The War on Women in the United States

Beliefs, Tactics, and the Best Defenses

by Joel T. Nadler and Meghan R. Lowery, Editors


While the term "war on women" may seem an exaggeration to some, examination of the legislative record in the United States would indicate a concerted effort to minimize women's reproductive rights and maintain the status quo of gender-based inequality—at school, at home, and at work.

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Cover image for The War on Women in the United States

February 2018


Pages 275
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Current Events and Issues/Gender
  Women's Studies/General

The book examines gender roles, gender inequity, and the real-world impacts of both unintentional and purposeful efforts to undermine women's equal treatment in the United States, documenting what women have faced in the past and still face living in America today.

Although women's rights is a worldwide issue, this book examines how in the United States, an alleged "war on women" is still occurring. Are there only forces opposing women's equality that aim to subvert women's advancement, or are defensive strategies employed as well? What has been the offensive response from women and supportive groups of women? Is there actually substantial evidence of a "war on women," or is the idea primarily political rhetoric? Are the actions and behaviors contributing to gender inequality intentional or unintentional?

In this unique collection, experts from multiple disciplines analyze the U.S. women's rights movement, developments, progress, and obstacles. The chapters extend the analogy of this fight for equal rights with a war to document how women's struggle for gender equality is simultaneously a health issue, a political issue, and a wider issue of social justice—a formidable challenge in which women's lives are sometimes literally at stake and at risk. The book's contributors and editors take the unique angle of eyeing the fight for equality on the same level as a war, analyzing this "war" on historical/social/cultural levels (the "battlefield"); identifying policy, political, and legal issues ("major battles"); and explaining how to best fight on personal or individual levels ("skirmishes").

The coverage includes current federal and state initiatives that have fueled concern that women's rights are under continued assault. All of the nearly 162 million women in the United States—and their family members, regardless of sex—are affected by the issues addressed in this book.


  • Demonstrates how existing cultural roles and historical context in the United States are sufficient to result in gender-based inequality even without the purposeful, direct efforts to undermine women's equal treatment
  • Covers many different aspects of inequality, both obvious and subtle, such as occupational sex segregation; workplace harassment; gender bias in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education; reproductive rights and health of women; the glass ceiling and glass cliff; intimate partner violence; and sexual violence
  • Illuminates the multilayered nature of gender inequality to inform a multifaceted approach to dealing with it on a governmental (societal) level and on an individual level
Author Info

Joel T. Nadler, PhD, is associate professor of psychology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), Edwardsville, IL. He is also director of the SIUE Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master's program.

Meghan R. Lowery, PhD, is an organizational psychologist based in Indianapolis, IN.

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