She champions a 'scandalous feminism,' an embrace of all the shameful, derided aspects of our nature, a refusal to fear or shun our own thoughts. Without it, we will continue to outsource our anxieties and aggression onto other people, onto entire other populations (today’s chief targets, she argues, include mothers, migrants, trans people, Palestinians) ... It is on this point that her book turns: how elaborately we conceal our violence from ourselves; how efficiently violence flourishes in those blind spots ... Rose also examines here the relationship between violence and blindness that she has narrated before in her own story ... Rose roves widely in this book. She considers sexual harassment, Harvey Weinstein, student protests in South Africa, depictions of violence in contemporary fiction ... These questions aren’t purely ethical. Rose searches for the modes that allow us to think more clearly and creatively ... For all her attraction to unruliness, Rose’s own sentences are cool, almost enameled in their polish and control. It’s in the movement of her prose, the way she seizes and furiously unravels ideas from her previous books, that we see the vigor and precision of her mind, the work of thinking, of forging new pathways that she holds up as rejoinder to the muteness of violence.
Rose addresses the prevalence and persistence of violence through the analytical lenses of feminism, history, psychoanalysis, politics, and literature. She argues that violence in our time thrives on a kind of mental blindness, and elucidates its relationship to the rise of politicians like Bolsonaro and Trump.
Rose probes the causes, meaning, and persistence of sexual violence in this thought-provoking essay collection ... Rose examines the language and psychology of violence and its role as a maintainer of inequity ... Rose skillfully interweaves the work of Judith Butler, Hannah Arendt, and other philosophers into her dense yet lucid analysis, and shows flashes of sardonic humor. This is a precise and original exploration of an essential subject.