by Ann Russo
New York University Press
Explores accountability as a framework for building movements to transform systemic oppression and violence
What does it take to build communities to stand up to injustice and create social change? How do we work together to transform, without reproducing, systems of violence and oppression?
In an age when feminism has become increasingly mainstream, noted feminist scholar and activist Ann Russo asks feminists to consider the ways that our own behavior might contribute to the interlocking systems of oppression that we aim to dismantle.
Feminist Accountability offers an intersectional analysis of three main areas of feminism in practice: anti-racist work, community accountability and transformative justice, and US-based work in and about violence in the global south. Russo explores accountability as a set of frameworks and practices for community- and movement-building against oppression and violence. Rather than evading the ways that we are implicated, complicit, or actively engaged in harm, Russo shows us how we might cultivate accountability so that we can contribute to the feminist work of transforming oppression and violence.
Among many others, Russo brings up the example of the most prominent and funded feminist and LGBT antiviolence organizations, which have become mainstream in social service, advocacy, and policy reform projects. This means they often approach violence through a social service and criminal legal lens that understands violence as an individual and interpersonal issue, rather than a social and political one. As a result, they ally with, rather than significantly challenge, the state institutions, policies, and systems that underlie and contribute to endemic violence.
Grounded in theories, analyses, and politics developed by feminists of color and transnational feminists of the global south, with her own thirty plus years of participation in community building, organizing, and activism, Russo provides insider expertise and critical reflection on leveraging frameworks of accountability to upend inequitable divides and the culture that supports them.