‘Female Fear Factory’ Presents Bold Vision for South African Women



In his latest book, Factory of fear of women, the long-awaited sequel to his award-winning book, Rape: a South African nightmarerenowned author and university professor Pumla Dineo Gqola once again plunges into the dark world of female fear and violence.

“Patriarchy has a comprehensive toolkit on violence, where fear and shame are in the spotlight. “

Pumla Dineo Gqola in Factory of fear of women

The content and focus of the book are essential to understanding our world as it is today and this book helps reduce the distance that is often kept from heavy topics like sexual assault. It’s the kind of book you read slowly, with a pen and sticky notes nearby, so you can mark quotes and topics you want to come back to.

Complex subjects treated with a sensitive and intellectual approach

From the first page, it is evident that the book is focused on solid and in-depth research. Gqola invites readers to a detailed and intellectual exploration of female existence while approaching it from a strong academic perspective.

Aside from the heavy content and emphasis of the book, the writing style, while strong and poignant, can be difficult to understand. It is not a reflection on the author, but rather on the heavy and academic writing.

The writing style matches the subject, and the methodical layout of Gqola’s past literature on the subject is reinforced by the style; but readers should not take this book for an easy and light reading experience. In all fairness, how could a book on this subject be written any other way?

“Fine Fear Factory”: synopsis

The continuing explosion of sexual violence demands more space for the development of the concept of the “fear factory of women” as well as its possible antidotes.

Where Gqola’s previous book, Rape: a South African nightmare, introduces strategies to disrupt rape culture at the individual level, Factory of fear of women offers an even bolder vision for collective action against all cultures of sexual violence.

Gqola, icon of South African feminism, brilliantly retraces the construction and the machinations of “the factory of fear of women” by exposing its myths, lies and seductions.

This book offers an insightful and thought-provoking account of patriarchal violence while simultaneously providing a hopeful view through the eyes of a shameless feminist.

Memorable quotes

Patriarchy does not respect national borders. He is shamelessly promiscuous in his influences and his ties.

Fear is both an individual and a socio-political phenomenon. At the individual level, fear can be present as part of a healthy and well-developed alert system […] When we think about fear, it is important to remember both notions of individual emotional experience and the political ways in which fear has been used in different eras for control.

Learn more about the author

Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola. Image: South African Book Fair

Pumla Dineo Gqola is a feminist writer and professor of literary and cultural studies, with a special focus on African feminism, African literature, race, class and gender, as well as the histories of slavery. She holds the SARCHl Chair in African Feminist Imagination at Nelson Mandela University, where she is also a research professor at the Center for Women and Gender Studies.

In 2016, she received the 2016 Alan Paton Award for her book, Rape: a South African nightmare.

Gqola holds a doctorate in philosophy (magna cum laude) in postcolonial studies from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany. She holds two Masters of Arts in Colonial and Postcolonial Literature, one from the University of Warwick, UK, and the other from the University of Cape Town in 2000.

Factory of fear of women is published by Melidan Ferguson Books and is available from Exclusive Books for R287.

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