Asking for It

Asking for It

The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It

Book - 2015
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"From Congressman Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" gaffe to the high school rapists of Steubenville, Ohio, to the furor at Vanderbilt, sexual violence has been so prominent in recent years that the feminist term "rape culture" has finally entered the mainstream. But what, exactly, is it? And how do we change it? In Asking for It, Kate Harding answers those questions in the same blunt, bullshit-free voice that has made her a powerhouse feminist blogger. Combining in-depth research with practical knowledge, Asking for It makes the case that twenty-first-century America-where it's estimated that out of every 100 rapes only 5 result in felony convictions-supports rapists more effectively than victims. Harding offers ideas and suggestions for how we, as a culture, can take rape much more seriously without compromising the rights of the accused. "-- Provided by publisher
"If American women couldn't laugh about the way we discuss rape in this culture, half of us would be sobbing constantly, while the other half, one can only assume, would be arming themselves for the revolution. In the last few years, a series of Republican politicians have introduced memorable phrases into the American lexicon that reveal their automatic suspicion of women who report rape: "forcible rape," "honest rape," "legitimate rape," and "emergency rape" are some choice favorites. These qualified terms reveal what a lot of Americans--too many of them in public office--believe down deep: There's rape, and then there's rape-rape. Disturbingly, most of us do support rape, whether in subtle ways ("All women should take self-defense classes!") or blatantly misogynistic ones ("Hot sex with a crazy bitch"). That's how culture works. You're soaking in it. This is the first book since 2008's Yes Means Yes! to tackle the subject of rape culture, and I'm pretty sure it's the first non-academic, single-author book since the 1990s to examine sexual assault as a social phenomenon. Harding explores how rape culture manifests itself via media narratives about sexual assault victims and perpetrators--and how those change, depending on the age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and fame of both victim and offender. Through that lens, she will take a close look at the three pillars of rape culture--excusing the accused, blaming the victim, and insisting that individual women can and must protect themselves from rape"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: Boston, MA : Da Capo Lifelong, A Member of the Perseus Books Group, 2015
Edition: First Da Capo Press edition
ISBN: 9780738217024
Characteristics: vii, 261 pages ; 23 cm


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Oct 02, 2015

This is a good book - - this is a bad book. How could I suggest such a description? I applaud what the author is doing insofar as her descriptions, but the overall thinking: this is a rape culture - - this is a gun culture - - et cetera, is really murky, fuzzy and confusing thinking. I've heard thoroughly unethical, senior exploitative female executives discuss this subject and - - guess what???
Unless the entire subject of mass corruption in America is discussed and at least put on the table for discussion, it is ludicrous to keep parsing in this matter! ! !
Hillary and Bill may be against the literary definition of rape, but have embraced interfering in the internal affairs of foreign countries [and economic warfare at home], which leads to a dramatic increase in such behaviors! Ditto the other neocons!
Understood? [There's a most concrete and discernable reason why the two fellows who hacked into data to reveal evidence of the Steubenville rape case received far more jail time than those rapists!]

MaxineML Aug 27, 2015

Equal parts depressing, great, and inspiring. Like all of Harding's work this is a well written and well researched book - the topic may make some people uncomfortable, but this should be a must read.

Harding takes a hard look at what exactly is meant by "rape culture," defines it, and then spends most of the book illustrating how our society lives up to the definition. She also deals with the concept of 'date-rape', consent culture and how things are (slowly, but surely!) changing.

At times this is a difficult book to read - it's hard not to read about the Steubenville rape case, from Ohio, without wanting to smack someone upside the head. And it's hard to read about the utter nonsense spewed from members of congress ("legitimate rape" anyone?), but it is, nevertheless, required to understand the wider issues surrounding sex, sexuality, gender, consent, and rape in our society.

Seriously. Everyone should read this.


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