A bold, honest and unflinching look at the way we talk and think about rape.
From Title IX cases on campus, to #metoo and #timesup, rape is a definitive issue at the heart of feminism, and lately, it's barely out of the news. Cultural critic Mithu Sanyal is picking up where Susan Brownmiller left off in her influential 1975 book Against Our Will. In fact, she argues that the way we understand rape hasn't changed since then, even as the world has changed beyond recognition. She contends that it is high time for a new and informed debate about rape, sexual boundaries and consent.
Sanyal argues that the way we as a society understand rape tells us not just how we understand sexual violence, but how we understand sex, sexuality, and gender itself. For instance, why is it so hard to imagine men as victims of rape? Why do we expect victims to be irreparably damaged? When we think of rapists, why do we still think of strangers in dark alleys, rather than uncles, husbands, priests, or boyfriends?
The book examines the role of race and the trope of the black rapist, the omission of male victims, and what we mean when we talk about rape culture. She provocatively takes every received opinion we have about rape, and turns it inside out - arguing with liberals, conservatives, feminists and sexists alike.
Reviews and Endorsements:
“An essential book for our times by a writer at the height of her powers. Gripping, informed and accessible, this will be an instant feminist classic.”
—Laurie Penny, author of Unspeakable Things
“This is a book for today. Mithu Sanyal is insightful, thoughtful, and provocative. She encourages us to think about sexual violence in new ways and, most importantly, has challenging things to suggest about the way we should deal with rapists. A ‘must read’ for anyone curious about sex and sexual harms.”
—Joanna Bourke, author of Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present
"The shockingly mundane debate over #MeToo has met its match in Mithu Sanyal. In her elegant, crisply written book, she peeks into the dark crannies we want to avoid. Joining her on this journey is the only way to understand the origins and context of the current problem."
—Vanessa Grigoriadis, author of Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus
About the Author:
Mithu M. Sanyal is an award-winning broadcaster, academic and author. Her first book, Vulva, was translated into five languages.