1st Edition

Gender Revolution How Electoral Politics and #MeToo are Reshaping Everyday Life

By Pamela Aronson, Matthew R. Fleming Copyright 2023
    280 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Gender Revolution carefully examines the profound transformations happening in both public and private arenas of gender relations. It also draws critical attention to the simultaneous and potent challenges that have risen in response.

    The authors look to large-scale phenomena in this contemporary study and address how electoral politics and the #MeToo movement are reshaping everyday life. This gender revolution has led to a culture in which women, and increasing numbers of men, refuse to accept traditional gender norms and gender inequalities. People of all genders no longer tolerate abuses of power in politics or in their interpersonal relationships. Despite vigorous resistance, women are seizing power and refusing to back down, in ways both large and small. The authors note on the one hand that people of all genders in support of these transformations are voting for progressive candidates, engaging on social media, and making their interpersonal relationships more equal. On the other hand, they document considerable backlash and contestation, as some people are resisting these changes and creating adversarial gender divisions. Probing across these issues, the book develops an analysis of gendered social and cultural change that reveals how movement ideas diffuse into broader culture.

    Gender Revolution presents a vibrant and essential study for a moment marked by significant changes to attitudes, beliefs, and views surrounding gender and gender relations and will appeal to readers interested in the scholarly study of gender, society, politics, media, law, and culture.



    PART 1: Early Stages of the Gender Revolution

    1 The History behind the Gender Revolution

    2 The Women’s March and Attitudes toward Feminism

    PART 2: The Political: The Gender Revolution in Electoral Politics

    3 Women’s Political Power in the 2018 Midterm Elections

    4 Women’s Political Power in the 2020 Presidential Election

    PART 3: The Personal: Diffusion of the Gender Revolution into Everyday Lives

    5 Changing and Contested Definitions of Sexual Consent

    6 Resisters Respond to Social Change Created by #MeToo

    7 Innovators Speak Out about Sexual Assault in the #MeToo Era

    Conclusion: Social Change and the Future of the Gender Revolution

    Appendix 1: Research Design: How We Study the Gender Revolution

    Appendix 2: Study Participants at a Glance

    Appendix 3: Timeline of Key Gender Revolution Events



    Pamela Aronson, professor of sociology and affiliate in women’s and gender studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, has over three dozen publications on gender inequalities, sexual misconduct, the transition to adulthood, higher education, and identities and the life course in such places as Gender & Society, Contexts, Journal of Youth Studies, and Emerging Adulthood. Her work appears in BBC Reel and The Takeaway on National Public Radio, Salon, and Vox.

    Matthew R. Fleming, former research assistant at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and now attorney in the Detroit area, has publications on higher education and other works under review for publication. His work appears in Contexts, Contemporary Social Science and Journal of Youth Studies.

    “This book offers a breath of fresh air for anyone who is pessimistic about the future of women’s rights in the USA. The rich data the authors present demonstrate that there has been, and continues to be, ongoing, albeit uneven, revolutionary changes in attitudes towards gender equality and against sexual violence. It should be read by gender scholars, political analysts, and all others who are concerned about the future of gender justice in this country."
    Nancy A. Naples, University of Connecticut.

    Gender Revolution is a data-based chronicle of change and a roadmap for transformation. Aronson and Fleming demonstrate that achievements for all genders in politics and culture are not just an end in themselves, but a means for further progress. Despite periodic setbacks in social movements, this book provides hope for a future with true gender equality.”
    Barbara McQuade, University of Michigan Law School

    Gender Revolution’s incisive analysis portrays both the power and the limitations of the #MeToo movement. While views about gender equality have changed dramatically, much is still contested. Aronson and Fleming’s detailed research helps us understand how a social movement can bring about gendered cultural change in everyday life. While there are ‘bumps’ along the way, this book convinces me we are experiencing a gender cultural revolution.”
    Holly McCammon, Vanderbilt University

    "Aronson and Fleming, drawing on a unique combination of data, establish where we are today in politics and everyday culture with the long-sought goal of gender equality, as well as with continuing gender divisions. An important and timely read for anyone interested in how past protests and movements shape the present and influence the future."
    Jo Reger, Oakland University

    "This innovative and insightful multi-method study of news media accounts of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, politicians’ statements, and focus group dialogues illuminates the dynamic interdependence of macro cultural change and micro-level psychological processes.  Aronson and Fleming document in fascinating detail how politicians’ self-presentations in 2018 gubernatorial and 2020 presidential primary elections exhibited both gender traditional and innovative elements, echoed by focus group members’ reactions to candidates. Personal narratives of the meaning of sexual consent likewise show that while the gender revolution is moving forward, it remains incomplete."

    Jeylan Mortimer, University of Minnesota