Sr. Joan Chittister is the undisputed voice of a new feminism. She advocates a feminism that unifies female and male in a new partnership that ultimately and simultaneously liberates women and men. She makes the claim that the patriarchal systems of present and past have been as devastating to men as they have to women, though in radically different ways.
Sr. Joan articulates with profound clarity and power that women have suffered at the hands of patriarchal systems down through history. Her descriptions of such domination by society and by the church, while graphic and disturbing, are not shocking to those of us who read and study the chronicles of history. But what is shocking, what should shake us to the core, are her descriptions - her startling well-documented descriptions - of the ways women around the world today, are the acute victims of the greatest ills of modern nations and societies. It is the women that command the lion’s share of starvation in the world, together with their children; it is women who count for upwards of 93 to 95 percent of the victims of contemporary wars, the ones we talk about every day - Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan. Even when they survive the actual horrors of combat, they are then herded into refugee camps around the globe that are now unfortunately experienced by many refugee women as “rape camps.”