Disgrace: Feminism and the Political Right
Arcadia Missa, 2021, Softcover, 96 pages, 17.5 × 13 cm
A series of 12 etchings by Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings.
Featuring 3 essays by Akanksha Mehta, Lola Olufemi, Juliet Jacques.
Disgrace: Feminism and the Political Right explores the history of conservative feminism in the UK from the Edwardian period to today. Expanding on Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings’ research for their eponymous exhibition, the book aims to provide contextual information for the viewer, both as a resource on the history of feminism on the political right and to provide a deeper historical and political insight into the works within the exhibition.
The book centres around a timeline created by 12 etchings, with three essays covering what the artists have identified as three significant time periods, mapping the connections between the various historical manifestations of conservative feminism that lead to the current moment. An essay by Akanksha Mehta, a lecturer in Gender, Sexuality, and Cultural Studies and the co-director of the Centre for Feminist Research at Goldsmiths, considers the nature of the women’s suffrage movement, focusing on the relationship between the suffragettes and eugenics discourse. A polemical text by Lola Olufemi, a black feminist writer and organiser with the London Feminist Library, questions the women’s liberation movement and ‘sex wars’ of the mid 20th century. In the final essay – alongside etchings exploring ‘free-market feminism’, Theresa May’s ‘Women2Win’ campaign and the proliferation of transphobic rhetoric – writer, filmmaker and journalist Juliet Jacques uses Caryl Churchill’s innovative 1982 play ‘Top Girls’ to trace the trajectory of women in power, from Thatcher into the future of feminism.