Wednesday, December 28, 2011
What is the proper punishment for rape?
Daisy Whitney is a victim of rape and has written a fictional book on the subject called The Mockingbirds. I read it a few months ago and I've had trouble wondering what I think of it. I'll highlight a few smaller points:
It tries to be the new Speak.
It tries to be helpful for rape victims.
It constantly pushes the fact that the main character got raped (constantly referencing To Kill A Mockingbird and The Temptest). We know he main character got raped, Daisy Whitney! We don't need to be reminded every two seconds.
One of my main problems with this book is that the adults are idiots and the fact that the main character never told the authorities. Yes, I know telling the police what happened can be very hard, but is going to a mock court run by teenagers any better? There are safe houses where victims of domestic violence and sexual assault go that aren't police stations, very nice places, and they do all the legal work there. They are acclaimed for helping people. The character could have possibly gone there. I still understand, it's hard to speak up.
The main character is proud that she does not have most cases of rape trauma syndrome, that she isn't anti-social and avoiding people or afraid people will rape her. That is a very tough issue, I'm glad she isn't suffering from most cases of RTS, but at the same time she's like "Good, I'm still speaking to people." She also very, very quickly gets a new boyfriend that she has no real connection with (in my opinion).
But here's the punishment her rapist got for raping her:
He didn't get a birthday cake.
He didn't get to be on the water polo team and if he didn't resign he wouldn't get boarding school points to leave on Friday nights.
No sports, no cake, no Friday night visits to get ice cream. The main character gets the feeling of "victory" that she trialed her rapist. What does an actual rapist deserve? At least years in prison, but he didn't get a chocolate cake, get to stay on a sports team, or go get ice cream on Friday nights. How is that a proper punishment? How does this help rape victims? How is going to teenagers helping you?
Daisy Whitney told her story about her rape and it was very inspiring, but this book treats rape so lightly. It's worth only 1 star.
Better books on rape:
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Target by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson (for male rape victims)
So what do you guys think?