What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape ~ Sohaila Abdulali

Happy Book Birthday to What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape!

What We Talk about When We Talk about Rape

Rating 4/5

Trigger warning: rape, sexual violence, assault

This collection of essays covers a wide range of topics under the umbrella of talking about rape. Abdulali jumps back and forth between political opinion, factual evidence, and personal narratives. This three way look at what rape is, how we think about it and talk about it was surprisingly easy to read despite the heavy subject and the gruesome stories. I am grateful to her for putting this collection together into such an approachable book.

Abdulali’s voice is young and encouraging. She is clear that she does not pity or judge, but rather she is stepping up to have an honest and open conversation and encouraging all of us to do the same. I felt her narrative was inclusive and she looked at how we talk about rape in several countries. Again, I’m grateful she’s willing to start this conversation, over and over again. This felt pertinent to the #MeToo movement that has come forward in recent years, yet rape is an issue that women and men have faced for centuries. If we don’t start talking about it, how can we ever get to a place where we can prevent it?

One scene that has really stuck with me was a breakfast she had with her daughter, who at the age of 9 (or 11, sorry can’t remember!) was just finding out from her mother that her mother is the survivor of a rape. Her daughter’s response is simple, and this experience begs the question, why don’t we talk with our kids about rape? Why do we struggle to give them the language and the tools to understand and share their own experiences? We know that rape is not limited to adults, so we need to do better about including children in the conversation.

If you are able to read books with heavy topics, please read this book. It’s so important.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.

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