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“Unregulated capitalism is bad for women and if we adopt some ideas from socialism, women will have better lives”

— Kristen Ghodsee

Is Capitalism bad for women? Dr Kristen Ghodsee asserted as such in a NY Times opinion piece that went viral and led to her book Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence. Drawing upon decades of research, Ghodsee sets out arguments that articulate the ways in which capitalism suppresses women. The book is bold, witty and empowers the next generations to challenge the reductive logic of capitalist societies to reclaim their value, time and wellbeing. The Professor of Russian and East European Studies, and author of nine books, talks with RNZ’s Kim Hill.

Kristen Ghodsee, photo by Alina Yakubova.jpg

Kristen Ghodsee

United States

Writer and Professor

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Kristen R. Ghodsee was travelling in Europe, and spent the summer of 1990 witnessing first-hand the initial hope and euphoria that followed the sudden and unexpected collapse of state socialism in the former Eastern Bloc. The political and economic chaos that followed inspired Ghodsee to pursue an academic career studying this upheaval, focusing on how ordinary people’s lives – and women’s particularly – changed when state socialism gave way to capitalism. For the last two decades, she has visited the region regularly and lived for over three years in Bulgaria and the Eastern parts of reunified Germany. Now a professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, she has won many awards for her work, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has written nine books on gender, socialism, and postsocialism, examining the everyday experiences of upheaval and displacement that continue to haunt the region to this day. Ghodsee also writes on women's issues for the Chronicle of Higher Education and is the co-author of Professor Mommy: Finding Work/Family Balance in Academia. Her articles and essays have appeared in publications such as Eurozine, Aeon, Dissent, Foreign Affairs and The New York Times.


Kim Hill

Aotearoa / New Zealand


Kim Hill is a New Zealand broadcaster who currently presents the programme Saturday Morning on Radio New Zealand National, a public radio station. She was named International Radio Personality of the Year in 2012. In 2017 Kim was awarded a Gold Radio Award for Best Radio Personality: Network/Syndicated at the International Radio Program Awards. In 2012, she was awarded "International Radio Personality of the Year" by the Association for International Broadcasting.


Renouf Foyer, Michael Fowler Centre

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Duration: 1hr

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