Trigger warning for this entire review for discussion of rape, rape culture.
It took me forever to be able to write about this one. I almost left work early the day I finished it because I was having a panic attack and didn’t understand why. A couple of hours later I realized it had triggered my PTSD, even though nothing written about in the book had happened to me…at least not exactly as described.
But hasn’t the insidious harassment, objectification, and nullification of meaningful consent happened to many if not most of us, just by virtue of being women? Haven’t most of us experienced men treating us like prey and not people? Because that’s what triggered me, reading this. Remembering that I was violated in a million small ways, from way too young an age, before I was violated in the more “official” way of rape. I was violated by men leering at me when I was a child, by men following me, by men pushing and pushing to get what they wanted until I finally gave in, by an infinite list of ways my wants and needs were discounted in favor of the desires of men.
This book is of course about more than that. It’s a memoir that touches on race, family history, parental neglect and parental love, and many more things. But threaded through the entire book are stories of how women and girls are constantly disrespected, disparaged, and abused. It’s deeply validating and deeply upsetting in equal measures, and I recommend it for everyone. But keep something comforting nearby while you read it.