Women vs. Women is a book about power dynamics and competition between women. The author argues that women have been mired in competitive quicksand since the beginning of time, often beginning in earnest during adolescence, to their social, economic, and political detriment.
Exacerbating differences between women has become a strategy for maintaining male-dominated power structures, so – while competition will always exist and can at times be useful – self-inflicted and counterproductively imposed competition between women must end, as it dilutes their power and opportunities. From a security perspective, gender inequality is a destabilizing societal force. This book represents a confluence of ideas. First, the ill effects of gender inequality from the individual to the national and global level (and the fact that this is far from being universally recognized and addressed). Second, the negative influence of extremes, especially political and religious, on society at large and women in particular. Third, the societal stresses imposed on girls and the subsequent lifetime effects. While the challenges of careers, motherhood and old age are all significant for women, the author contends that how they handle these challenges can be shaped by adolescent experiences.
As a multidisciplinary work, this book is intended as a supplementary text in undergraduate and graduate courses on American politics, American foreign policy, gender and diversity studies, global studies, sociology, security studies, culture-focused courses, economics and religion. It will also interest general audiences increasingly eager to understand the dynamics of the world they live in.
Table of Contents
1. Shifting Detrimental Competition to Successful Cooperation
2. Women’s "Privileges," Rights and Protections: The Slog Toward Gender Equality
3. Women and Democracy
4. Choosing Sound Public Policy Over Myths
5. Women Standing Together
Joan Johnson-Freese is a University Professor, and former Department Chair and holder of the Bolden Chair in Science, Space & Technology, at the Naval War College, USA. She teaches classes on grand strategy and Women, Peace, and Society at Harvard University, USA. She writes extensively on space security, military education and gender and security.