Roxane Gay to edit anthology of ‘dispatches from rape culture’
Not That Bad, which will include contributions from actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union, aims to address the routine levels of abuse faced by women
Feminist commentator and writer Roxane Gay is editing a new anthology of essays about sexual assault and harassment, which will include contributions from the actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union.
Entitled Not That Bad, Gay’s “dispatches from rape culture” will be a collection of first-person essays covering topics from the rape of refugees displaced by global crises to first-person accounts of child molestation, said publisher HarperCollins, which will release the book in May 2018. With an introduction from the bestselling Gay, who details her own gang-rape at the age of 12 in her recent memoir Hunger, it will address how women are “routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronised, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied” for speaking out about sexual abuse.
The collection’s announcement follows weeks of women and men coming forward with stories of sexual abuse after the New York Times reported a series of allegations against the film producer Harvey Weinstein. As incidents of harassment and abuse were shared on social media with the hashtag #metoo, Westminster has also found itself under scrutiny, with defence secretary Michael Fallon forced to quit last week after a number of allegations were made against him.
Not That Bad includes essays from actors Sheedy and Union, the latter of whom was critical of the response from some Hollywood figures to the Weinstein revelations, particularly fashion designer Donna Karan, who said women must consider if their clothes suggest they are “asking for it”.
“I got raped at work at a Payless shoe store,” Union wrote on Twitter. “I had on a long tunic & leggings so miss me w/ ‘dress modestly’ shit.”
The collection will also include contributions from the writers Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, Claire Schwartz and Bob Shacochis. It will, said HarperCollins, address “what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face”, and will be “unflinchingly honest”.
The publisher compared the anthology to Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, the feminist collection that inspired the term “mansplaining”, and said that it would say “something in totality that we cannot say alone”.