Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism
And Other Arguments for Economic Independence
This brilliantly witty and expert book explains why capitalism is rigged against women and what to do about it
Kristen R. Ghodsee’s Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism explains why capitalism is uniquely bad for women and shows that if we adopt and update some ideas from socialism, women’s lives will be better – at work, at home and even in the bedroom.
In the late 1980s and early 90s, sexologists discovered that East German women living under socialism reported greater sensual pleasure and higher rates of orgasm than their Western counterparts.
The horrors and deprivations of Communism are infamous. Less well known is that the socialist insistence in many Eastern and Northern European countries on bringing women out of the home and into the work force – through state provision of education, maternity leave, childcare and domestic support – transformed their lives for the better. Releasing them from financial dependence on marriages and men, socialist policies allowed women to choose partners on their own terms in a way that generations of women before them had been denied.
Drawing on decades of research, Kristen R. Ghodsee conveys what this was like for women at the time and shows how women in capitalist societies today are experiencing the opposite: with systematic restrictions on their access to well-paid work and to child support, women face an impossible choice; for the majority who become mothers, marriage is their primary financial resource. When it’s your only way of paying rent or feeding your kids, little wonder that sex is not so great.
This expert, witty and empowering book provides all the evidence and arguments you need to reclaim your time, emotional energy and self-worth from the reductive logics of capitalism – and shows how collectively young women have the power to re-shape society in their favour.
Praise for Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism
Wonderful … Kristen Ghodsee doesn’t wear rose-tinted spectacles … but she seeks with great brio and nuance to lay out what some socialist states achieved for women … That Ghodsee also makes this a joyous read is the cherry on the cakeSuzanne Moore, Observer
Ghodsee’s book could not have been published at a better moment ... There are many reasons to revisit socialist policies in a time of widening inequality, but a feminist perspective offers some of the most powerful incentivesEmily Witt, Guardian
Brilliant ... engaging ... Ghodsee is not naive [and] brings the necessary scepticism to her thesis [which] comes into sharp focus when she looks at what happened after the Wall fell ... [a] valuable record of how things were and how they could beRosie Boycott, Financial Times
Convincing, provocative and usefulTimes Higher Education
Capitalism’s triumph is a calamity for most women. Kristen Ghodsee’s incisive book brilliantly reveals their plightYanis Varoufakis
This book is funny, angry and urgent – it's going to make readers think very differently about how they work, and how they live. Ghodsee is going to start a revolution. I'm already making a placardDaisy Buchanan, author of How To Be a Grown-Up