Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation

Front Cover
Free Press, 2000 - Social Science - 436 pages
0 Reviews
On Yom Kippur, Jews of antiquity would sacrifice two goats: one killed as an offering to a harsh and judging god, the other taken to the wilderness and turned loose, a carrier of the sins of the group. Throughout history, argues brilliant feminist critic Andrea Dworkin, women and Jews have been stigmatized as society's scapegoats.

In this stunning and provocative book, Dworkin brings her rigorous intellect to bear on the dynamics of scapegoating. Drawing upon history, philosophy, literature, and politics, she creates a terrifying picture of the workings of misogyny and anti-Semitism in the last millennium.

With examples that range from the Inquisition, when women were targeted as witches and Jews as heretics, to the terror of the Nazis, whose aggression was both race- and gender-motivated, Dworkin illustrates how and why women and Jews have been scapegoated and compares the civil inequality, prejudices, and stereotypes that have framed identity for both groups. Taking the state of Israel as a paradigm, Dworkin traces the growth of male dominance in societies both old and new -- resulting in the subordination of women and a racial or ethnic "other."

In Israel today, Palestinians and prostitutes are the new scapegoats: degraded, inferior, abject. Although the gentle Jewish martyrs of old have become modern Israeli warriors, women retain the stigmatized status of "weak Jews" who, when attacked, never fight back. This leads Dworkin to imagine a world in which women betray men of their own kind in order to develop and defend their own sovereignty. Ultimately, her book forces us to ask profound questions: Why do women continue to value their own lives less than those of themen they love? Where is the line between justifiable self-defense and violence? Both an impassioned plea for women to challenge and destroy the author- ity of the men in their own group and a startling work of history, "Scapegoat" will forever change how we think about the patterns of behavior and belief that give rise to domination and oppression.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

SCAPEGOAT: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Feminist writer Dworkin (Life and Death, 1997, etc.) exploits a common analogy between the inferior status of diaspora Jews and women to highlight the function of both groups as scapegoats.Dworkin ... Read full review

Scapegoat: the Jews, Israel, and women's liberation

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Dworkin's (Life and Death; Intercourse) exegesis on anti-Semitism and misogyny traces the often-parallel paths of both forms of hatred. The atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust and the particularities of ... Read full review


The StateThe Family

10 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Roots Too
Matthew Frye JACOBSON
Limited preview - 2006
All Book Search results »

About the author (2000)

Andrea Dworkin has spoken at colleges, universities, and rallies around the world. With Catharine A. MacKinnon, she authored civil rights legislation recognizing pornography as legally actionable sex discrimination. She has written eleven books, including such influential works as Intercourse and Pornography. She lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information