As an avid reader and writer, I find peace when I find a
really fantastic book that helps me think about an issue that has been on my
mind. After three years reading articles in Gender Studies, a degree in Creative
Writing, and two years of helping manage a campus women’s centre and many more
pondering difficult issues of gender, violence and sexuality, I took for
granted that a really thorough, thoughtful, readable book about sexual assault was
“out there.” As it turns out when I went to find one to read and review for my
blog, it is not. But then again, who wants to take a year to do
nothing but write a comprehensive book on sexual assault, in vain hopes of
making it interesting and accessible for the mainstream?
Oh wait. I do.
While authors such as Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point,
Blink) have endeavored to make complex ideas engaging and readable, bloggers
and writers such as Sarah Haskins (Target: Women) and Anita Sarkeesian
(Feminist Frequency) have strove to bring issues of gender, race and sexuality
to mainstream media through the internet. My
aim is to do both through a book, blog and vlog that is as open-source (pay-what-you-can
or free) as possible. This book needs to exist for both men and women, survivors and friends of survivors, because sexual assault effects us all.
In more detail, the
book I want to write will:
Be a resource for
starting to understand and create informed opinions on the subject:
-give statistics and
reflection upon the statistics (not taking stats at face value but will try to
put them in as much context as possible)
-contain interviews and
research from most knowledgeable and recent resources possible
opinions, including those of the religious right, men’s rights groups, etc
overviews of theories and history of theories as they’ve fallen in and out of
-address a broad range of
sexual assault and see them as connected, though unique – from harassment to
stalking to media portrayals of sexualized violence, to date rape to rape in war
cultural assumptions about
-why it happens (eg:
it’s not just about sex – so then what?)
-who it happens to (not just women)
-who does it (eg: it’s not
“monsters” hiding in bushes- it’s otherwise normal people – so who?) - -what happens next – survivors,
the justice system, counselling, etc.
-is this “normal?” Is
there/ has there been a society with no sexualized violence?
- What if we (as a
society) have more assumptions about sexual assault than real knowledge? Why?
-Why is something that so
much of everyday life based upon so hushed up, misunderstood, in the dark?
-What happens when we
start debunking myths, changing stigmas, and start talking about it openly?
- What is/are the
difference(s) between a culture with a high instance of reported sexual assault
and a low instance? What causes these differences, and what are the results?
Make the topic accessible
-written in plain,
frank, and engaging language – written from a first-person point of view so
that I am literally learning alongside the reader. Does not have to be
completely somber but rather takes the subject seriously while exploring it
with a sense of openness and curiosity.
-written with all genders
in mind – anyone who is willing to contemplate sexual assault’s place in our
society will hopefully find something enlightening, educational, myth-diffusing
-is written in such a way
that aims to be less triggering for survivors: limited violent scenes, etc.
-takes an anti-oppression
stance where I will try to check my biases and assumptions as much as possible,
and write as inclusively of intersecting oppressions as possible.
from many –sometimes conflicting- sources (both interviews and research)
-feminist, sex and gender theorists
-other academia (though
made concise and readable)
-citizens of high instance
per-capita and low per-capita areas – both men and women’s perspectives
Has a bias – as all
-Acknowledges this bias as much
-Uses anti-opression research methods and methodology
-Takes an unapologetic anti-opression and sex-positive stance
-Takes a sociological perspective – refuses biological essentialisation of any
race or gender
-Is written by a woman (me) but aims to address men's issues, perspectives and experiences as well as possible
Will decidedly NOT be
(as all of these have been done many times before)
-A “how to avoid assault” book
-A “real life survivor stories” book
-A “how to deal with the after-effects” book (I am NO therapist)
-A "women are victims, men are perpetrators" book
-An academic text, though could be useful particularly in first-year
I have the drive and
skills to do this. I have managed to save $5,000 of my own money to help me do this. But I will need funding for:
blogging, networking, writing first draft (4 months - $4000)
second draft, blogging, creating online content (6 months - $6000)
for research, promotion, interviews ($?)
book will cost me about $10.00 CAN to print
to EPUB (e-book) $?
website, selling/giving/shipping books ($?)
ReAudio-recording the book, burning to CDs (?)
This is where you
come in, gentle funder. If this sounds like a project that you would like to
see come to completion, please fund generously in exchange for some awesome thank-you
incentives. This can’t happen without you! Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my
heart, in advance.