It is also a story in which a girl who is raped is labelled a slut and ostracized by her community rather than supported. Part of the reason this happens is because is that many of our school systems value sports – which can generate income and good press – over people, so we are often willing to overlook the bad behavior of our sports stars. It’s cognitively easier for us to blame the victim and dismiss the severity of the crime than it is for us to break down the ideals we build up in our minds about these men and women we declare “stars”; we write cultural narratives that idolize our subjects and when we get information that contradicts that we have such a difficult time with this incongruent information that it’s easier for us to deflect blame elsewhere. This is one of the reasons why we continue to talk about slut shaming. As Christa Desir points out repeatedly, slut shaming is one of the reasons that more victims of sexual violence don’t come forward and seek the help they need and deserve. They know that if they do, there is a chance that they will be branded with the scarlet S and they think it is easier to suffer in silence than to come forward and risk the shame and outright bullying that can and far too often does occur.
But let’s back up, let’s talk about the book.
Some Boys is told in alternating voices, the voices of Grace and Ian. They ...
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... toxic culture of gender norms that Eric Devine discusses in his post yesterday. Gender norms, entitlement, a culture of celebrity, even in our schools, are all parts and pieces of the sexual violence discussion and these books give us a framework to discuss them and break them down at a time when teens are making important decisions about who they want to be and how they want to live their lives.
Some Boys has a currency of events that speak to our times. There are elements of the stories we are reading about in the media on the pages of this book, and yet talking about them through the framework of story allows us to talk about them in a zone of safety; We’re not talking about real people, but we’re talking about all too real situations. Timely, relevant and discussable, Some Boys manages to tackle difficult topics with engaging characters. Definitely recommended.
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