W Stands for Women: How the George W. Bush Presidency Shaped a New Politics of Gender
Landolt, Laura K., Journal of Church and State
W Stands for Women: How the George W. Bush Presidency Shaped a New Politics of Gender. Edited by Michaele L. Ferguson and Lori Jo Marso. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2007. 290 pp. $79.95 cloth, $22.95 paper.
This provocative set of essays explores the Bush administration's gendered discourses on democracy, militarism and development assistance, and recommends theoretical and practical counterstrategies. In particular, three of the essays explore the effects, if not the causes, of ideological cooperation between the Christian Right and neoconservatives in the Bush administration.
R. Claire Snyder discusses the ways in which the Christian Right and neoconservatives seek to "reverse the progress of feminism-to reestablish traditional gender roles and restore the patriarchal family as the hegemonic family form in America" (p. 19). She gives particular attention to efforts to reinscribe patriarchal authoritarianism in the family-the dynamics behind women's acceptance and advocacy of this goal, and the ultimate implications for democracy. As a progressive counterstrategy, Snyder recommends supporting private choice in familial practices while strengthening public laws and institutions that promote and model equality.
Karen Zivi notes the Bush administration's linkage of compassion in AIDS drug provision to support for democracy abroad. She examines the ways in which "compassionate" AIDS policy, developed and implemented in collaboration with faith-based organizations, requires and cements inequality among recipients and between recipient and donor. Zivi asks whether compassion offers a useful foundation for democracy, pithily concluding that it is "parasitic on an inequality that it never fully alleviates" (p. 48). Because compassion is extended primarily to the "innocent" and "deserving," adult female recipients of AIDS assistance are targeted and treated as mothers, not as AIDS …
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Publication information: Article title: W Stands for Women: How the George W. Bush Presidency Shaped a New Politics of Gender. Contributors: Landolt, Laura K. - Author. Journal title: Journal of Church and State. Volume: 50. Issue: 1 Publication date: Winter 2008. Page number: 178+. © 1999 J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.