Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay

not that bad

5 star

Genre: Non Fiction, Feminism 
Publisher: Harper Perennial

Edited and with an introduction by Roxane Gay, the New York Times bestselling and deeply beloved author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, this anthology of first-person essays tackles rape, assault, and harassment head-on.

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are “routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied” for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics, including actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union and writers Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, Claire Schwartz, and Bob Shacochis. Covering a wide range of topics and experiences, from an exploration of the rape epidemic embedded in the refugee crisis to first-person accounts of child molestation, this collection is often deeply personal and is always unflinchingly honest. Like Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, Not That Bad will resonate with every reader, saying “something in totality that we cannot say alone.”

Searing and heartbreakingly candid, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that “not that bad” must no longer be good enough.

Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture is everything you’d expect from Roxane Gay. It’s powerful, raw, insightful, and inclusive. Nothing is off limits in this anthology. Rape, assault, and harassment are tackled head-on without apology and without delicacy.

Each essay is unique in the way it approaches the topics at hand. Some choose to face their trauma directly while others choose a more sensitive approach. These differing approaches make some essays uplifting and hopeful and others depressing and triggering. But, within each essay you’ll find what it’s like living in a world where women face a wide variety of violence and harassment and the various coping methods used to deal with these transgressions.

There isn’t much else to say other than go read it. If you’ve read Gay’s other work, you will certainly find her anthology of the same caliber as her other writing.

 “If rape culture had a flag, it would be one of those boob inspector t-shirts.
If rape culture had it’s own cuisine, it would be all this shit you have to swallow.
If rape culture had a downtown, it would smell like Axe body spray and that perfume they put on tampons to make your vagina smell like laundry detergent.
If rape culture had an official language, it would be locker-room jokes and an awkward laugh track.” 

Have you read Not That Bad? What did you think? Have you read anything else by Roxane Gay?

6 thoughts on “Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay

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