The Bonobo Sisterhood, cover by Shepard Fairey

The Bonobo Sisterhood

Internationally renowned legal expert Diane L. Rosenfeld has made it her life’s work to address the supposedly impossible problem of patriarchal violence. After years of advocating for victims in the courtroom, teaching at Harvard Law School, creating its Gender Violence Program, and spearheading groundbreaking changes to legal policy, Rosenfeld found the secret to revolutionary change in an unlikely source: the bonobos, our closest evolutionary cousins. These fascinating animals, in stark contrast to other primates, have evolutionarily eliminated male sexual coercion. And they did it by forming female alliances.

In The Bonobo Sisterhood: Revolution Through Female Alliance (Foreword by Ashley Judd; Harper Wave; September 20, 2022; ISBN: 9780063085077; $28.99; 304 pages), Rosenfeld introduces us to a radical new model of solidarity, one that promises to do for humans what the bonobos’ alliance did for them: to thwart sexual coercion and collapse the scaffolding of patriarchy. If a female bonobo is aggressed upon by a male, she gives out a special cry and the other females rush to her aid, regardless of whether they know her, like her, or are related to her. Rosenfeld has dedicated her career to answering the bonobo call. And now she shows how all of us, women and their allies alike, whatever their gender identity, can do the same.

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