Friday, 16 October 2015

When you get to the end of a book and think 'yes!'

Last night I finished reading Asking For It and I know I'm slightly behind here but I was waiting for my student loan before buying it. In the 'Afterword', author Louise O'Neill states this: 'We need to talk about rape. We need to talk about consent. We need to talk about the victim-blaming and slut-shaming and the double standards we place upon young men and women. We need to talk and talk and talk until the Emma's of this world feel supported and understood.'

This is why she is such an important writer gracing the young adult/ teen fiction shelves today. She's not writing about trivial romances or utopian worlds; she's writing about reality. Her debut Only Ever Yours is a depiction of our narcissistic culture and the male gaze. The cover is misleading (my brother saw it when browsing the books in my room and turned his nose up. "It's not tacky!" I exclaimed. "It's good!") but also true. Real life barbie dolls are still very much a thing.
In Asking For It she makes us think. The females that dress and behave in a particular promiscuous way, that may be a 'slut, liar, skank, bitch, whore', are looked upon with disgust. If they happened to be raped, they deserved it. That's what people think but they shouldn't. Rape is wrong, whatever the situation. Nobody is asking for it.

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