There are subjects that are difficult to read about, awful to talk about but all the same it’s absolutely vital to keep the dialogue ongoing. And then there are subjects that you think you’ve heard the very worst examples of but quickly find you’re wrong. What shocked me was not the horrific experiences shared in Rape is Rape – they were frightening and horrifying and I am awed by the bravery of those who shared their experiences – but the sucker punch, for me, was from a much more unexpected direction.
I think I knew I was going to have some sleepless nights over this book after reading about the congressman who said that comparing date rape to rape was like comparing the common cold to cancer. Even now I feel fury welling just having to share that obscenely ridiculous sentiment.
These quotations are from the book – not from the author but from others interviewed about their thoughts or from surveys and research:“More than half of women and girls lie about rape…”
“Feminists exaggerate rape prevalence to demonize men and raise money for their cause…”
“Girls cry ‘rape’ when it’s nothing more than regret over bad sex…”
Rape is Rape is an important book in that it looks at rape – and in particular acquaintance rape – from multiple angles. Not just the crime and the punishment but social attitudes, misconceptions, the almost ‘flexible’ definition applied to rape in some cases. It looks at those instances where the damage done by judgemental friends/family, or dismissive police officers, or unsympathetic teachers have had almost as much of a detrimental impact on someone’s life as the rape itself.
As I read this book, I ranted, I cried, I gasped, I shook my husband awake because I couldn’t sit alone at 3 a.m. having read of some new injustice or some infuriating downplay. This book shocked, provoked, educated and is certainly one of the most profound and important books I have read this year.