Asking For It.

This book is excellent.  Kate Harding addresses, with a take-no-bullsh*t voice, and cuts right to the center of our still rampant rape culture.

What is rape culture?  And how can we change it?  She answers all this and more in her book.

“Women-hating jokes are not jokes. They are men telling you how they truly feel.”

In this, she delves into rape culture within differing tiers, such as within politics, within law enforcement, how rape culture is handled by the media (not well. In fact, we make light of and perpetuate it), and how we continually cast doubt on and outright blame victims of rape.

She gives jaw-dropping real-life cases and examples.

She lists the most common rape myths and punches numerous holes in all of them.

“But there is something very wrong when you’re telling women (and only women) to keep their hair short, only dress in ways that no one could consider “provocative,” only dress in clothing that is difficult to cut off with scissors (so, Kevlar jeans, I guess?), and never use their phones or search through their purses in public.

There’s something wrong with expecting women to remember that they should always go for the groin, or the eyes, or the armpit, or the upper thigh, or the first two fingers (I am not making any of these up), and that it only takes five pounds of pressure to rip off a human ear, and if you hit someone’s nose with the palm of your hand and push up just right, you can drive the bone into their brain and kill them.

There’s something wrong with acting as though it’s perfectly reasonable to tell women never to drink to excess—and, when drinking to non-excess, never to let their drinks out of their sight—and not to walk alone at night and definitely not to travel alone, and not to jog with earphones, and not to approach a stoplight without locking the car doors, and not to respond to the sound of a crying baby, and not to get into their cars without checking both the backseat and underneath the car first, and not to get in on the driver’s side if there’s a van parked next to it, and not to pull over for unmarked police cars until they’re in well-lit areas, and, and, and.”

This book is well researched and thought out.  It’s highly readable (I read it in less than a week). Not dry or dull, it is instead, engaging and gripping.

It is a must-read, and for everyone. Period.

She is snarky, witty, and well-spoken.  Kate Harding delivers an excellent commentary on this topic which is in desperate need of much discussion and reform.

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