read it: not that bad

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Not That Bad is an anthology of essays about rape culture edited by Roxane Gay. It is heavy and heartbreaking and critical. It touches on so many different aspects of rape culture, the parts that get overshadowed or justified or excused because they are (eponymously) not that bad. It’s hard to read, and it should be, because it’s hard to face up to the truth of how our society views and values women (which is to say, not as people, and not as much as men).

Because sidelining women’s stories/voices/visages, and also glorifying—thus neutralizing—their suffering, are not only prerequisites to sexual violence against women, but also ensure that sexual violence isn’t seen as sexual violence but as totally normal, sanctioned behavior.

– from “Why I Didn’t Say No” by Elissa Bassist

Shelve under required reading. Take your time with it. Think about the different experiences and how they are all unique and all the same. Take breaks and take care of yourself when you need to.