Chelsea Green Publishing

The New Feminist Agenda

Pages:304 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Hardcover: 9781603584258
Pub. Date April 23, 2012
Paperback: 9781603582919
Pub. Date April 23, 2012
eBook: 9781603583688
Pub. Date April 23, 2012

The New Feminist Agenda

Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family

Availability: In Stock

Hardcover

Available Date:
April 23, 2012

$26.95 $2.69

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
April 23, 2012

$17.95 $8.97

Availability: In Stock

eBook

Available Date:
April 23, 2012

$17.95 $1.79

Feminists opened up thousands of doors in the 1960s and 1970s, but decades later, are U.S. women where they thought they'd be? The answer, it turns out, is a resounding no. Surely there have been gains. Women now comprise nearly 60 percent of college undergraduates and half of all medical and law students. They have entered the workforce in record numbers, making the two-wage-earner family the norm. But combining a career and family turned out to be more complicated than expected. While women changed, social structures surrounding work and family remained static. Affordable and high-quality child care, paid family leave, and equal pay for equal work remain elusive for the vast majority of working women. In fact, the nation has fallen far behind other parts of the world on the gender-equity front. We lag behind more than seventy countries when it comes to the percentage of women holding elected federal offices. Only 17 percent of corporate boards include women members. And just 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies are led by women.

It's time, says Madeleine M. Kunin, to change all that. Looking back over five decades of advocacy, she analyzes where progress stalled, looks at the successes of other countries, and charts the course for the next feminist revolution--one that mobilizes women, and men, to call for the kind of government and workplace policies that can improve the lives of women and strengthen their families.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

"As one of the first woman governors, Madeleine Kunin knows how to make history and chart a positive course for women."--Ellen Malcolm, founder, Emily's List

"Madeleine Kunin draws from her vast experience to craft a sweeping yet highly realistic plan for how all of us can contribute to a more just world that will benefit women and men-and their families. She offers a timely prescription for much of what ails our business and political cultures."--Brad Harrington, executive director, Center for Work & Family, Boston College

"Madeleine Kunin has long recognized that women hold the potential to transform companies, countries, and the global economy as a whole. In The New Feminist Agenda, she convinces us that it will be the smart organizations and governments that embrace this reality and create the change necessary for all women to reach their full potential and to make their full contribution."--James H. Wall, Deloitte

"In this important new book, Madeleine Kunin argues that empowering women to succeed at home and at work is both good economics and good social policy. She presents a convincing roadmap for how we achieve that vision, and calls on all of us to be part of a brighter future."--President Bill Clinton

"Women's social and economic gains over the past thirty years have been staggering - but equally staggering is how little America has changed in response. What's needed is a new feminist agenda to bring the country up to date. Madeleine Kunin, one of the nation's foremost leaders, has stepped up to the plate and delivered us a home run. The agenda she advocates is powerful, relevant, and necessary."--Robert B. Reich, author of Aftershock, former U.S. Secretary of Labor

"The New Feminist Agenda is a powerful declaration of family values. With clarity and conviction, Madeleine Kunin presents a strong case for the economics and ethics of equality at home, in the workplace, and in government. There are no shortcuts to social change: action, imagination, and optimism--starting right now."--Barbara Lee, president and founder, Barbara Lee Family Foundation

"Madeleine Kunin wants feminists to focus on the family. We've made great strides-nearly two-thirds of women are primary breadwinners for their families or share that responsibility with a partner-but this leaves more work to be done as full-time, stay-at-home caregivers become increasingly rare. Thank you, Madeleine, for pointing the way forward for 21st century feminists."--Heather Boushey, Center for American Progress

"Despite the substantial gains made by women in my lifetime, women and families need more. Governor Kunin has defined the new agenda for women-and like-minded men-leading the fight for progress in business, government, education, and society in the years ahead."-- Carolyn B. Maloney, U.S. Representative

"Madeline Kunin reinvigorates the feminist movement, bringing the discussion of women's rights to a new generation and into our new social paradigm. This fresh look at the woman of today-balancing work and family-raises questions about how far we have really come and inspires a new advocacy agenda for women and families."--Rosa L. DeLauro, U.S. Representative

"The New Feminist Agenda is singing our song! It is time for us to take the next leap forward for women and families. When we get rid of the huge bias against mothers in hiring, wages ,and advancement, we will have more women in leadership, far fewer children living in poverty, and a better future."--Joan Blades, cofounder of MoveOn.org and MomsRising

ForeWord Reviews-
As the first female governor of Vermont and a lifelong feminist, Madeleine M. Kunin brings a wealth of knowledge and authority to her latest book, The New Feminist Agenda. Convinced that feminism has not lived up to its potential, Kunin seeks to infuse the movement with new vigor by redirecting its focus. And so she asks: ‘Can we mobilize under the banner of Feminists for Families?’

 And by ‘we,’ she pretty much means everyone. ‘We need a revolution,” writes Kunin. ‘But women cannot lead it alone. We have to broaden the feminist conversation to include men, unions, the elderly, the disabled, religious groups, and the unaffiliated.’ What she suggests is that feminists broaden their ranks so that they may ‘snatch back the words ‘family values’ and redefine them as the work/family policies necessary to sustain strong families.’ In particular, Kunin calls for the institution of work flexibility across the board, for all men and women, wealthy and poor. … the work Kunin is doing here is important. She’s not only framing the conversation, but also bringing a new generation of feminists into a discussion in which they may have never before played a part.

Though, at its heart, this is a feminist manifesto, it’s not a polemic. Rather, The New Feminist Agenda reads like a practical guide, loaded with case studies and examples, all of which invite even the casual reader to consider that the ‘next revolution’ may be not only definable but also attainable.

Kirkus Reviews-
The former governor of Vermont takes the women’s movement to task for failing to push for crucial changes in family-oriented policies. On the front line of the women’s movement in the 1970s and ’80s, Kunin (Professor at Large/Univ. of Vermont; Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead, 2008, etc.) expresses her still-simmering anger at the lack of progress made in basic gender equity—e.g., U.S. Congress is still only made up of 17 percent women, and women only earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. Mostly, however, Kunin is deeply concerned about the lack of meaningful progress enacted for struggling parents and young children in the areas of maternity leave, affordable child care and early education, flexibility in the workplace and elder care. While the early feminists were locked on hot-button issues like abortion and violence, they disdained to push so-called middle-class issues like maternity leave. The result has been a disastrous ‘Social Darwinism’ approach to the family agenda over the last few decades, and America now has the world’s highest teenage pregnancy rates. Kunin looks at comparative policies in the Nordic countries, which all have advanced work/family policies and strong gender equality but extremely high taxes; in France, which offers universal early daycare but has a big gender-equality gap; and in England, which has implemented a ‘right to request flexibility’ feature for workers that might be a good match for the U.S. Some states, like California and Oklahoma, have recently passed promising family-friendly policies, though the author stresses that businesses must be converted to the far-reaching benefits. Kunin sounds the need to incorporate fathers in the push for these policies, in nurturing women leaders and mentors and in joining forces with labor unions, retirement groups and businesses. A vital, useful, nuts-and-bolts manual for change.

Library Journal-
Kunin (Marsh Scholar Professor-at-Large, Univ. of Vermont; Living a Political Life), the former governor of Vermont, here catalogs the areas in which the feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s failed to achieve its goals, with the consequence that families must still negotiate the demands of work and home on their own. Comparing the United States to other Western democracies, Kunin concludes that citizens can resolve these problems by creating an inclusive movement of women and men ‘of all classes and backgrounds’ to demand changes. She proposes diverting resources into early childhood education and paid family leave and encouraging private employers to permit flexible work schedules. She argues that more women are needed in public life and corporate management and that home responsibilities must be divided more equitably so that employers understand that both men and women workers have family commitments. VERDICT: While the problems Kunin describes and the possible policy fixes (and obstacles) are well known to both academics and advocates, she seeks here to reach and mobilize an interested lay audience. This is a good primer on policies for ameliorating the work/family conflict, however unlikely their implementation may be in the near term.

Publishers Weekly-
American feminism gets family-oriented marching orders in this data-laden call-to-arms. Vermont's first female governor, Kunin (Pearls, Politics, and Power) argues that a revolution in work-life balance is good for women, families, and even the world economy. In a genteel tone, feminists are urged to abandon ‘patience, silence, [and] politeness’ in favor of anger, imagination, and optimism in a multi-pronged battle for family-focused workplace flexibility and benefits. Kunin compares U.S. work policies and attitudes with those ranging from heavily subsidized Nordic laws, to the more measured approaches of the U.K., Canada, and Australia, arguing that reform makes good business, social, and political sense. The book backs up facts with sober voices from business, politics, and education, but it is Kunin's account of her journey from ‘original earth mother’ to helming the Green Mountain State that crackles. This fiery septuagenarian (‘I'm still angry,’ she tells her friends at lunch) maintains that equity and justice for families and children, particularly those living in poverty, will keep America competitive and advance the struggle for parity between the sexes, and urges feminists to unite across generations, social classes, sexual preferences, and politics. Though Kunin's passion is obvious in her anecdotes, a heavy-handed reliance on statistics and expert opinions will likely make this book appeal more to already-active feminists than to a general audience.

Choice-
Kunin (former governor of Vermont; now affiliated with Univ. of Vermont) espouses major societal reforms in the US regarding the work environment and the needs of working families. She hopes women will support this new agenda as a valid addition to previous feminist goals. Drawing on her experience and on work/family research in the US and elsewhere, Kunin identifies persistent difficulties many groups face, including problems based on gender, age, class, ethnicity, industry, labor, and disability. She also points out that most work environments expect employees to be available on call, but few family structures allow members such flexibility. Resources for meeting the care needs of children and elders, family emergencies, and other life circumstances are often scarce. The research Kunin summarizes shows that a flexible workplace leads to more satisfied workers, less turnover, and reduced labor costs and that everyone benefits from flexibility (e.g., regarding hours, work venue, sick leave, paid vacation) for themselves or for those in their care. She notes that many countries mandate such flexibility. The potential importance for children, from birth to college, is emphasized. Overall, this feminist agenda from an experienced politician provides a hopeful vision for an improved society. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; academic audiences, upper-division undergraduates and up; professionals.

Booklist-
If You've Come a Long Way, Baby! was the rallying cry for the 1970s feminist movement, then But Not Far Enough could be the vanguard's chagrined chant now. From salary equity to corporate and civic leadership positions, the goals of the second wave of feminism are still far from being met. Pegging any advancement of the feminist cause to the substandard condition of the family, Kunin cogently examines myriad instances where feminist goals and family needs intersect. A former governor and U.S. ambassador, this working mother of four knows whereof she speaks. If a society is only as healthy as the least among its members, then the U.S.' paltry record vis-a-vis child care and employment programs that protect rather than penalize working parents of both genders has shown how those concerns are apparently of no concern to business executives and government leaders. Citing countless examples of how the U.S. compares with other industrialized nations on women's issues, Kunin offers reasonable advice for correcting an unreasonable situation.

AWARDS

  • Winner - ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award, Bronze Winner (Women's Studies)
  • Winner - Women's Way Book Prize

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Madeleine Kunin

Madeleine M. Kunin was the first woman governor of Vermont, and served as the Deputy Secretary of education and Ambassador to Switzerland under President Bill Clinton. She is the author of Living a Political Life (1995) Pearls, Politics, and Power (2008)and The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family (2012). She is currently a Marsh Scholar Professor-at-Large at the University of Vermont where she lectures on history and women's studies. She also serves as president of the board of the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), a nongovernmental organization that she founded in 1991. She lives in Burlington, Vermont.

ALSO BY THIS AUTHOR

Pearls, Politics, and Power

Pearls, Politics, and Power

By Madeleine Kunin

Pearls, Politics, and Power is a call to action for new political engagement and leadership from the women of America. Informed by conversations with elected women leaders from all levels, former three-term Vermont Governor and Ambassador to Switzerland Madeleine M. Kunin asks: What difference do women make? What is the worst part of politics, and what is the best part? What inspired these women to run, and how did they prepare themselves for public life? How did they raise money, protect their families' privacy, deal with criticism and attack ads, and work with the good old boys?

Kunin's core message is that America needs an infusion of new leadership to better address the major problems of our time. To see how women can achieve that goal, she combines her personal experience in politics; the lessons of past women's movements; the stories of young women today who have new ideas about their role in society; and interviews with a wide range of women in positions of power, looking for clues to their leadership, as well as the effects of gender stereotyping. She interviews Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, analyzes her campaign, and addresses the question: "Is the country ready?" Other interviewees include U.S. Representatives Loretta Sanchez, Linda Sanchez, Deborah Pryce, and Tammy Baldwin, and U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Amy Klobuchar, and Carol Moseley Braun, and Governors Kathleen Sibelius and Janet Napolitano.

The next generation of women will be inspired to lead by seeing women like Nancy Pelosi wielding the gavel, and seeing themselves reflected in the portraits in statehouses, courthouses, corporate and university boardrooms, and the White House. Pearls, Politics, and Power will help ensure that this inspiration is not soured or deflected, but channeled into successful candidacies by America's leaders of tomorrow. What will it take for women to assume their rightful places in the political corridors of power?

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

Pearls, Politics, and Power

Madeleine Kunin

Paperback $14.95

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Madeleine Kunin and Joan Blades at The New Feminist Agenda Conference

A Conversation with Madeleine Kunin

Madeleine Kunin discussing Pearls, Politics, and Power

Madeleine M. Kunin: UVM's "Seeking Solutions To Achieve A Sustainable Planet" Series

As Clinton Stages Comeback, Democracy Now! Hosts Debate Between Vermont

As Clinton Stages Comeback, Democracy Now! Hosts Debate Between Vermont

Madeleine Kunin on Hillary Clinton and Women in Politics

Madeleine Kunin on Hillary Clinton and Women in Politics

The New Feminist Agenda with Madeleine M. Kunin

The New Feminist Agenda with Madeleine M. Kunin

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

The End of America

The End of America

By Naomi Wolf

In a stunning indictment of the Bush administration and Congress, best-selling author Naomi Wolf lays out her case for saving American democracy. In authoritative research and documentation Wolf explains how events of the last six years parallel steps taken in the early years of the 20th century’s worst dictatorships such as Germany, Russia, China, and Chile.

The book cuts across political parties and ideologies and speaks directly to those among us who are concerned about the ever-tightening noose being placed around our liberties.

In this timely call to arms, Naomi Wolf compels us to face the way our free America is under assault. She warns us–with the straight-to-fellow-citizens urgency of one of Thomas Paine’s revolutionary pamphlets–that we have little time to lose if our children are to live in real freedom.

“Recent history has profound lessons for us in the U.S. today about how fascist, totalitarian, and other repressive leaders seize and maintain power, especially in what were once democracies. The secret is that these leaders all tend to take very similar, parallel steps. The Founders of this nation were so deeply familiar with tyranny and the habits and practices of tyrants that they set up our checks and balances precisely out of fear of what is unfolding today. We are seeing these same kinds of tactics now closing down freedoms in America, turning our nation into something that in the near future could be quite other than the open society in which we grew up and learned to love liberty,” states Wolf.

Wolf is taking her message directly to the American people in the most accessible form and as part of a large national campaign to reach out to ordinary Americans about the dangers we face today. This includes a lecture and speaking tour, and being part of the nascent American Freedom Campaign, a grassroots effort to ensure that presidential candidates pledge to uphold the constitution and protect our liberties from further erosion.

The End of America will shock, enrage, and motivate–spurring us to act, as the Founders would have counted on us to do in a time such as this, as rebels and patriots–to save our liberty and defend our nation.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

The End of America

Naomi Wolf

Paperback $13.95

Carbon Shock

Carbon Shock

By Mark Schapiro

In Carbon Shock, veteran journalist Mark Schapiro takes readers on a journey into a world where the same chaotic forces reshaping our natural world are also transforming the economy, playing havoc with corporate calculations, shifting economic and political power, and upending our understanding of the real risks, costs, and possibilities of what lies ahead.

In this ever-changing world, carbon—the stand-in for all greenhouse gases—rules, and disrupts, and calls upon us to seek new ways to reduce it while factoring it into nearly every long-term financial plan we have. But how?

From the jungles of the Amazon to the farms in California’s Central Valley, from ‘greening’ cities like Pittsburgh to rising powerhouses like China, from the oil-splattered beaches of Spain to carbon-trading desks in London, Schapiro deftly explores the key axis points of change.

For almost two decades, global climate talks have focused on how to make polluters pay for the carbon they emit. It remains an unfolding financial mystery: What are the costs? Who will pay for them? Who do you pay? How do you pay? And what are the potential impacts? The answers to these questions, and more, are crucial to understanding, if not shaping, the coming decade.

Carbon Shock evokes a world in which the parameters of our understanding are shifting—on a scale even more monumental than how the digital revolution transformed financial decision-making—toward a slow but steady acknowledgement of the costs and consequences of climate change. It also offers a critical new perspective as global leaders gear up for the next round of climate talks in 2015.

Available in: Hardcover, eBook

Read More

Carbon Shock

Mark Schapiro

Hardcover $26.00

The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor

The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor

By Les Leopold

A CIA-connected labor union, an assassination attempt, a mysterious car crash, listening devices, and stolen documents--everything you'd expect from the latest thriller. Yet, this was the reality of Tony Mazzocchi, the Rachel Carson of the U.S. workplace; a dynamic labor leader whose legacy lives on in today's workplaces and ongoing alliances between labor activists and environmentalists, and those who believe in the promise of America.

In The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor: The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi, author and labor expert Les Leopold recounts the life of the late Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union leader. Mazzocchi's struggle to address the unconscionable toxic exposure of tens of thousands of workers led to the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and included work alongside nuclear whistleblower Karen Silkwood. His noble, high-profile efforts forever changed working conditions in American industry--and made him enemy number one to a powerful few.

As early as the 1950s, when the term "environment" was nowhere on the political radar, Mazzocchi learned about nuclear fallout and began integrating environmental concerns into his critique of capitalism and his union work. An early believer in global warming, he believed that the struggle of capital against nature was the irreconcilable contradiction that would force systemic change.

Mazzocchi's story of non-stop activism parallels the rise and fall of industrial unionism. From his roots in a pro-FDR, immigrant family in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, through McCarthyism, the Sixties, and the surge of the environmental movement, Mazzocchi took on Corporate America, the labor establishment and a complacent Democratic Party.

This profound biography should be required reading for those who believe in taking risks and making the world a better place. While Mazzocchi's story is so full of peril and deception that it seems almost a work of fiction, Leopold proves that the most provocative and lasting stories in life are those of real people.

Available in: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Read More

The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor

Les Leopold

Paperback $24.95

Runaway Inequality

Runaway Inequality

By Les Leopold

Runaway inequality is now America’s most critical economic fact of life. In 1970, the ratio of pay between the top 100 CEOs and the average worker was 45 to 1. Today it is a shocking 829 to one! During that time a new economic philosophy set in that cut taxes, deregulated finance, and trimmed social spending. Those policies set in motion a process that greatly expanded the power of financial interests to accelerate inequality. But how exactly does that happen?

Using easy-to-understand charts and graphs, Runaway Inequality explains the process by which corporation after corporation falls victim to systematic wealth extraction by banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds. It reveals how financial strip-mining puts enormous downward pressure on jobs, wages, benefits, and working conditions, while boosting the incomes of financial elites.

But Runaway Inequality does more than make sense of our economic plight. It also shows why virtually all the key issues that we face—from climate change to the exploding prison population—are intimately connected to rising economic inequality.

Most importantly, Runaway Inequality calls upon us to build a common movement to tackle the sources of increasing income and wealth inequality. As the author makes clear, the problem will not cure itself. It will take enormous energy and dedication to bring economic justice and fairness back to American society.

The book is divided into four parts:

  • Part I: What is the fundamental cause of runaway economic inequality? What has made our economy less fair and left most of us less secure?
  • Part II: How does the United States really compare with other major developed countries?  How do we stack up on quality of life, health, and well-being?
  • Part III:  What does economic inequality have to do with so many of the critical issues we face, including taxes, debt, education, criminal justice, racism, climate change, foreign trade, and war?
  • Part IV: What concrete steps can we take to begin building a fair and just society?   

From the book: “There is nothing in the economic universe that will automatically rescue us from runaway inequality. There is no pendulum, no invisible political force that ‘naturally’ will swing back towards economic fairness. Either we wage a large-scale battle for economic, social, and environmental justice, or we will witness the continued deterioration of the world we inhabit. The arc of capitalism does not bend towards justice. We must bend it.”

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Runaway Inequality

Les Leopold

Paperback $19.95