Sexual assault remains one of the most common crimes committed in the United States; this book explains why.
Rape culture, described by Betty Friedan in 1963, is a set of beliefs and cultural practices that excuses sexual violence, most commonly perpetrated by cisgender men against women. Keyser (Underneath it All, 2018, etc.) references events and cultural trends ranging from the #MeToo movement to Brock Turner’s acquittal to Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign to explore the underlying causes of rape culture as well as its devastating consequences. The author, who envisions the book as a “road map for building a better future,” ends each chapter with recommendations for action that readers can take to combat toxic and pervasive societal attitudes. The intersectional analysis does a thorough job of considering issues like blackness and gender nonconformity. However, the people profiled, as well as the quotes from and interviews with teens, lack diversity, for example, not mentioning any high-profile cases of transgender individuals. Additionally, topics such as the high rates of sexual assault of Native American, transgender, and gender nonconforming people, among others; the effect of immigration status on reporting rape; and the potential for prison reform through restorative justice are skimmed over. While one book cannot cover everything, this one certainly could have covered more.
A laudably current guide to rape culture that at times sacrifices depth for clarity. (source notes, glossary, bibliography, further information, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)