Feminism, Interrupted by Lola Olufemi

Feminism, Interrupted was written by British feminist writer, Lola Olufemi. It was first published in March 2020 by Pluto Press and forms one of the 8 books in the Pluto “Outspoken series.” These are a collection of dissenting books which aim to disrupt the narrative of dominant structures in society from sex education to masculinity to borders etc. You can find out more about this series here.

Feminism, Interrupted is Olufemi’s first book. She was previously published in the anthology; A Fly Girl’s Guide To University: Being a Woman of Colour at Cambridge and Other Institutions of Power and Elitism. (2019)

Feminism, Interrupted is a radical book that destabilises the modern-day pillars of ‘normal’ society. Adopting a fiercely intersectional approach, it explores the vastness of feminist thought. It disassembles mainstream feminist politics by centering issues experienced by society’s most marginalised women and using it to argue the case for dismantling rather than reforming systems of oppression and violence.

Separated into 10 different essays, complete with an introduction and strong-worded conclusion, this 145-page book discusses racism, transmisogyny, Islamophobia, anti-immigration sentiment, the prison industrial complex, reproductive justice and resistance to the sex workers’ rights movement. I was impressed by the sound reasoning in this book and how unflinching it was in penetrating the veneer of British egalitarianism.

My favourite chapter was Art for Art’s sake where we deep dive into the contemporary and historical world of art and creativity. It questions who has more autonomy to create within feminist movements and gives a lot of perspective on the capitalist institution of work.

“๐“๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ: ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐œ, ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ, ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ซ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐œ ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐งโ€ฆ.

๐‚๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š๐ง๐ฒ ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ค ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐. ๐–๐ข๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐ž๐ ๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐›๐จ๐๐ฒ ๐›๐ฒ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐ข๐ญ๐š๐ฅ, ๐›๐ฒ ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ž – ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐›๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐, ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฐ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž.”

pg. 84

On the point of collectivism, which is also poignantly argued in this book, a quote by anti-racist activist Neha Shah stood out to me;

“…๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ฌ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ฌ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ; ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง’๐ญ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ฉ ๐š๐ญ ๐›๐จ๐ซ๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ.”

pg. 139

The radicalism that is argued in this book may seem unsettling, but it represents the critical approach we all need in order to work towards building a more equal society for those people most overlooked. This book will make you question all the manifestations of social organising that we’ve all just come to accept as normal and turn it completely on its head.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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