The Gender Knot

Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy

Allan G. Johnson
Book Cover

PB: $30.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1184-6
Publication: Oct 14

HC: $90.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1183-9
Publication: Oct 14

Ebook: $30.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1185-3

328 pages
6 x 9
1 tables, 2 figs.

A compelling approach to gender inequality that empowers both men and women to be part of the solution instead of just part of the problem

Read Chapter 1 (pdf).


The Gender Knot, Allan Johnson's response to the pain and confusion that men and women experience by living with gender inequality, explains what patriarchy is and is not, 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 that often results from conversations about gender. This edition features: * Updated references, data, resources, and examples, especially in relation to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity * A glossary of terms * A new chapter—"What Changes and What Does Not: Manhood and Violence"—that provides an extended analysis of both the causes and social invisibility of men's violence

Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Part I | What Is This Thing Called Patriarchy? 1 Where Are We? 2 Patriarchy, the System: An It, Not a He, a Them, or an Us 3 Why Patriarchy? 4 Ideology, Myth, and Magic: Femininity, Masculinity, and ‘Gender Roles’ 5 Feminists and Feminism Part II | Sustaining Illusions, Barriers to Change 6 Thinking about Patriarchy: War, Sex, and Work 7 What Patriarchy? 8 It Must Be Women Part III | Unraveling the Patriarchal Legacy 9 Shame, Guilt, and Responsibility 10 What Changes and What Does Not: Manhood and Violence 11 What Can We Do? Unraveling the Gender Knot Appendix: Resources for Unraveling the Knot Notes Glossary Index

About the Author(s)

Allan G. Johnson is a nationally recognized sociologist, nonfiction author, novelist, and public speaker best known for his work on issues of privilege and oppression, especially in relation to gender and race. He is the author of numerous books, including The Forest and the Trees: Sociology as Life, Practice, and Promise (Temple) and Privilege, Power, and Difference. His work has been translated into several languages and excerpted in numerous anthologies. Visit him online at and follow his blog at