Asking for it : the alarming rise of rape culture -- and what we can do about it / Kate Harding.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First Da Capo Press edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Every seven minutes, someone in America commits a rape. And whether that's a football star, beloved celebrity, elected official, member of the clergy, or just an average Joe (or Joanna), there's probably a community eager to make excuses for that person. In Asking for It, Kate Harding combines research with an in-your-face voice to make the case that twenty-first century America supports rapists more effectively than victims. Drawing on real-world examples of what feminists call "rape culture" -- from politicos' revealing gaffes to institutional failures in higher education and the military -- Harding offers ideas and suggestions for how we, as a society, can take sexual violence much more seriously without compromising the rights of the accused.
    • Content Notes:
      Part I: Slut shaming, victim blaming, and rape myths. The power of myth -- Simple safety tips for ladies -- Not-so-innocent bystanders -- The problem of false accusations -- Part II: Law and order. To serve and protect -- Unreasonable doubts -- The politics of rape -- Part III: The culture of rape. Virgins, vamps, and the view from nowhere -- Pop rape -- Trolls, gamers, and the new misogyny -- Reasons for hope.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-243) and index.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
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LJ Reviews 2015 September #1

Harding's introduction notes that she began her book in 2012 amid the conversations that emerged after Missouri Representative Todd Akin used the phrase "legitimate rape." Three years later, says the author, "Americans are still talking seriously about rape and rape culture." Harding's book serves as a welcome addition to the conversation. In it, she doesn't mince words about the systemic oppression of women. Occassionally, the book reads a little too much like an extended blog post; albeit a meticulously documented one with references to recent groundbreaking feminist texts such as Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. Harding's brash language might be off-putting to those without a fixed opinion on some of the topics she covers. For example, underneath the heading "First, Let's Agree on a Definition of 'False Report,'?" she writes, "Just kidding! Nobody can!" While it is a valid point, the exclamatory clause doesn't invite or provoke thought so much as it reduces the concept. VERDICT Overall, Harding writes with courage and passion that may rankle some readers—which might not be an entirely bad thing.—Emily Bowles, Building for Kids Children's Museum, Appleton, WI

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