Aptly named, Sara Ahmed’s (2021) Complaint! exposes the institutional processes through which feminist complaints and allegations of racism and sexism, among other forms of oppression, are silenced, redirected, and displaced. Drawing from her own experience as a woman of color who resigned from her university post “in protest about the failure of the institution to hear complaints” as well as narratives from others who have complained, Ahmed seamlessly interweaves testimonials and lived experience with theory (p. 8). This poetic and nuanced interplay of theory and praxis constructs a vision of institutions as simultaneously complaint graveyards and complaint collectives. In the face of institutional strongholds against complaint, Ahmed asks her audience to consider enacting a “feminist ear” or being attuned to mechanisms that enable feminist complaint— those who make them, and those who refuse to listen (p. 3).
Walberg, Alaina and Mapes, Meggie
"Book Review: Sara Ahmed's Complaint!,"
Feminist Pedagogy: Vol. 3:
4, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/feministpedagogy/vol3/iss4/1