Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Pariarchal Legacy” as Want to Read:
The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Pariarchal Legacy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Pariarchal Legacy

by
4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  224 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The Gender Knot is Allan Johnson's response to the pain and confusion that men and women experience by living with gender inequality> It explains what patriarchy is and isn't, how it works, and what gets in the way of understanding and doing something about it. Johnson's simple yet powerful approach avoids the paralyzing trap of guilt, blame, anger, and defensive denial ...more
Paperback, revised and updated, 290 pages
Published March 21st 2005 by Temple University Press (first published 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Gender Knot, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Gender Knot

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,029)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Hannah
I was a little skeptical at first when I saw that we were reading a book about patriarchy written by a man (a white man, to say the least! Come on, Multicultural Ed class! Get out of the system!). After reading it, though, I think that Johnson actually brought a lot of his experiences as a man to bear in ways that showed how patriarchy operates as a system, not as just individuals who need to feel guilty and be re-educated. His primary point is that both men and women find themselves in a social ...more
Katie
I finished this a couple of months ago, but for some reason I now feel compelled to actually write something about it.

It's interesting, for sure.

But there's this vague implication that as long as our society is based on control and power, it will always be a patriarchy, and this notion makes me uncomfortable. Uncomfortable in the sense that this idea strikes me as buying into patriarchy, a little bit. (I mean, I guess everyone does buy into the patriarchy at least a little bit, and that's basica
...more
Mikhail Popov
This took a while for me to get through, but I'm glad I did. It is an eye-opening, awareness-inducing book, and has made me interested in reading more feminist literature.
erin
good primer for boys. :)
Myth
This book gave me a lot of information to chew on and think over. I've been kind of aware of gender issues in the past. I've had classes on it and the like. I suppose this was just another reminder.

Before I get into my personal opinion on the book I want to get the technical out of the way.

Clearly and well written. There was a lot of repetition, sometimes to the point that I thought he must be copy and pasting... I don't really like that, but it seems to be common in informational books, partic
...more
Ahmie
Jun 30, 2013 Ahmie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gender studies students
Recommended to Ahmie by: gender studies professor
Shelves: read-for-class
A book on patriarchy written by a man... there were times when reading this I felt like he didn't totally get it, and that he wasn't separating out the value add-ons he got from also being white and higher-than-working class and heterosexual. Johnson touches on these things, but then at other points of the book I found myself doing repeated facepalms when he just completely missed how his own viewpoint was furthering those disparities. The book was assigned reading for a graduate level Sociology ...more
Holly
The approachable, sympathetic book I would recommend to anybody wanting to understand what Feminism is and isn't.
Alison
Jul 04, 2012 Alison rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the entire human race
this is the clearest book I've read on gender. It is explained sociologically and encompasses everything, everything that we are dealing with right now. This book gave me the ability to really talk to people who knock feminism as if though there is not relevance right now for feminist thought. What this book made me realize is that those dismissive comments come from a very calculated place that most people don't even realize is outside of them.
Will
The best book on feminism for men that I have ever read. Johnson's depth of understanding and clear prose are wonderful, but the GK might not be the easiest introduction to the topic for the beginner (bell hook's Feminism is for Everybody might be better for that). Johnson's elucidation of patriarchy as a system and the responsibility of individual men within that system is particularly valuable. A truly wonderful book.
Logan Lovelace
Very interesting ideas on patriarchy. This book changed the way I viewed a lot of things in our society.
Bob Prophet
Excellent book, especially for men curious to learn about their passive, complicit role in perpetuating gender inequalities.

My guyfriend loved this book, though my father thought it too "common sense" and elementary. I personally found it to be very accurate and fair, and since it was written by a man it doesn't smack with the typical mainstream feminist bravado.

Highly recommended!
Cathy
An in-depth, but sometimes repetitive, exposition of the system of patriarchy and its consequences. I give this book top marks for a balanced look at the situation we find ourselves in with respect to patriarchy and male privilege. However, the author takes liberal feminism to task for not addressing the fundamental nature of the problem without offering any real alternatives.
Shawna Faith
This book is amazing. Allan Johnson does such a great job of describing patriarchy and the hold it has on our society. He explains why studying feminism is crucial to the achievement of gender equality. This book blames no one, and rather gives us all ways to change the system of patriarchy that we have all bought into in some shape or size.
Shawna Foster
Although I initially did not ready this book because it was written by a man, I am extremely glad I did. I facilitated a course based on this book and it was excellent. Every patriarchal-denier argument is addressed in this book. It truly made me think about my relations with others and I'd encourage everyone to read it. Essential reading.
Erin
Best construct of gender I've read- and woo-hoo written by a white male. I saw this scrotom toter speak in october of 2006 at a university supported social justice symposium in Duluth. His live presentation is so similar to what he conveys in his text. Radically honest look at his own white life and our society.
Kim
This book is both a primer and advanced text on the impact of patriarchy on gender, individuals, and society.

It explains how patriarchy is a social concept that negatively impacts all genders.

A basic MUST for those wanting to be better educated about societal sexism.
Phillip Rhoades
A great book on the concept and realities of patriarchy. It would be a five star book if it didn't suffer from repetitive content. Johnson does an excellent job of exposing the basic yet overwhelming themes of a system that defines almost every aspect of our modern society.
Jaime Boswell
I really like his thoughts on Masculinity... an interesting perspective and from a man for once! I'd recommend this book to anyone who is willing to challenge the gender dichotomy and investigate the realities society has created within themselves.
Amber
From an enlightened male point of view in support of feminism, the author breaks down the system of patriarchy in even ways men may respond to. A must read for any modern woman and her modern men!
Brynn
The most influential book I've read about feminism and gender, read during my senior year of high school. All the more important because it was written by a man.
Yvonne
Fan-freakin-tastic. I love the way he breaks down the patriarchal construct and offers simple solutions to demolish it!
Mary
A great overview of patriarchy... A good book for the beginner to gender studies...
Silke
An excellent read but geared more to a male audience.
Jessica
Repetaive in parts but good
Munazza
Munazza marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2014
Jen
Jen added it
Dec 23, 2014
Christopher
Christopher marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 34 35 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labour
  • Myths of Gender: Biological Theories about Women and Men
  • The Creation of Patriarchy
  • Transforming a Rape Culture
  • Intercourse
  • Misogyny: The World's Oldest Prejudice
  • The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help
  • Feminism FOR REAL: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism
  • How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America
  • Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West
  • Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation
  • Mismeasure of Woman: Why Women Are Not the Better Sex, the Inferior Sex, or the Opposite Sex
  • Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality
  • Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations
  • I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism
  • Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body
  • Women, Culture, and Politics
  • Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism
38872
Allan G. Johnson is a novelist, nonfiction writer, sociologist, teacher, and public speaker who has spent much of his life trying to understand the human condition, especially as shaped by issues of gender, race, and social class. His nonfiction books have been translated into several languages, and his first novel, The First Thing and the Last, was recognized in 2010 by Publishers Weekly as a not ...more
More about Allan G. Johnson...
Privilege, Power, and Difference The Forest and the Trees The First Thing and the Last Nothing Left to Lose The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology

Share This Book

“As a system, patriarchy encourages men to accept male privilege and perpetuate women's oppression, if only through silence.” 0 likes
“The public response to feminism has been ferociously defensive precisely because feminism touches such a deep nerve of truth and the denial that keeps us from it. If feminism were truly ridiculous, it would be ignored. But it isn't ridiculous, and so provokes a vigorous backlash.” 0 likes
More quotes…