Cover image for The W effect : Bush's war on women
The W effect : Bush's war on women
Flanders, Laura.
First Feminist Press edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxi, 294 pages ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ1155 .W44 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In this unique and essential collection, Katha Pollit, Patricia Williams, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jill Nelson, Vandana Shiva, and a host of other frontline thinkers, journalists, and activists employ wit, outrage, and cold, hard facts to expose the comprehensive incursion into women's rights. Taking stock of Bush-era policies at home and abroad, the writers in this book measure the gap between the women-friendly rhetoric and the deadly realities happening as a result of Bush era policies--what editor Laura Flanders calls "The W Effect." Both a harsh reality check and a hopeful starting point for new action, The W Effect brings together today's premier feminist voices to provide cutting-edge reports; fresh, empowering analysis; and engaging, provocative ideas for the future.

As their work demonstrates, women around the globe have come under increasing attack in the new millennium, both literally, in the case of war, incarceration, and punitive repression, and more subtly, in the case of eroded rights and lost economic ground. The W Effect puts together the pieces: tax cuts and a marriage initiative for welfare recipients, civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq and a militarized United States, Title IX under siege and macho political posturing for the media, and yes, Roe v. Wade threatened and the return of the international gag rule.

A necessary book for anyone interested in current politics, for feminists of all ages and genders, for the activist community, for general readers, and for students, The W Effect provides the real information women need--and can't find in the mainstream media--about their rights and their future.

Author Notes

Laura Flanders is the host of "Working Assets Radio", a daily call-in program heard on public radio (KALW-FM) in San Francisco and on the Internet. She writes a column for and appears regularly on MSNBC, Fox News Watch, PBS, and CBC. She is the former Director of the Women's Desk at FAIR.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

President George W. Bush has said that "W is for women"; Bushwomen author Flanders has assembled a group of 60 or so issue-oriented essays by various authors who argue the contrary. The "Family Time Flexibility Act" can actually result in the loss of pay for professional women by reclassifying them as managers ineligible for overtime. Women in Afghanistan remain remain disenfranchized (to the point of being at risk of rape by armed factions and of forced marriage) despite their "liberation" from the Taliban. The administration's support for the gradual recriminalization of abortion, for the campaign against Title IX, for the imposition of global gags on discussing family planning and for the cutting of welfare and health care by converting to block-grant financing, together result, Flanders argues in her introduction, in the "W Effect"-i.e., "stealth misogyny." Though many of the pieces were previously published in places like the Nation or Ms. by the likes of Ehrenreich, Steinem, Pollitt and Sheehy, an account of the sharp rise of domestic violence against military wives and excerpts from "Baghdad Burning," a Baghdad woman's blog by "Riverbend" that reports firsthand on the occupation, are just two of the less familiar sources and stories. While there are a few diatribes that pompously overstate, the polemics always take off from verifiable facts on the ground. (July 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

"While the president dresses his cabinet and his policies up in women-friendly clothing for political reasons...the effects of his actions are quite the opposite," according to editor Flanders (Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species). She has collected over 50 essays, columns, reports, and speeches to show how Bush administration policies affect women's issues such as affirmative action, domestic violence, and Title IX. Flanders maintains that the Bush agenda, especially since 9/11, has widened the power divide between rich and poor, impacting numerous programs important to women. Contributors include Gloria Steinem, Gail Sheehy, Richard Goldstein, and Barbara Ehrenreich. Many of the selections are unique to this collection, such as a speech addressing women rescue workers' contributions at the World Trade Center site given by Lt. Brenda Berkman, FDNY, to the National Women's Law Center Award Dinner. Also included are newspaper columns and journal articles that may be available in libraries or through online subscriptions. Documentation is limited and incomplete in many instances. Recommended for women's studies collections in public and academic libraries.--Jill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Laura FlandersJill NelsonNina J. EastonBill BerkowitzLynn SandersBobbi MurrayPatricia J. WilliamsPhoebe St. JohnRussell MorseCynthia EnloeFarai ChideyaIrum SheikhPatrisia GonzalesJon Elliston and Catherine LutzIgo RogovaRiverbendJennifer BaumgardnerAlana KumbierChisun Lee and Sharon LernerGretchen VossJennifer BlockDoug IrelandMary Jo McConahaySean CahillVandana ShivaLaura FlandersMichele KortSteve BenenNoeleen HeyzerKim Phillips-FeinPhoebe St. JohnLiza FeatherstoneAnnette Bernhardt and Laura Dresser and Catherine HillAnnette FuentesOlga VivesEmily BassRichard GoldsteinMaria RahaCedric MuhammadNaomi KleinLt. Brenda BerkmanLaura FlandersAshley NelsonAmber HollibaughJennifer L. PoznerGail SheehyKaren HouppertAhdaf SoueifSilja J. A. TalviFelicity Hill and Mikele AboitizChristopher HayesChisun LeeLiza FeatherstoneCharlotte BunchLesley AbdelaPaola Baccheta and Tina Campt and Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan and Minoo Moallem and Jennifer TerryBarbara EhrenreichGloria SteinemLaura FlandersKatha PollittYifat Susskind
Introduction: Feigning Feminism, Fueling Backlashp. xi
Winner Takes All
A Mean-Spirited America: Today, I Fear My Own Government More Than I Do Terroristsp. 3
The Power and the Glory: Who Needs the Christian Coalition When You've Got the White House? The Religious Right's Covert Crusadep. 5
TeamBush to Abused Women: Fuhgedaboutit!p. 11
Hardly Sporting: Don't Gut Title IX Until You Know What It Doesp. 15
Orphaned by the Drug Warp. 19
Better Safe...?p. 24
Raising the Voices of Afghan Women: An Interview with Masuda Sultanp. 29
Call Me American: A Young Man Contemplates Going to Warp. 36
Sneak Attack: The Militarization of U.S. Culturep. 38
Working-Class Women as War Heroesp. 39
Reading, Tracing, and Locating Gender in 9/11 Detentionsp. 41
Upstanding Native Womenp. 45
Hidden Casualties: An Epidemic of Domestic Violence When Troops Return from Warp. 47
A Cautionary Tale from Kosovar Women to Women in Post-War Iraqp. 54
Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraqp. 56
Weddings, Wombs, and Whoopee
Roe in Rough Watersp. 65
Wedding Bells and Welfare Bucksp. 70
Altared States: Women on Welfare Talk About Marriagep. 78
My Late-Term Abortionp. 81
Sex, Lies, and Abstinencep. 85
Bush's War on the Condom: U.N. Report Documents the Failures to Curb AIDSp. 91
"Tell Me Everything": Teens Talk Back About Abstinence Educationp. 94
Why We Need Same-Sex Marriagep. 96
Globalization and Poverty: Economic Globalization Has Become a War Against Nature and the Poorp. 105
Kitchen Table Politics: An Interview with Rhonda Perryp. 111
Global Sex Rules: The Price of Silencep. 114
Strange Bedfellows: Conservative Christians and the Bush Administration Are Aggressively Pushing a Controversial "Pro-Family" Agenda on the International Stage-And They're Teaming Up with Islamic Theocracies to Do Itp. 121
The Unequal AIDS Burdenp. 128
Wages and Well-Being
...and the Poor Get Poorerp. 133
Working Women's Lives and the "W Effect": An Interview with Ellen Bravop. 138
Wal-Mart Valuesp. 145
Why Privatizing Government Services Would Hurt Women Workersp. 152
Social Security Is a Women's Issuep. 156
Women's Priorities Would Be Sacrificed to Pay for Bush Tax Cutsp. 158
Latina Girls' High School Drop-Out Rate Highest in U.S.p. 165
Unconscionable Care: Is the Religious Right Compromising Your Health Care?p. 167
Winning Hearts and Minds
Bush's Basket: Why the President Had to Show His Ballsp. 175
Veiled Intentions: The U.S. Media's Hug and Run Affair with Afghan Womenp. 177
The Thong vs. the Veilp. 180
On Rescuing Private Lynch and Forgetting Rachel Corriep. 182
Celebrating the Many Roles of Womenp. 185
Unsung Heroesp. 187
The Truth About Women and the Recessionp. 189
Queers Without Money: They Are Everywhere, but We Refuse to See Themp. 193
Whatever Happened to the Gender Gap?p. 198
Women Take Action
Four 9/11 Moms Battle Bushp. 207
Against the War but Married to Itp. 214
Arab Women Staying Alivep. 220
Women of the Promised Landp. 223
Women Are Opening Doors: Security Council Resolution 1325 in Afghanistanp. 229
Shelf Life. Librarians: Liberals with Backbonep. 235
Against Rosa's Odds: On the Road with a Welfare Warriorp. 240
Mighty in Pinkp. 244
What's on the Horizon
Whose Security?p. 253
No Place for a Womanp. 258
Transnational Feminist Practices Against Warp. 263
A Mystery of Misogynyp. 268
Gender Smarts: Will Sex Ever Make Us as Smart as Race When It Comes Time to Vote?p. 271
Building a Movement for Reproductive Self-Determination: An Interview with Dorothy Robertsp. 273
U.S. Feminism Lite: Claiming Independence, Asserting Personal Choicep. 280
War on Terror or War on Women? The View from Latin Americap. 285
Creditsp. 291