Thank you to Between the Lines and NetGalley for giving me an ARC of this book for review.
! Trigger Warring this review deals with rape and other types of abuse. !
In Fired Up about Consent Sarah Ratchford uses her knowledge to defines rape and sexual assault, as well as banish myths, and victim blaming. The writer also includes not just cis woman in this book but also Female identifying people. Ratchford talks about movements such as #MeToo. Ratchford makes sure to write an inclusive way. Unlike most books that are on such topics, Ratchford has included information and statistics about other countries around the world and not solely focused just on the one she lives in.
Ratchford not only approaches what means yes and what means no, she also broaches the following subjects: masturbation, virginity, porn, gender identity, sex work, reporting and not reporting assault, reformative justice and more. The book doesn’t just show us what consent is and isn’t, it shows us that requesting and listening to consent (or rejection) is a key part of human nature and if the reader is not following this way of thinking, then they should. Because if they don’t, they are causing harm.
It is obvious from the out set what this book is here to say. Ratchford doesn’t sugar coat it so that those who are weary of feminism can swallow it easily. She is up front and a lot of the time brutally honest. Some suggested reading that Ratchford mentioned were Audre Lorde and Sarah Deer. It was educational to see what laws there were, or in most cases weren’t, for women in other countries.
I felt this book was powerful. It made me feel like there was a whole community of people with similar experiences to me. I saw how other legal systems also failed woman and how few laws there are to protect women from the men in their own countries. It really got me pumped about changing society, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We are now seeing woman take to social media and telling people about their experiences so that people start to realize just how widespread this epidemic is. The hashtags 97% and Itsenoughmen have started to tread. Of course, this is being hit back at with #notallmen. Which just goes to show the lack of understanding and sexism society is still guilty of.
Ratchford deals with the topic of restorative justice in this book. Personally, for me, I don’t think I could be gracious enough to allow that for the person who raped me. Though I guess some kind of justice is better than nothing which was what I got. I admire those who believe in restorative justice and I was glad it was explored in the book.
I really wanted to give this book five stars but couldn’t as one of the “facts” about an Irish rape case was wrong. In her book Ratchford says that a judge said that a rape victim had consented to sex by wearing a thong. This is incorrect it was the defense lawyer Elizabeth O’Connell SC. Yes, you read that right this 17 year-old was hounded by a female lawyer about wearing a thong.
4/5 Wands /*/*/*/*