Skip to main content

Phyllis Chesler


Phyllis Chesler

Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. She is a best- selling author, a legendary feminist leader, a psychotherapist and an expert courtroom witness. Dr. Chesler has published thousands of articles and, most recently, studies, about honor-related violence including honor killings. She has published many classic works such as Women and Madness, Mothers on Trial. The Battle for Children and Custody, and Woman's Inhumanity to Woman. She is about to publish her fifteenth book in October, 2013, titled An American Bride in Kabul.

Dr. Chesler has lived in Kabul and Jerusalem and now lives in New York City. She has led campaigns and lectured in Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East.

Dr. Chesler is co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969), the National Women's Health Network (1974), and the International Committee for the Jerusalem based Women of the Wall (1989).

A revised and updated edition of Women and Madness was published in 2005; a new edition of Woman's Inhumanity to Woman with a new Introduction was published in 2009; and a Twenty Fifth anniversary edition of Mothers on Trial with eight new chapters was published in 2011. In 2009, 2010, and 2012, Dr. Chesler published three pioneering academic studies on honor killings and an academic article about the Burqa. All four studies appeared in Middle East Quarterly. Her work has been translated into many European languages and into Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Hebrew.

Since 9/11, Dr. Chesler has focused on the rights of women, dissidents, and gays in the Islamic world; on anti-Semitism and the demonization of Israel; the psychology of terrorism; the nature of propaganda; and honor-related violence. She has testified for Muslim and ex-Muslim women who are seeking asylum or citizenship based on their credible belief that their families will honor kill them.

Over the years, Dr. Chesler has appeared in the mainstream, leftwing, and rightwing media. She has been on “The Today Show” and “The O'Reilly Factor”; on “Donahue”, “Geraldo”, and “Oprah”—and on the “700 Club”; Israel National radio, and Al-Hurrah. Dr. Chesler has been on “Nightline”, Court TV, the History Channel, MSNBC, NPR, the “MacNeil-Lehrer Report” and CNN—and on FOX News.

Dr. Chesler has been published, interviewed, and reviewed in The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Times of London, The New York Times, The Weekly Standard, National Review, Il Foglio, Ha'aretz,, Salon, The Globe and Mail, The London Guardian, Israel National News, The Jewish Week, The Jewish Press, Psychology Today, Science Magazine, etc.

There are over 4 million references to Dr. Chesler's work online. She has been profiled in many encyclopedias, including Feminists Who Have Changed America, Jewish Women in America, and in the latest Encyclopedia Judaica. Approximately 100,000+ people visit her website each year and from more than 180 countries. Her articles are archived at her website where she may also be contacted.

Books by Phyllis Chesler

by Phyllis Chesler - Nonfiction

In 1961, 20 year-old Phyllis Chesler arrived in Kabul with her Afghan bridegroom, now the property of her husband’s family with no rights of citizenship.Upon arrival, her husband, a wealthy, westernized college student with dreams of reforming his country, reverted to traditional and tribal customs. Chesler fought against her imposed seclusion and lack of freedom, her Afghan family’s attempts to convert her from Judaism to Islam, and her husband’s wish to permanently tie her to the country through childbirth.Drawing upon her personal diaries, Chesler recounts her ordeal, the nature of gender apartheid --- and her longing to explore this beautiful, ancient, and exotic country and culture.