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Why is America again unjustly at war? Why is its politics distorted by wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage? Why is anti-Semitism still so powerfully resurgent? Such contradictions within democracies arise from a patriarchal psychology still alive in our personal and political lives in tension with the equal voice that is the basis of democracy. This book joins a psychological approach with a political-theoretical one that traces both this psychology (based on loss in intimate life) and resistance to it (based on the love of equals) to the Roman Republic and Empire and to three Latin masterpieces: Virgil's Aeneid, Apuleius's The Golden Ass, and Augustine's Confessions. In addition, this book explains many other aspects of our present situation including why movements of ethical resistance are often accompanied by a freeing of sexuality and why we are witnessing an aggressive fundamentalism at home and abroad.
Why is America again unjustly at war? Why is its politics distorted by wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage? Why is anti-Semitism still so powerfully resurgent? Such contradictions within democracies arise from a patriarchal psychology still alive in our personal and political lives in tension with the equal voice that is the basis of democracy. The book joins a psychological approach with a political-theoretical one that traces both this psychology (based on loss in intimate life) and resistance to it (based on the love of equals) to the Roman Republic and Empire and to three Latin masterpieces: Virgil's Aeneid, Apuleius's The Golden Ass, and Augustine's Confessions. Democratic resistance in religion, psychology, the arts, and politics rests on free voices challenging patriarchal restrictions on the love of equals. In addition to examining why we are at war, this book explains many other aspects of our present situation including why movements of ethical resistance are often accompanied by a freeing of sexuality and why we are witnessing an aggressive fundamentalism at home and abroad.
This analysis of love and violence under patriarchy illuminates the most impending threats to democracy's future.
Since the publication of her landmark book In a Different Voice, Carol Gilligan has transformed the way we think about women and men and the relations between them. It was ‘the little book that started a revolution’, and with more than 800,000 copies in print it has become one of the most widely read and influential books ever written on gender and human development. In her new book Joining the Resistance Carol Gilligan reflects on the evolution of her thinking and shows how her key ideas were interwoven with her own life experiences. Her work began with the question of voice: who is speaking to whom, in what body, telling what stories about which relationships? By listening carefully she heard a voice that had been held in silence, and in the process realized the extent to which we – both women and men – had been telling false stories about ourselves. In her subsequent work Gilligan found that adolescent girls resisted pressures to disengage themselves from their honest voices, and by joining their resistance she opened the way for the development of a more humane way of thinking about personal and political relationships. For the central conviction of her work today – and the central thesis of this book – is that the requisites for love and the requisites for citizenship in a democratic society are one and the same. Both voice and the desire to live in relationships inherent in our human nature, together with the capacity to resist false authority. Combining autobiographical reflection with an analysis of key questions about gender and human development, this timely and highly readable book by one of America’s greatest contemporary thinkers will appeal to a wide readership.
The election of an unabashedly patriarchal man as US President was a shock for many—despite decades of activism on gender inequalities and equal rights, how could it come to this? What is it about patriarchy that seems to make it so resilient and resistant to change? Undoubtedly it endures in part because some people benefit from the unequal advantages it confers. But is that enough to explain its stubborn persistence? In this highly original and persuasively argued book, Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider put forward a different view: they argue that patriarchy persists because it serves a psychological function. By requiring us to sacrifice love for the sake of hierarchy, patriarchy protects us from the vulnerability of loving and becomes a defense against loss. Uncovering the powerful psychological mechanisms that underpin patriarchy, the authors show how forces beyond our awareness may be driving a politics that otherwise seems inexplicable.
Carol Gilligan, whose classic In a Different Voice revolutionized the study of human psychology, now offers a brilliant, provocative book about love. Why is love so often associated with tragedy, she asks. Why are our experiences of pleasure so often shadowed by loss? And can we change these patterns? Gilligan observes children at play and adult couples in therapy and discovers that the roots of a more hopeful view of love are all around us. She finds evidence in new psychological research and traces a path leading from the myth of Psyche and Cupid through Shakespeare’s plays and Freud’s case histories, to Anne Frank’s diaries and contemporary novels. Groundbreaking and immensely readable, The Birth of Pleasure has powerful implications for the way we live and love. From the Trade Paperback edition.
This book argues that there is an important connection between ethical resistance to British imperialism and the ethical discovery of gay rights. It examines the roots of liberal resistance in Britain and resistance to patriarchy in the USA, showing the importance of fighting the demands of patriarchal manhood and womanhood to countering imperialism. Advocates of feminism and gay rights are key because they resist the gender binary's role in rationalizing sexism and homophobia. The connection between the rise of gay rights and the fall of empire illuminates questions of the meaning of democracy and universal human rights as shared human values that have appeared since World War II. The book casts doubt on the thesis that arguments for gay rights must be extrinsic to democracy and reflect Western values. To the contrary, gay rights arise from within liberal democracy, and its critics polemically use such opposition to cover and rationalize their own failures of democracy.

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