Hue’s Mini-Review: Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay

Rape and rape culture’s not that bad.

Right?

Yes. It is that bad.

In Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, these aspects and their presences in our culture get splayed and dissected by various women and men in this book. For example, Roxane Gay, Gabrielle Union, Ally Sheedy, and Anthony Frame serve as narrators. Nothing’s clean. Nothing’s politically correct to protect the senses of rapists, molesters, and their enablers. A purging of pain and hindrance brought on by the aforementioned groups occurs and we become better for reading and/or listening.

This book doesn’t just present essays on rape from the female, both cis and trans, perspective, but from the male perspective also, which I appreciated as society has yet to catch up on the notion that men are raped as well, and that transwomen face double chances of suffering from sexual assault. In addition, people of color and queer men and women demonstrate how, once again, they are marginalized (e.g. bisexual women face more chances of sexual assault than their straight and Lesbian counterparts as the same applies to black and Latinx men and women).

My mouth never closed as I listen to tales that I knew existed, as not only as a survivor but as a human being. I highly recommend this book because not only does it break down instances of rape (e.g. “What I Told Myself”), but it illustrates what makes rape culture (e.g. “The Ways We Are Taught to Be a Girl”) via social cues and nuances – lessons not only passed on by men but by fellow women, and not only passed from straight culture by LGBTQIA members as well.

Tears and frustration alongside survival success permeate each essay in a no-holds-barred presentation that goes for the jugular of its readers, and it’s about time.

Please take a moment and read/listen to this book. While it’s not always easy to follow (Trigger Warning: Rape, Child Molestation, Harassment, and Sexual Assault Described), it’s an important ride to encounter for the voices still begging for an audience.

5/5

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Lover of Words. Mother. Teacher. Traveler. Writer. Bionic woman against ignorance. Finding the balance between words and reality. M.Ed. built to school you.

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