I haven’t really updated the blog in a while.
I’m doing Nanowrimo, and I can’t really cope with writing anything else. But
then I also get sort of exhausted by the nanowrimo-thing, so I wrote a review
of Asking for it by Kate Harding.
I listened to this on audiobook, which was
great. Erin Bennett is a great narrator. This is a non-fiction book about rape
culture, duh. It’s now been a while since I listened to it, so this review
might be a bit short and… not great. Anyways. So the book looks at rape in
culture, how we look at rape, and how rape victims are treated in our culture.
How this has changed over the years, because while it isn’t great it is better
than it was when 11-year-olds were blamed for being gang raped. I mean, it’s
not much better, but still. It also looks at rape culture, the things women do
to avoid rape. Like, women have all these strategies that we do to avoid rape,
which if you explain them to a man would sound crazy. It looks at how
advertising, and pop culture, and everything else, affects how we see women who
have sex, or how we see women who have been raped.
I remember really liking it. It sounds wrong
to like a book about rape (probably just to me, I tend to get sort of hyper
aware of my words sometimes and then they sound really weird to me), but while
the subject matter is awful and depressing, and everything, Kate Hardin’s
writing is really good. It’s blunt, and tough, and badass. It is also very
comprehensive, which I like. Well, I say comprehensive. It is mainly focused on
rape and rape culture in the western world, but it was fairly comprehensive
there. I would be really interested in reading a book on rape and rape culture
in say the far east, or somewhere in Africa, and a comparative study. Because
I’m a nerd.
It’s very interesting to hear (because I
listened to the audiobook) how we as a culture seem to have decided that if
you’re raped you have to be a perfect victim. If you’ve had sex before, or if
you’ve had sex with the perpetrator before, or if you’re a prostitute, or a
porn star, or if you seem to be traumatized, then you’re an imperfect victim,
and you cannot be trusted. It’s really weird that we expect rape victims to
know absolutely everything of their attack, when they’re probably traumatized,
and trauma causes you to forget things and remember things differently, and the
fact that those victims are then instantly distrusted is so awful. It is
obviously awful to be wrongfully convicted of a crime, but false rape
allegations are like 2% of all allegations. 2 percent. And why would you want
to falsely accuse someone when you’re likely to not be believed, likely to be
forced not to file a complaint, likely to be mistrusted and likely to be
smeared? There is a reason most victims of sexual assault don’t report their
It’s really interesting to see how culture is
sort of geared to make women into sex objects. No matter what you’re selling
you put a half-naked woman in there and whoo! There’s a Norwegian tabloid
newspaper (not like the Sun, it’s a fairly old and respected tabloid, which
might be an oxymoron) that follows this principle. They use half-naked women to
represent everything; cancer, vacations, buying a house, schools, I’m not
kidding. It makes us very desensitized to women and women’s bodies. They become
this common property, for everyone, and it makes people think they can take the
bodies of real-life women as well. Not everyone, obviously. It still makes
women’s bodies into property, or things, and it’s very unpleasant, and it’s
annoying that advertisers think that if they just put a half-naked woman next
to their product you’ll buy it.
Like I said it’s been a while since I listened
to this, but I enjoyed it. It was interesting, I think Harding is a great writer,
so I liked it. I’d like to read more of her writing.