The Verso Book of Dissent: Revolutionary Words from Three Millennia of Rebellion and Resistance is a compendium of revolt and resistance throughout the ages, updated to include resistance to war and economic oppression from Beijing and Cairo to Moscow and New York City.
To celebrate the release of the new edition - 50% off at the moment as part of our end-of-year sale - we've present a selection of key moments of dissent from the book.
- Hackney Flashers, Who's still holding the baby?, 1978
They say it is love. We say it is unwaged work.
They call it frigidity. We call it absenteeism.
Every miscarriage is a work accident.
- a feminist pamphlet calling for Wages for Housework written by Silvia Federici in 1975.
Dalia Gebrial responds to a history of women's movements to ask how a transnational feminist politics of solidarity can change and embolden our vision of the world.
The question of transnational solidarity has progressively faded away from the realm of feminist conversation. The idea of intersectionality – a powerful descriptor of how seemingly circumscribed systems of oppression operate through and alongside one other – has been reduced to representative diversity politics: a coalition of limited but energy-consuming practices of privilege-checking and callouts; a seemingly immovable emphasis on bodies and checklists as the prime marker of Good Praxis. Solidarity has been supplanted in favour of ‘allyship’ and ‘standing aside’. Creating spaces of self-determination has been neutralised into creating spaces of safety. Only the personal can be political.
Rani of Jhansi Women's Regiment of the Indian National Army, training, early–mid 1940s. via End of Empire.
Kumari Jayawardena's Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World is a comprehensive introduction to waves of feminist protest and revolt, and how they fell in line with the rise of nationalism in the nineteenth and through into the twentieth century, across the Middle East and Asia.
Below we have selected some of the significant women Jayawardena tells us about; women who carved out their own place during tumultuous times of change and reaction, fighting for the opportunity to express themselves through action and writing.
The world's first female leader of a country, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, appointed in 1960
A foundational work of materialist feminism, Christine Delphy's Close to Home: A Materialist Analysis of Women's Oppression is out now in a new edition as part of Verso's Feminist Classics series.
Below, we present Delphy's "Continuities and Discontinuities in Marriage and Divorce," first published in the 1976 anthology Sexual Divisions and Society: Process and Change, edited by D. Leonard Barker and S. Allen, and included in Close to Home. Translated by Diana Leonard.
Studies devoted to divorce in the past have presented it as the sum of individual divorce situations, they have not defined it (e.g. Goode 1956; Kooy 1959; Chester 1973). This is doubtless because the definition of divorce and its sociological significance are taken for granted; divorce means the breakdown and failure of marriage. These are the words used by the individuals concerned and sociologists have implicitly approached the problem from the same point of view. Even if they have apparently (but not always) refrained from direct value judgements and emotionally laden terms such as ‘failure’, they have still considered that the definition of divorce as the end of marriage, its revocation, or as the opposite of marriage, was a satisfactory one.