Pumla Dineo Gqola is a feminist author and Research Professor at the Centre for Women and Gender Studies at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. She is author What is slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave Memory in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2010), A renegade called Simphiwe (2013) Rape: A South African Nightmare (2015), which won the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction, and Reflecting Rogue: Inside the mind of a feminist (2017). Gqola holds Master’s degrees from the Universities of Cape Town (RSA) and University of Warwick (UK) and a DPhil in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Munich (Germany). Her research and teaching fields include postcolonial theory, feminist theory and literature, Black Consciousness literature, gender discourse in post-apartheid South Africa and slave memory in the African world. She sits on various academic journal boards, including African Identities, Feminist Africa, English Academy Review and Women’s Studies International. She has written op-eds, features and columns for New Frame, City Press, Mail and Guardian, Drum (UK), Chimurenga, Wordsetc, The Africa Report and BBC Focus on Africa magazine. Her short stories have been published in literary journals and anthologies on three continents.
Female Fear Factory
Patriarchy does not respect national boundaries. It is unabashedly promiscuous in its influences and tethers. Yet, it does use nationalism very productively.
An empty street at night. A crowded bus. A lecture hall. All sites of female fear, instilled in women and those who have been constructed female, from an early age.
Drawing on examples from around the world – from Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa to Saudi Arabia, the Americas and Europe, Gqola traces the construction and machinations of the female fear factory by exposing its lies, myths, and seductions. She shows how seemingly disparate effects, like driving bans, street harassment, and coercive professors, are the product of the ever-turning machinery of the female fear factory, and its use of fear as a tool of patriarchal subjugation and punishment.
Female Fear Factory: Unravelling Patriarchy’s Cultures of Violence is a sobering account of patriarchal violence in the world, and a hopeful vision for the work of unapologetic feminist imaginative strategies across the globe.