“What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape is brilliant, frank, empowering, and urgently necessary. Sohaila Abdulali has created a powerful tool for examining rape culture and language on the individual, societal, and global level that everyone can benefit from reading.”—Jill SolowayIn the tradition of Rebecca Solnit, a beautifully written, deeply intelligent, searingly honest—and ultimately hopeful—examination of sexual assault and the global discourse on rape told through the perspective of a survivor, writer, counselor, and activist
After surviving gang-rape at seventeen in Mumbai, Sohaila Abdulali was indignant about the deafening silence that followed and wrote a fiery piece about the perception of rape—and rape victims—for a women’s magazine. Thirty years later, with no notice, her article reappeared and went viral in the wake of the 2012 fatal gang-rape in New Delhi, prompting her to write a New York Times op-ed about healing from rape that was widely circulated. Now, Abdulali has written What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape—a thoughtful, generous, unflinching look at rape and rape culture.
Drawing on her own experience, her work with hundreds of survivors as the head of a rape crisis center in Boston, and three decades of grappling with rape as a feminist intellectual and writer, Abdulali tackles some of our thorniest questions about rape, articulating the confounding way we account for who gets raped and why—and asking how we want to raise the next generation. In interviews with survivors from around the world we hear moving personal accounts of hard-earned strength, humor, and wisdom that collectively tell the larger story of what rape means and how healing can occur. Abdulali also points to the questions we don't talk about: Is rape always a life-definining event? Is one rape worse than another? Is a world without rape possible?
What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape is a book for this #MeToo and #TimesUp age that will stay with readers—men and women alike—for a long, long time.
|Publisher:||New Press, The|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
1. Who do I think I am?
2. Shut up or die
3. The night everything changed
4. Yes, no, maybe, kind of, sort of, not really but perhaps
5. What did you expect?
6. How to save a life
7. The quality of mercy
8. A brief pause for horror
9. A bagful of dentures
10. Keys to the kingdom
11. A brief pause for fury
12. Sometimes a dick is just a dick.
13. You spin me right round, baby, right round
14. Stealing freedom, stealing joy
15. A brief pause for ennui and a longing for light
16. My rape is worse than yours
17. Good girls don't
18. Boys will…
19. The official version
20. Polite conversation
21. The full catastrophe
What People are Saying About This
"Both unflinching and nuanced, Abdulali breaks the East/West boundary so often upheld in feminist writing on this subject. Her writing is disruptive and powerful for itnever letting us forget that there is a person who suffers, a body that gets broken, and, when a body is violated, all of society is at risk.
This book could not be more timely, nor could there be a better thinker
herself a survivorto write it. If the #metoo campaign is to have any lasting impact for change in women’s circumstances across the world, it will be because of books such as this.’Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young