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The Bonobo Sisterhood

Revolution Through Female Alliance

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About the Book

Foreword by Ashley Judd

The Bonobo Sisterhood is a revolutionary call to action for women and their allies to protect one another from patriarchal violence. Internationally recognized legal expert Diane L. Rosenfeld introduces us to a groundbreaking new model of female solidarity; one that promises to thwart sexual coercion.

Urgent, timely and original, The Bonobo Sisterhood harnesses the power of the #MeToo movement into a roadmap for sex equality in humans. Our closest evolutionary cousins, the bonobos have a unique social order in which the females protect one another from male sexual coercion. The takeaway? Evolutionarily, bonobos have eliminated sexual coercion and enjoy a more peaceful, cooperative, and playful existence. We have much to learn from them.

Rosenfeld explains what we can learn about social and governance structures from the bonobo model. How did law develop to elude women’s rights so consistently? What difference does it make that we live in a patriarchal democracy? And what do bonobos have to offer as living proof that patriarchy is not inevitable? Most importantly, how can women break down barriers among themselves to unleash their power as a unified force? Rosenfeld has answers.

The Bonobo Sisterhood takes us through real life stories, from the courtroom to the classroom and beyond, charting a new vision of a collective self-defense among women and their allies. It offers an action plan accessible to everyone immediately. This is an open invitation to anyone who wants to challenge the status quo. It starts with each of us knowing we have selves worth defending, and awakening our power to defend ourselves and our sisters. We now have a new model for real change, Rosenfeld reminds us. It’s time to use it.

The Bonobo Sisterhood forges a path to create and discover a new meaning of equality, liberty, and justice for all.

About the Authors

Diane Rosenfeld

Photo of Diane Rosenfeld

Diane L. Rosenfeld, J.D., LL.M., is a Lecturer on Law and the Founding Director of the Gender Violence Program at Harvard Law School, where she has taught since 2004. A bold and dynamic advocate for ending gender violence, Rosenfeld has appeared in major media outlets including ABC’s Nightline; Deadline with Tamron Hall; “Katie” (the Katie Couric Show), CNN Headline News, Fox and Friends; The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition. She is featured in the award-winning documentaries, The Hunting Ground (2015), It Happened Here (2014) and Rape Is…(2003) which she co-produced with Academy Award winning Cambridge Documentary Films.

Rosenfeld served as the first Senior Counsel to the Office on Violence Against Women at the U.S. Department of Justice and as an Executive Assistant Attorney General in Illinois. She is the recipient of multiple awards for her teaching, mentoring, and change-making legal policy work.

She lives outside of Boston with her husband and their dog.