SOCIAL SCIENCES

On Violence and on Violence against Women

Farrar. May 2021. 432p. ISBN 9780374284213. $28. SOC SCI
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Historian Rose (Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty) writes a wide-ranging and provocative analysis of the ways in which multiple forms of violence intersect on and around women’s bodies and create cyclical, systemic power structures designed to pit women against each other. Rose begins her study by addressing the ways in which language and laws defined by white men patrol all bodies; then she 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 in power in order to maintain that power. A powerful chapter focuses on the violence, both physical and emotional, that trans women continue to face.
VERDICT This is an urgent book that deserves to be read in classes on feminist theory and gender studies. It’s also meant for all readers who are interested in learning more about the ways in which power is literally mapped onto our bodies.
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