Alright, it’s time to wrap-up our March read-along! Thanks to everyone who’s been joining in. Honestly, I’m mostly relieved to be done with this one, but I’m not sorry I read it either. Although it was a tough read and doesn’t leave me with something I feel I can take action on, I do think it’s an important topic we should all be aware of. I just hope this makes this into the hands of people who can make more of a difference. Here are the discussion questions I’m pondering in the second half of the book:
- Did you finish the book feeling as though there was action you could take?
- Did this book change your perception of any aspect of rape cases?
- Did you enjoy this and/or would you recommend this to someone else?
- Do you have any new thoughts on the topics of the questions from the first half of the book, particularly the value of this book and the author’s possible biases?
Did you finish the book feeling as though there was action you could take?
As I mentioned in my intro, I didn’t feel as though there were particular actions I could take after reading this book. I do think I could be a better friend to someone who was a rape survivor after reading this and I am more likely to push my elected officials to institute legislation to improve how rape cases are handled after reading this. Mostly though, I think the impact of this book will depend on it being read by the people who can directly make a difference in the way rape cases are handled. For me, that made reading this a frustrating experience. It was so hard to hear about the way some of these cases worked out and know I could do nothing about it.
Did this book change your perception of any aspect of rape cases?
The biggest surprise to me was the insensitive treatment of rape victims by law enforcement and the unwillingness to prosecute these cases. The fact that rape is extremely prevalent, especially on college campuses, and that many of these are cases of acquaintance rape did not come as a surprise to me. I think is probably because I read a lot of the online discussion about the facts of this book when it came out. For instance, I’d already read about the study in which 6% of the men surveyed admitted that they had raped someone or attempted to. If it weren’t for having read the previous discussions, I think I would have found this book even more shocking.
Did you enjoy this and/or would you recommend this to someone else?
Honestly, I didn’t enjoy reading this and I would only recommend it to people in specific circumstances – if they knew a rape survivor, if they were someone who could make a difference in how rape survivors are treated, if they were someone with troubling attitudes towards rape victims, or if they were extremely interested in the topic. Basically, since this was a tough read and not something that I think will lead most people to act differently, I think someone should probably only pick it up if they have a compelling reason to.
Do you have any new thoughts on the topics of the questions from the first half of the book, particularly the value of this book and the author’s possible biases?
I still have mixed feelings about this book. Given the author’s motivation for tackling this topic, it is clear that he wasn’t an unbiased observer. I was also bothered by the author’s choice to write as though men who were found innocent in court were guilty without at least talking more about this choice. Given the information the author presented, I did come to the conclusion that these men were guilty, but I’m not sure I 100% trust the author to be sharing everything. However, there is confirmable information the author presents (particularly information about the way police, prosecutors, and the public react to women accusing men of rape) that have absolutely convinced me this is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed. Given that I’m convinced despite my concerns about the author, I do think this book has some value. However, I really do think it is only likely to lead to change if it falls into the right hands.