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About the book
  • Published: 15 November 2018
  • ISBN: 9781847925596
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $27.99

Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism

And Other Arguments for Economic Independence

This brilliantly witty and expert book explains why capitalism is rigged against women and what to do about it

'Wonderful ... a joyous read' Observer / 'Capitalism’s triumph is a calamity for most women. Kristen Ghodsee’s incisive book brilliantly reveals their plight’ Yanis Varoufakis
The argument of this book can be summed up succinctly: unregulated capitalism is bad for women, and if we adopt some ideas from socialism, women will have better lives.

If done properly, socialism leads to economic independence, better labour conditions, better work/family balance, and, yes, even better sex.

That’s it. If you like the idea of such outcomes, then come along for an exploration of how we might change things.

If you are dubious because you don’t understand why capitalism as an economic system is uniquely bad for women, and if you doubt that there could ever be anything good about socialism, this short treatise will provide some illumination.

If you don’t give a whit about women’s lives because you’re a gynophobic right-wing internet troll, save your money and get back to your parents’ basement right now; this isn’t the book for you.

  • Pub date: 15 November 2018
  • ISBN: 9781847925596
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $27.99

About the Author

Kristen Ghodsee

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Kristen R. Ghodsee was travelling in Europe, and spent the summer of 1990 witnessing first-hand the initial hope and euphoria that followed the sudden and unexpected collapse of state socialism in the former Eastern Bloc. The political and economic chaos that followed inspired Ghodsee to pursue an academic career studying this upheaval, focusing on how ordinary people’s lives – and women’s particularly – changed when state socialism gave way to capitalism. For the last two decades, she has visited the region regularly and lived for over three years in Bulgaria and the Eastern parts of reunified Germany. Now a professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, she has won many awards for her work, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has written six books on gender, socialism, and postsocialism, examining the everyday experiences of upheaval and displacement that continue to haunt the region to this day. Ghodsee also writes on women's issues for the Chronicle of Higher Education and is the co-author of Professor Mommy: Finding Work/Family Balance in Academia. Her articles and essays have appeared in publications such as Eurozine, Aeon, Dissent, Foreign Affairs and The New York Times.

Praise for Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism

“Capitalism’s triumph is a calamity for most women. Kristen Ghodsee’s incisive book brilliantly reveals their plight”

Yanis Varoufakis

“Ghodsee’s book could not have been published at a better moment. In many wealthy countries, people are getting married later or not at all, they are having fewer children, and a higher percentage of those children are born to unwed parents… Policies like subsidised childcare, universal healthcare and mandatory parental leave mitigate the effects of having children on a young woman’s career, and offer greater support for single parents. They allow women in abusive relationships greater freedom to leave. They enable sexual freedom. There are many reasons to revisit socialist policies in a time of widening inequality, but a feminist perspective offers some of the most powerful incentives”

Emily Witt, Guardian

“Wonderful … Kristen Ghodsee doesn’t wear rose-tinted spectacles … but she seeks with great brio and nuance to lay out what some socialist states achieved for women … That Ghodsee also makes this a joyous read is the cherry on the cake”

Suzanne Moore, Observer

“This book is funny, angry and urgent – it's going to make readers think very differently about how they work, and how they live. Ghodsee is going to start a revolution. I'm already making a placard”

Daisy Buchanan, author of How To Be a Grown-Up

“Convincing, provocative and useful”

Times Higher Education

“Brilliant ... engaging ... Ghodsee is not naive [and] brings the necessary scepticism to her thesis [which] comes into sharp focus when she looks at what happened after the Wall fell ... [a] valuable record of how things were and how they could be”

Rosie Boycott, Financial Times

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