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Why would feminists trust the police?


by Leah Cowan.  A tangled history of resistance and complicity. 240 pages. Verso, 2024

SKU: AD-5819 Categories: ,


by Leah Cowan

A tangled history of resistance and complicity. 240 pages. Verso, 2024

Every week it seems there is a fresh scandal involving abhorrent, racist, misogynist behaviour by police officers. Yet these are the very people women are supposed to approach for help when faced with violence. And many feminists, hoping to use the criminal justice system to protect women, fight for stronger laws and longer sentences for those who harm them.

Why Would Feminists Trust the Police? traces the history of British feminism’s alliances and struggles with the law and its enforcers. Drawing on the legacy of Black British feminism, Leah Cowan reminds us of the vibrant and creative alternatives envisioned by those who have long known the truth: the police aren’t feminist, and the law does not keep women safe.


  • An urgent call to dismantle carceral feminism rooted in a powerful historical analysis that centers the lived experiences and movements of those left out of mainstream feminism.

     Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing
  • Leah Cowan exposes the historical links between carceral feminism and policing with eloquent persuasion. Immaculately researched, her critique centres Black Feminism, while inviting us to dream of a world free of truncheons and jail cells

     Stella Dadzie, author of A Kick in the Belly
  • Confidently expounds the fundamental antagonism between the armed wing of the state and gender freedom for all. Here is a beautiful voice, guaranteed to recruit many

     Sophie Lewis, author of Abolish the Family

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Weight 0.222 kg