porn and Other Things That Freak People Out. Her co-edited anthology, Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style, is forthcoming (SUNY Press). Most recently, Tarrant published the article Pornography 101: Why College Kids Need Porn Literacy Training and an article about media freak-outs about hookups on AlterNet. 

  • Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity
    Robert Jensen
    South End Press
    Does porn make the man?

    Pornography is big business, a thriving multi-billion dollar industry so powerful it drives the direction of much media technology. It also makes for complicated politics. Anti-pornography arguments are frequently dismissed as patently “anti-sex”—and ultimately "anti-feminist"—silencing at the gate a critical discussion of pornography's relationship to violence against women and even what it means to be a "real man."

    In his most personal and difficult book to date, Robert Jensen launches a powerful critique of mainstream pornography that promises to reignite one of the fiercest debates in contemporary feminism. At once alarming and thought-provoking, Getting Off asks tough but crucial questions about pornography, manhood, and paths toward genuine social justice.

    Robert Jensen is the author of The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege (City Lights, 2005) and Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity (City Lights, 2004). He is associate professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

     

  • The monster within: the hidden side of motherhood
    Barbara Almond
    Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010

    Whether it is uncertainty over having a child, fears of pregnancy and childbirth, or negative thoughts about one's own children, mixed feelings about motherhood are not just hard to discuss, they are a powerful social taboo. In this beautifully written book, Barbara Almond draws on her extensive clinical experience to bring this highly troubling issue to light. In a compelling portrait of the hidden side of contemporary motherhood, she finds that ambivalence of varying degrees is a ubiquitous phenomenon, yet one that too often causes anxiety, guilt, and depression. Weaving together case histories with rich examples from literature and popular culture, Almond uncovers the roots of ambivalence, tells how it manifests in lives of women and their children, and describes a spectrum of maternal behavior--from normal feelings to highly disturbed mothering characterized by blame, misuse, abuse, even child murder. In a society where perfection in parenting is the unattainable ideal, this compassionate book offers some prescriptions for relief by showing women how they can affect positive change in their lives.
     

    Review
    "Myth-shredding look at maternal ambivalence." --Ms Magazine

    "First, let me recommend this engrossing study to every new mother, old mother, good mother and bad mother. Sons, husbands, dads and lovers might profit from reading this, too. 'The Monster Within' addresses what everybody knows, but almost nobody talks about: Even the best mothers among us will be or have been tormented from time to time by strong feelings of dread, fear, hatred and even revulsion at the whole process of motherhood, as well as experiencing downright murderous feelings toward our children."--Washington Post Book World

  • Between feminism and materialism: a question of method
    Gillian Howie
    New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010

    Between Feminism and Materialism is a bold attempt to make sense of the relationship between feminist theory and capitalism. Addressing a number of philosophical problems that have engaged feminists over the last few decades—universals and reason, nature and essentialism, identity and non-identity, sex and gender, power and patriarchy, local and global—this innovative book breaks through feminist waves and explains the paradoxes of feminist theory by demonstrating the on-going relevance of dialectics and the concepts of exploitation, ideology, and reification. Drawing on first, second, and third "waves" of feminist theory, this exciting combination of existentialism, phenomenology, and critical theory delivers a proactive feminism ready to respond to the challenges presented by our thoroughly modern times.

    Review
    “Howie constructs a genuinely critical feminist theory capable of unifying, dialectically, many of the diverse problems that exercise feminists today. Through a sophisticated, systematic deployment of a philosophically nuanced materialism, Howie defends the senses of ‘realism,’ ‘objectivity,’ ‘essence,’ ‘woman,’ and ‘patriarchy,’ which she argues are necessary for the identification of and struggle against the oppression of women. She also convincingly explains the form that oppression often takes by demonstrating the relevance of revivified Marxist categories (reification, commodification, alienation, exploitation), while bending a sometimes-reluctant Adorno into the service of feminism. This book should be read by anyone interested in the relation between feminist theory and politics and confirms Howie as one of the most important feminist materialist thinkers writing in English today.”
    --Stella Sandford, Principal Lecturer in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London

  • Strip club: gender, power, and sex work
    Kim Price-Glynn
    New York: New York University Press, 2010

    In Strip Club, Kim Price‒Glynn takes us behind the scenes at a rundown club where women strip out of economic need, a place where strippers’ stories are not glamorous or liberating, but emotionally demanding and physically exhausting. Strip Club reveals the intimate working lives of not just the women up on stage, but also the patrons and other workers who make the place run: the owner‒manager, bartenders, deejays, doormen, bouncers, housemoms, and cocktail waitresses.
    Price‒Glynn spent fourteen months at The Lion’s Den working as a cocktail waitress, and her uncommonly deep access reveals a conflict‒ridden workplace, similar to any other workplace, one where gender inequalities are reproduced through the everyday interactions of customers and workers. Taking a novel approach to this controversial and often misunderstood industry, Price‒Glynn draws a fascinating portrait of life and work inside the strip club.

    Review
    “With stripper poles an increasingly ubiquitous fixture in the media, there remains surprisingly little scholarship written about the day-to-day lives of people working in strip bars. Price‒Glynn reveals the grit beneath the pop‒video clichè in Strip Club, offering the reader an insider’s gaze on the employees of the Lion’s Den. Strip Club exposes a taken for granted sexism we need to be reminded of in our Girls Gone Wild culture.” - Bernadette Barton, author of Stripped: Inside the Lives of Exotic Dancers

  • Leadership from the margins: women and civil society organizations in Argentina, Chile, and El Salvador
    Serena Cosgrove
    New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2010

    Leadership from the Margins describes and analyzes the unique leadership styles and challenges facing the women leaders of civil society organizations (CSOs) in Argentina, Chile, and El Salvador. Based on ethnographic research, Serena Cosgrove's analysis offers a nuanced account of the distinct struggles facing women, and how differences of class, political ideology, and ethnicity have informed their outlook and organizing strategies. Using a gendered lens, she reveals the power and potential of women's leadership to impact the direction of local, regional, and global development agendas.

     

  • A Jewish feminine mystique? : Jewish women in postwar America.
    Hasia R. Diner, Shira Kohn, and Rachel Kranson (Eds)
    New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2010

    In The Feminine Mystique, Jewish-raised Betty Friedan struck out against a postwar American culture that pressured women to play the role of subservient housewives. However, Friedan never acknowledged that many American women refused to retreat from public life during these years. Now, A Jewish Feminine Mystique? examines how Jewish women sought opportunities and created images that defied the stereotypes and prescriptive ideology of the "feminine mystique."Focusing on ordinary Jewish women as well as prominent figures, leading scholars explore the wide canvas upon which American Jewish women made their mark after the Second World War.

    As workers with or without pay, social justice activists, community builders, entertainers, and businesswomen, most Jewish women championed responsibilities outside their homes. Jewishness played a role in shaping their choices, shattering Friedan's assumptions about how middle-class women lived in the postwar years. Focusing on ordinary Jewish women as well as prominent figures such as Judy Holliday, Jennie Grossinger, and Herman Wouk's fictional Marjorie Morningstar, leading scholars explore the wide canvas upon which American Jewish women made their mark after the Second World War.

  • Unequal desires: race and erotic capital in the stripping industry
    Siobhan Brooks
    Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010

    Winner of the 2008 SUNY Press Dissertation/First Book Prize in Queer Studies, this groundbreaking ethnographic study of racial stratification in queer and straight strip clubs examines the lives and working conditions of Black and Latina dancers in strip clubs in New York City and Oakland, California. Through interviews with dancers, customers, managers, bouncers, and other strip club employees, Siobhan Brooks explores the connections between race, desire, and commodification in what she terms "desire industries." The study finds that even in times of economic gains for a minority of Black and Latino/a middle-class populations, sexual stereotypes and racial hypersexualization continue to affect many women of color who work in the sex industry, leading to more exposure to violence, wage gaps, and less access to more lucrative shifts and performance venues. Through her insightful and illuminating analysis, Brooks makes the case that racialized erotic capital is central to what owners think will sell, what customers will buy, how dancers negotiate those desire landscapes, and the male and female consumption of desire.

    Review
    "In this impressive study, Siobhan Brooks really thinks through the meanings of butch-femme, performances of pimp/ho dynamics, and race, class, and sexuality, and she links her analyses nicely to other work on Black lesbian genders. In stark contrast to other histories of same-sex spaces in the Bay Area, the focus here, exclusively upon women of color spaces, is original and groundbreaking. Brooks also has a very nice touch with theory and she leavens her whole study with insightful commentary on sex, gender, and the meaning of erotic labor. This is a superb book, well researched, well written, and with real contributions to make to the existing scholarship." --Judith Halberstam, author of In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives

  • Islam, women, and violence in Kashmir: between India and Pakistan
    Nyla Ali Khan
    New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 Edition 1st ed

    Since 1989, religious fundamentalism and exclusionary nationalism in Jammu and Kashmir have generated political and social turmoil and eroded the ethos and culture of Kashmir. These forces are responsible for the silencing of dissenters, economic deprivation, lack of infrastructure, mass displacements, political anarchy, and the repression of women. Women in Kashmir constantly grapple with both the devastating effects of Indian occupation and Pakistani infiltration and their own complicated histories. Nyla Ali Khan, the granddaughter of the first Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, gives an insider's analysis of the effects of nationalist, militant, and religious discourses and praxes on a gender-based hierarchy. This cross-disciplinary project shows the attempted relegation of Kashmiri women to the archives of memory and reveals the women’s powerful and persistent endeavors to rise from the ashes of immolated identities.

    Review
    “Kashmir has been caught for seven decades between India and Pakistan. During the past two of these decades, it has experienced traumatic waves of insurgency and counterinsurgency, causing an estimated 50,000 deaths and 4,000 disappearances. Khan, scholar and activist, reflects on this history from two intertwined perspectives: as a feminist postcolonial cultural critic and as a passionate advocate of Kashmiri national sovereignty. Her research for Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir includes examination not only of the usual books, articles, and official documents, but also of oral histories, family and personal testimonies, plus several dozen interviews with key figures amply cited. Along the way Khan poignantly evokes Kashmir’s pre-war syncretic culture (Kashmiriyat), the ancient vernacular poetry of Lalla Ded, and the serene beauty of the Valley as counterpoints to the current militarized political and sectarian chaos.”--Vincent B. Leitch, George Lynn Cross Research Professor and Paul and Carol Daube Sutton Chair in English, University of Oklahoma