In this anthology edited by Roxane Gay, bestselling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, a diverse group of writers disclose their experiences with sexual harassment, aggression, and assault as well as the shame and belittlement that has too often been a consequence of speaking out.
You might look at that subtitle and think, 'There is no way I’m reading that.' Which is exactly the reason why it’s important to do it anyway. Not all of the essays are about rape, but all of them examine the culture that allows and encourages men and boys to take what they want from women (and girls and boys) regardless of what the other person wants or how that other person feels. It is also about a culture that makes victims believe that whatever awful thing happened to them was their fault ... There is a lot of darkness in this book, but there is also the bright light of #MeToo wisdom.
It is a difficult, almost unbearable look at what perpetrators are capable of. The details, devastation and sheer number of men helping themselves to the bodies of women, girls and boys deaden the reader. It is a critical work that makes this much clear: The violations #MeToo rages against can and do damage people for a lifetime ... They are a diverse group of women and men: famous and never published before, young and old, straight, queer and transgender. Among them are an army wife, a biochemist, an exterminator, a lawyer, a cartoonist, an eighties film icon and an author researching mental illness in the suburbs. Their stories make clear that the reverberations of sexual predation live on inside all kinds of people. Not That Bad peers into the psychology of victimhood, mining elements of sexual violence we don’t understand very well yet.
Not That Bad is the title of the anthology ... This logic is inflicted on survivors in many ways, and Gay writes it was a way for her to cope ... Her latest project includes a refreshingly diverse range of writers ... And the contributions are just as diverse — from gut-wrenching stories of assault to sharp analysis of all the ways our culture chooses to ignore the actions of perpetrators in favour of victim-blaming ...Through these essays, Gay and this all-star group of writers prove the point that rape culture is deeply embedded in the way we live, work, date and raise our kids — and it’s not just bad, it’s downright horrifying.