The Death of Feminism

What's Next in the Struggle for Women's Freedom

Phyllis Chesler

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

Feminist icon and political activist Phyllis Chesler, author of the 2.5-million copy bestseller Women and Madness and the controversial The New Anti-Semitism, calls for an overhaul of the women's movement. In this important book, Phyllis Chesler asks the questions: Within feminism, is there room for free thinkers who oppose the party line? What if a feminist believes in capitalism? God? Patriotism? Chesler is the first to show the crisis in feminism today, which is silencing women and stripping them of power. In order to be a member of the club you must reject capitalism, see religion as a dangerous form of patriarchy, oppose the war, and turn a blind eye to the woman-defeating practices of Islam. The result contradicts the moral and ethical principles feminism was built on. Chesler signals a critical need for women to come together in a pro-individualist form of feminism.


Praise for The Death of Feminism

"Chesler aims a loud wake-up call at her fellow feminists, charging that while feminism is not exactly dead, it is failing, suffering from the disease of politically correct passivity....A fierce polemic, filled with vigorous arguments and distressing human stories."--Kirkus
"[Chesler] has penned a cross between a cri de coeur and a deeply rhetorical polemic that makes scores of provocative points....As in her last book, The New Anti-Semitism, Chesler raises important issues."--Publishers Weekly
"Chesler takes great personal and professional risk to expose how blind partisanship has corrupted the feminist movement."--The Weekly Standard
"To read Phyllis Chesler is to encounter one of the most challenging and original minds in the world today. Every Chesler book takes on the conventional wisdoms and political correctness with verve and insight. The Death of Feminism is a tour de force, combining personal experience, brilliant analysis, and heart-felt advocacy. Chesler demonstrates how anti-Israel bigotry, which has already damaged the credibility of many human rights organizations, is now endangering feminism. A must read."--Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case For Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved

"In The Death of Feminism Phyllis Chesler explores a system of 'Islamic gender apartheid' both East and West and throughout the world now. At first it seems simple, then it grows more complex and involuntary and eventually becomes diabolic in its curtailment of every woman's human rights. She knows whereof she speaks: in a chapter entitled 'My Afghan Captivity' Phyllis describes how she herself was held hostage to reactionary custom as a young bride. Had her pregnancy been known she would never have escaped. But she survived, and in telling her story she is sounding a warning to the West which, in the fullness of multi-cultural relativism, it ignores to its peril."--Kate Millett, author of Sexual Politics and Flying
"Phyllis Chesler brings an eloquent and righteous anger to bear against Western feminists for their dual habit of overlooking the plight of Muslim women and blaming Israel, by far the Middle East's most feminist country, for the woes of that region. Chesler's focus on this topic, it turns out, is informed by an intensely personal experience; in The Death of Feminism she reveals her nightmare as a young wife in Afghanistan in 1961. That event, it turns out, was a crucible vital both to her general intellectual development and to the making of this powerful book."--Daniel Pipes, author of Militant Islam Reaches America and In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power

"Phyllis Chesler has lived a fascinating, engaged, and passionate life. In this book she has written about two worlds she knows intimately: feminism and Islam. Her text is about the latter's war against women and the former's war against itself. If you read this book, it will change the way you think about both."--David Horowitz, author of Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left

"With passionate eloquence, one of the founders of modern feminism indicts Western feminists for their indifference to the plight of women oppressed under reactionary Islam. The Death of Feminism is a fearless act of truth-telling."--David Frum, co-author of An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror

"Phyllis Chesler supplies what has been conspicuously lacking since 9/11: a call to women to defend their equality and dignity as human beings against a foe that short-sighted advocates of political correctness have given a pass--despite its obvious threat to them. Here, she speaks out fearlessly, passionately, and profoundly against the dehumanization of women that is institutionalized in Islamic Sharia law and manifested in innumerable ways in Islamic societies--as well as among Muslim immigrants to Western countries. This book should not be missed by any feminist, but not only feminists: Chesler sounds a call that every man and woman in the Western world should heed before it's too late."--Robert Spencer, author of Islam Unveiled and Onward Muslim Soldiers

"With great talent and in a vivid style, Phyllis Chesler observes every aspect of today's American culture, politics, and society through a feminist lens. This enlightening picture unveils the most dramatic domestic and international problems of our times, including that of Islamic gender apartheid, analyzed by a politically incorrect and daring lover of truth."--Bat Ye'or, pioneering researcher on dhimmitude and author of Eurabia (2005) and Islam and Dhimmitude (2001)

"Phyllis Chesler has written a brave and passionate book. Let the hypocrites she denounces on the feminist Left and their politically correct allies quail."--Hillel Halkin, author of Letters to an American Jewish Friend, Across the Sabbath River, and A Strange Death
"Feminisim is dead, long live new feminism! This is the message of Phyllis Chesler's fascinating study of Islamic gender apartheid that, transcending the traditional frontiers of Islam, is spreading to the West including the United States. Anyone interested in understanding Islamism, this latest enemy of open societies, should read this book."--Amir Taheri, author of The Cauldron: The Middle East Behind the Headlines

"Ms. Chesler's book is a welcome critique of the Feminist Left's willful and shameful neglect of their sisters' plight in the Islamic World. Rejecting cultural relativism or political correctness, Ms. Chesler paints a depressing but truthful picture of the world that women under Islam have to live in. One hopes Ms. Chesler's book will bring about not only a change in attitudes but some sort of political and social action on behalf of women suffering because of the totalitarian and misogynistic tenets of Islam."--Ibn Warraq, author of, most recently, Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out
Praise for Chesler's Other Books:
"Intense, rapid, brilliant. A pioneer contribution."--Adrienne Rich, front page of The New York Times Book Review
"Passionate and powerful...constitutes essential reading."--Natan Sharansky, author of The Case for Democracy

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Phyllis Chesler

  • Phyllis Chesler is the world renowned author of classic works, including the 2.5-million-copy bestseller Women and Madness, The New Anti-Semitism, Letters to a Young Feminist and Woman's Inhumanity to Woman. Her most recently published book The Death of Feminism (Palgrave Macmillan) has been called "a fierce polemic, filled with vigorous arguments and distressing human stories" (Kirkus). She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969), the National Women's Health Network (1974), and the International Committee for Women of the Wall (1989). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and is also affiliated with Haifa and Bar Ilan Universities. She lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.

  • Phyllis Chesler
    Phyllis Chesler


Available Formats and Book Details

The Death of Feminism

What's Next in the Struggle for Women's Freedom

Phyllis Chesler

  • Trade Paperback