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A blazingly insightful, provocative study of violence against women from the peerless feminist critic. Why has violence, and especially violence against women, become so much more prominent and visible across the world? To explore this question, Jacqueline Rose tracks the multiple forms of today’s violence – historic and intimate, public and private – as they spread through A blazingly insightful, provocative study of violence against women from the peerless feminist critic. Why has violence, and especially violence against women, become so much more prominent and visible across the world? To explore this question, Jacqueline Rose tracks the multiple forms of today’s violence – historic and intimate, public and private – as they spread throughout our social fabric, offering a new, provocative account of violence in our time. From trans rights and #MeToo to the sexual harassment of migrant women, from the trial of Oscar Pistorius to domestic violence in lockdown, from the writing of Roxanne Gay to Hisham Mitar and Han Kang, she casts her net wide. What obscene pleasure in violence do so many male leaders of the Western world unleash in their supporters? Is violence always gendered and if so, always in the same way? What is required of the human mind when it grants itself permission to do violence? On Violence and On Violence Against Women is a timely and urgent agitation against injustice, a challenge to radical feminism and a meaningful call to action.


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A blazingly insightful, provocative study of violence against women from the peerless feminist critic. Why has violence, and especially violence against women, become so much more prominent and visible across the world? To explore this question, Jacqueline Rose tracks the multiple forms of today’s violence – historic and intimate, public and private – as they spread through A blazingly insightful, provocative study of violence against women from the peerless feminist critic. Why has violence, and especially violence against women, become so much more prominent and visible across the world? To explore this question, Jacqueline Rose tracks the multiple forms of today’s violence – historic and intimate, public and private – as they spread throughout our social fabric, offering a new, provocative account of violence in our time. From trans rights and #MeToo to the sexual harassment of migrant women, from the trial of Oscar Pistorius to domestic violence in lockdown, from the writing of Roxanne Gay to Hisham Mitar and Han Kang, she casts her net wide. What obscene pleasure in violence do so many male leaders of the Western world unleash in their supporters? Is violence always gendered and if so, always in the same way? What is required of the human mind when it grants itself permission to do violence? On Violence and On Violence Against Women is a timely and urgent agitation against injustice, a challenge to radical feminism and a meaningful call to action.

30 review for On Violence and On Violence Against Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This is a wide-ranging and provocative analysis of the ways in which multiple forms of violence intersect on and around women’s bodies in ways that create cyclical, systemic power structures designed to pit women against each other—and ourselves. Rose begins her study by addressing the ways in which white male language and laws patrol all bodies, then expands on how such discourses create the perfect conditions for the reiteration of gender-based violence as an accepted, normative, and even cons This is a wide-ranging and provocative analysis of the ways in which multiple forms of violence intersect on and around women’s bodies in ways that create cyclical, systemic power structures designed to pit women against each other—and ourselves. Rose begins her study by addressing the ways in which white male language and laws patrol all bodies, then expands on how such discourses create the perfect conditions for the reiteration of gender-based violence as an accepted, normative, and even constitutive force. With chapters focused on specific topics related to sexual violence as it intersects with violence related to sexuality, gender identity, race, class, and ethnicity, Rose documents the clear ways in which violence against women is used by individuals with power to maintain their power. On Violence and On Violence Against Women is an urgent book that deserves to be read in classes on feminist theory and gender studies—but also one meant for readers outside of the classroom, from politicians and activists to individuals interested in learning more about the ways in which power is literally mapped onto our bodies.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sara Broad

    "On Violence and On Violence Against Women" by Jacqueline Rose is the study of and theories behind violence against women and the violence that is present across different fields and regions of the world. I'm an avid nonfiction reader, and I was really looking forward to a book devoted to this topic. The breadth of sources that Rose drew upon to compose this book was really outstanding. Until the last two or three chapters of this book though, I had a really hard time following along with many o "On Violence and On Violence Against Women" by Jacqueline Rose is the study of and theories behind violence against women and the violence that is present across different fields and regions of the world. I'm an avid nonfiction reader, and I was really looking forward to a book devoted to this topic. The breadth of sources that Rose drew upon to compose this book was really outstanding. Until the last two or three chapters of this book though, I had a really hard time following along with many of the tangents that Rose went on and how they were connected to the purpose of this book. There were a couple of times in "On Violence" that Rose stated that she needed to bring the reader back to the purpose of the chapter, and then the chapter would end shortly thereafter. For example, there were some deep dives into Freud and psychoanalytic theory, as well as pages long literary analysis of books the author read, and while this was interesting to a point, it wasn't really cohesive. There were some strong points in this book, and I hope more books are published on this subject.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marlene Angelica

    [thank you to Faber Faber & NetGalley for the free copy for an honest review!] I’m not really an avid non fiction reader, but the title and content really drew me in, and I really wanted to read it. Jacqueline Rose shows through this book some theories behind violence against women, and on violence in general that goes on throughout the world. The amount of sources that went into this book was amazing, and it made it feel like a really well researched topic. I think what threw me off was that it [thank you to Faber Faber & NetGalley for the free copy for an honest review!] I’m not really an avid non fiction reader, but the title and content really drew me in, and I really wanted to read it. Jacqueline Rose shows through this book some theories behind violence against women, and on violence in general that goes on throughout the world. The amount of sources that went into this book was amazing, and it made it feel like a really well researched topic. I think what threw me off was that it was hard to follow along throughout the book on the topics. A lot of the times it felt like the book discussed one aspect, then another, and another, without having a clear red thread between them, and then there had to be some kind of explanation on why these things were important, and, yeah, it really threw me off and I couldn’t follow along. A lot of the points made were interesting, but they just didn’t feel cohesive. I would have loved to see it more organised and simplified. 𝑴𝒂𝒓𝒍𝒆𝒚 @𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒔

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bluey

    A highly important read

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Hogmire

    TL;DR--I really thought I'd love this book, but boy was it not for me... Thanks to FSG for a free finished copy of this title, which was published on May 18, 2021. I'm writing this review voluntarily. Jacqueline Rose's "On Violence and on Violence Against Women" is a wide-ranging collection of essays on the subject matter of the title, mostly adapted and updated from previously published work and/or spoken lectures from around 2014 to the present. Rose tackles a lot of diverse subject matter: from TL;DR--I really thought I'd love this book, but boy was it not for me... Thanks to FSG for a free finished copy of this title, which was published on May 18, 2021. I'm writing this review voluntarily. Jacqueline Rose's "On Violence and on Violence Against Women" is a wide-ranging collection of essays on the subject matter of the title, mostly adapted and updated from previously published work and/or spoken lectures from around 2014 to the present. Rose tackles a lot of diverse subject matter: from literary accounts of violence written by women, to the rise of the #MeToo and #AmINext movements, to a specific focus on trans rights and racial injustice. As a feminist, I should be totally into this, right? So, why didn't I like it? I think I can split my critical beef with this book into two main categories. The first is that Jacqueline Rose constantly focuses on outdated ideas, despite the fact that this book came out in 2021. The second is that she tends to make contradictory statements that undercut her best points. All of these problems leave me with a lot of questions about the editing of this book! So to start with the first idea: Rose's sections on trans rights are a good initial example of the outdated issues that I'm talking about; the chapters are an odd mix of decent contemporary analysis (ex. the erasure of nonbinary people as members of the trans community by the mainstream) with a lot of incredibly outdated terminology and ideas that the trans community no longer uses (ex. use of "FtM" and "MtF"). Now, I'm not saying that we should shame members of the LGBTQIA+ community for adhering to old terms, particularly tons of elder members who still identify with these monikers. But Rose isn't trans. I'm really surprised that an editor didn't suggest changes, especially because the pieces were updated to reflect current events. Another example is Rose's constant discussion of Freud and psychoanalysis. Of course I think therapy is essential, and I agree with Rose that the world would be better off if we were more psychoanalytically-minded, but this perspective seems like it comes from decades ago. In our current aggressively online age, with the transition from a liberal humanist perspective to more of a post-humanist perspective, it's odd to see such a focus on individual psychology without an equal (or greater) focus on a more sociological viewpoint: systemic oppression, networks/links/connections of oppression, etc. Rose also doesn't really delve into the harmful aspects of this kind of individual focus (i.e. how rugged individualism goes too far and dips into the exact kind of toxic masculinity she's speaking against). Oddly enough, I'm currently reading the first volume of Foucault's "History of Sexuality," and it was strange to see Rose's reverence for psychoanalysis contrasted with Foucault's constant questioning of the confessional as a structural method of power. Lastly on the outdated front is Rose's obsession with literary modernism being the best artistic method of delving into stories of trauma and abuse. Look, I love literary modernism, and all the writers Rose mentions, but there's equally good work going on in post-modern and African/Afrofuturist writing, not to mention solid genre books--especially from women writing horror. Rose holds up Eimear McBride as the be-all-end-all of sexual abuse writers, but you could easily point to Emma Glass instead. Rose also loves the fragmentary nature of literary modernism, but some of the best work of that kind comes from more post-modern texts about violence (ex. Kate Zambreno's experimental and hybrid works, or the literary terrorism/piracy of Kathy Acker). Some of the best recent fiction on abuse, to my mind, has come from genre authors like Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor, Joanna Koch, etc, I could go on and on. Shew, OK: now shifting to my second problem. There are multiple points in this book where Rose makes over-correcting statements that go against her main points, particularly when it comes to trying to distance herself from radical feminist TERFS and attempting to criticize the state from a leftist perspective. For example, as I mentioned previously, she offers a great analysis of why wealthy and more gender-passing trans people are highlighted by the mainstream media, despite the fact that many trans people are poor and more genderfluid/nonbinary in presentation. This is an essential point, especially when it comes to trans people being able to define themselves and their identities outside of the binary. But then Rose makes an odd statement like, "Transition does not mean so much crossing from one side to the other as hovering in the space in between (in the United States, only about a quarter of transgender women have had genital surgery," which seems to uphold the opposite perspective--that being "fully" or "really" trans is defined by surgical intervention. Another one of these moments comes when Rose is discussing Hannah Arendt's ideas about the divide between power and violence. In order to, again, distance herself from radical feminists who believe that masculinity is inherently violent, Rose explains her differing perspective: violence actually occurs in moments when those in power are losing power, not in moments when they hold power strongly. Of course this makes sense on the surface, in terms of oppressive governments lashing out violently to quell outright rebellion, but it also undercuts Rose's smart focus on Rosa Luxemburg's ideas about more hidden violence in quiet moments. The state is always engaging in systemic violence, even during times of so-called peace, which is why it's such a toxic apparatus of oppression. Similarly, in abusive personal relationships, an abuser tends to react with violence long before their power starts to slip--instead, they wear their partner down, to prevent the power balance from tipping in the first place. At its worst, this kind of argument about the violence-power dichotomy can be used as a victim-blaming tactic: saying that a survivor provoked violence by acting or speaking out, or taking power from their abuser. It can also be used to justify the actions of the state, as Rose herself does when she falls into the liberal trap of praising women world leaders for handling the coronavirus pandemic better than male leaders. Just because this is true about the women leaders mentioned doesn't mean that they're ultimately not upholding the same violent and oppressive global capitalist system as their male counterparts. Like Luxemburg says, there's always violence occurring under the capitalist state, even in moments of supposed tranquility--even when a woman is leading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    mango_vodka

    Unfortunately I had some trouble getting through 'On Violence and On Violence Against Women' and stopped at about 40%. The topic is extremely important and relevant to today's time, but I think the book would be suited to someone more highly educated in the topic than myself. I have a lot of education in a different field (STEM), and lived experience as a woman, but felt a bit lost as the themes seemed to ping pong rapidly between Trump, Weinstein, fictional works and theory, and other global to Unfortunately I had some trouble getting through 'On Violence and On Violence Against Women' and stopped at about 40%. The topic is extremely important and relevant to today's time, but I think the book would be suited to someone more highly educated in the topic than myself. I have a lot of education in a different field (STEM), and lived experience as a woman, but felt a bit lost as the themes seemed to ping pong rapidly between Trump, Weinstein, fictional works and theory, and other global topics. "On Violence" is a solid review of many works and studies about violence against women, but it probably shouldn't be your first foray into the field. If you have an academic background in the humanities or are extremely well read in topics of women's rights, this could be a good next option to add to your list.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Wolf

    I mostly enjoyed this book. Rose is clearly a huge presence as a literary critic and she explores some really interesting avenues throughout this book - I particularly liked the two chapters that focused on trans people, and the chapter surrounding the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. There are some places where the narrative felt a little dry, or it felt like a lot of regurgitated theory was being employed instead of interviewing new sources - this might be the result of the book being a product of t I mostly enjoyed this book. Rose is clearly a huge presence as a literary critic and she explores some really interesting avenues throughout this book - I particularly liked the two chapters that focused on trans people, and the chapter surrounding the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. There are some places where the narrative felt a little dry, or it felt like a lot of regurgitated theory was being employed instead of interviewing new sources - this might be the result of the book being a product of the pandemic. Overall, informative but not mind blowing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kallie

    Rose is brilliant and complex and knowledgeable on theory and history. So 'On Violence . . .' is by no means easy reading but worth the effort and thought the reader brings to absorbing this very important work. She discusses other author's works on relevant subjects, so I now have a related reading list. In addition to spousal or other violence and sexual assault women everywhere experience, Rose discusses: the primal human tendency to violence when confronted with the unknown and how little we Rose is brilliant and complex and knowledgeable on theory and history. So 'On Violence . . .' is by no means easy reading but worth the effort and thought the reader brings to absorbing this very important work. She discusses other author's works on relevant subjects, so I now have a related reading list. In addition to spousal or other violence and sexual assault women everywhere experience, Rose discusses: the primal human tendency to violence when confronted with the unknown and how little we control over that; and the oppression too many suffer at the hands of the state, i.e. the inexcusably sadistic treatment of refugees in the U.K. and U.S.. She does not exaggerate the cruelty with this passage, written during the Trump administration: ". . . This is a cautionary tale of what has already been, and, in this worsening political scenario, of what is likely to come. Targeting women refugees and asylum seekers, turning them into criminals, lays bare the pleasure in sexual hatred, alongside the increasingly violent forms of inequality for which women have always been punished -- both of which continue to fuel gender violence across the globe. Todays migrants have become the ultimate scapegoats of a social order whose ever-expanding greed is on course to destroy the very air we breathe. . ."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Fascinating and so well reasoned.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ANA

    Excellent discourse, somewhat difficult to follow: academics may be wise to adapt the journalistic style

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  12. 4 out of 5

    Miah

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Diehl

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie Beswick

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jami Nicholson

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samantha S

  19. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

  20. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  21. 5 out of 5

    Thea

  22. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan Cortes

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jasmin

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Auletti

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zoe Erwin-Longstaff

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jayna Fitzsimmons

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julia Indivero

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ángela Fernández Álvarez

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sara

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