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 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.
“𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬: 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐝𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜, 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐫, 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧….
𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐰𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐝. 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐛𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐥, 𝐛𝐲 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐞 – 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐮𝐩 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝, 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞.”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;
“…𝐟𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥; 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 𝐢𝐟 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐲𝐬𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐩 𝐚𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬.”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.