Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: Asking for It by Kate Harding


Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest. Congressman Todd Akin’s “legitimate” gaffe. The alleged rape crew of Steubenville, Ohio. Sexual violence has been so prominent in recent years that the feminist term “rape culture” has finally entered the mainstream. But what, exactly, is it? And how do we change it?

In Asking for It, Kate Harding answers those questions in the same blunt, bullshit-free voice that’s made her a powerhouse feminist blogger. Combining in-depth research with practical knowledge, Asking for Itmakes the case that twenty-first century America—where it’s estimated that out of every 100 rapes only 5 result in felony convictions—supports rapists more effectively than victims. Harding offers ideas and suggestions for addressing how we as a culture can take rape much more seriously without compromising the rights of the accused.

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

I read this book as research for one of my own upcoming novels. I was looking into how to define “rape culture” and how society treats victims of sexual assault. Although the statistics and stories shared in the work are disheartening, I would say this book is a must read for every single woman.

What made me the sickest while reading was the many examples of victim blaming. The book really was eye opening in the many ways that rape victims are shamed. I remember reading a New York Time article a few years back that shared quotes from neighbors of an eleven year old who was gang raped. The neighbors talked about how the girl dressed older than her age and wore makeup and clothing more appropriate for women in their 20s. Asking for It shares more of these stories including one story of a defense attorney who compares a raped eleven year old to a spider and the perpetrator the fly.

The book covers a lot of topics and I think the author thoroughly examines many hot button issues of today such as revenge pornography, rape jokes and the high incidence of sexual assault on college campuses. The book is by no means an easy read, but definitely an important one.  

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!


  1. Great review. I didn't know about the existence of this book until now. I'm intrigued and would love to pick it up. It is disturbing how people blame the victims, and sadly it continues on no matter what.

  2. Holy crapballs, Batman! Are you kidding me? "a defense attorney who compares a raped eleven year old to a spider and the perpetrator the fly." What the actual hell?! I don't know how you made it through the book. Props to you, my friend! Great review!