General Non-Fiction · Personal Review · Reviews

Review: Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It by Kate Harding

Asking For Itcw// rape, sexual assault, and victim blaming

We can hardly go a week without seeing a new #MeToo breaking-story, a new headline about a university failing to protect sexual assault victims, or the final decision on the Bill Cosby case. Thankfully, we live in a time where it has becoming slighter easier to survivors to speak up and name their attackers–but we still battle with the impact of rape culture everyday and still battle those that believe rape culture does not exist.

Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It by Kate Harding eloquently (and sometimes with a touch of no-BS humor) describes how multifaceted rape culture truly is and offers suggestions on how we can move forward–both as individuals and as a society. Asking For It is a broad overview of the problem, as feminist blogger Kate Harding gives us a blunt explanation of what is rape culture, how it impacts women’s perception of the world around them, how it works to delegitimize sexual assault survivors, the impact of media and social media on rape culture, and how, legally, it makes prosecuting attackers near impossible. She uses personal stories–like those of survivors she knows and her own survivor story–as well as high-profile cases, like the Steubenville High School.

Honestly, it took me a bit of time to truly get into the book–only because I so frequently deal with misogynistic tendencies and work to address sexual violence in my line of work. However, once I committed, I flew through this book; Harding has a no-nonsense style of writing that makes it seem like she’s talking directly to the reader, almost as if you’re having a personal conversation. She doesn’t try to paint a pretty picture, but, instead, aggressively calls out society for our f’ed up responses to sexual assault and sexual assault victims. Furthermore, such a broad spectrum of issues are covered–like the impacts of media, social media and rape myths, the struggles with reporting and prosecuting cases of sexual assault, and the impacts of celebrities–that readers should finally put the book down with a large breadth of knowledge on just how prevalent rape culture is.

Ultimately, read this book and let’s start breaking this BS and demeaning culture down. 

Rating: 5/5

Best binged with: …actually, best not binge this book, but read it slowly and deliberately to make sure you understand the full scope of this real and ongoing issue, and then empower yourself to help stop it. 

[This book and review was a personal choice, and was not given to me to review.]

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