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Here, she asks readers to think about some inescapable questions: What happens when complaints are pushed under the rug? Grateful human resources professionals who want to do their job with an equity lens, instead of perpetuating the status quo approach which enables abuses of power. The book covers great topic and I'm glad it exist, but that doesn't fix obvious flaws I see as a reader.

You’ve written that it enabled you to find a role that institutional life had inhibited, to act for others as a “feminist ear. It can be incredibly painful to know what happened, to know what you went through, but still you can’t say it, you can’t get it out. There’s one line in Audre Lorde’s “Power,” a very difficult and painful poem, about power lying loose and limp as an unconnected wire. Her most celebrated contribution has been the figure of the Feminist Killjoy, who shares a name with Ahmed’s popular blog, which she began writing alongside her 2017 work, Living a Feminist Life . According to her unique positionality, she is both a witness and party to the community of people who supply the knowledge and encouragement complainers rely on to see their complaint through.

I became director of women’s studies, and we were precarious—we were fighting to keep our autonomy, and I could begin to feel the withdrawal of the institution’s support. I became interested in “the table” in Husserl’s philosophy, which was only a passing reference for him. I don’t think it was a conscious decision, but once it happened, I became more interested in writing itself and in what I was doing with it.

That may all sound obvious, as many have heard of churches and police departments shuffling around bad apples to new locations instead of cutting out the rot. Much of the work of revolution comes from what you learn by trying to build more just worlds alongside other people. When you make a complaint about harassment that’s endemic to a university, you’re pitting yourself against people who don’t want that problem to be recognized.This accounts for a large portion of the book and while there is sometimes really great insight and analysis, it makes the book feel really bloated. This book offers a systematic analysis of the methods used to stop complaints and a powerful and poetic meditation on what complaints can be used to do. Lancaster was an incredibly white institution, and I’d already been aware of that, obviously, as one of the very few academics of color employed there.

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