Cover Image: #MeToo

#MeToo

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Member Reviews

This book cuts to the chase. You feel the stories as you read them. This book is a group of essays written by various women. Some of the stories are heart-breaking and some will definitely give you something to think about. Yes, some of the essays are stronger than others, but overall, a good read. Thanks to NetGalley, the authors and the publisher for the ARC of this timely book.
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There are possible sexual assault triggers in this book. It is a very powerful read and one I would recommend for everyone who wants to know what the whole #MeToo movement is really about, how you can be a part of it, and how you can DO something about the situation.

This is a collection of personal essays--most written by women, but also some by men. While it doesn't seem appropriate to say I enjoyed this book, it was definitely an educational read. Some are politically slanted, and others are personal experience stories. I was touched by many of them, and even found myself in tears at a few. 

The ebook version of this book is available free on all platforms, and the print version is available at cost. 

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publishers, with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
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A truly important book helping to put a spotlight on one of the most important movements of our time. The #MeToo posts mark a crucial tipping point in modern culture, where women will no longer stay silent in the fave of male transgression, and the thoughtful and heartfelt essays here help articulate the severity of this problem and how we can all take action, men and women alike. Please give it a read and share widely with anyone you know who believes in helping women fight male sexual aggression in today's world.
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I wanted to love this and it was just… eh. It was fine. Some of the essays hit home but the majority felt rushed and not as authentic as they should be, given the subject matter. I would’ve loved to see more variety in the pieces. And honestly? I don’t need to hear anything from a man on the #MeToo movement and how it affects women. If a man has his own #metoo story then by all means, include it. Essays from dudes about their thoughts on #metoo felt out of place here – typical male “give me a cookie for not being a schmuck” type of thing. 

This left me with the feeling that the editors wanted to rush a book out to beat the crowd on this subject matter and took whatever they could get from fellow writers, threw it together, and put it out into the world before it was ready.  

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy in exchange for a review. This holds no sway over my opinion or review of the book.
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This book was a collection of 26 essays/testimonies around #MeToo.
Most essays were very heartfelt and incredible but some of them felt flat for me and some even annoyed me.
As Minnie Driver said : 
"Let women do the speaking up right now. The time right now is for men just to listen and not have an opinion about it for once."
Still, this was mostly great.
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This book made me uncomfortable at times and I found some of the essays difficult to process emotionally due to the subject matter but I do think that talking about sexual harassment and abuse is important, especially in a society where people who experience such actions often stay quiet about it.  It was interesting to see different points of view from both male and female authors and to read about their personal experiences. I would like to see more of what happens after #metoo.
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I believe that gathering powerful people together can be very beneficial. The #MeToo movement has changed my point of view in many situations. It is vital for us to share a message like this, and this book is suitable for the ones that feel the need to listen to others for once. Many of us misunderstood the meaning behind creating this hashtag, and it is still unclear for many of us why so many people are able to tell their stories only now. I truly recommend this book, and I hope that together we can fight for a better place to live in.
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This is such an eye opener. Despite already knowing the struggles and issues of being a female and having to deal with a lot day-day, it was comforting reading first-hand accounts and reading how courageous and strong the writers were knowing they came out of the other side, and decided to share their experiences to help others. It was also refreshing to read essays from men who have dealt with similar issues and shedding light and speaking out on something that is more taboo in today's society. I feel this is an extremely relevant book for everyone to read and digest, especially with the current news.
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This was such an eye opening read.  With what is going on in the world and it is so wonderful to read all of these essays.  What a wonderful way to bring everyone’s story out and let people know that we believe them. I would say that everyone should read this, man or woman, young or old.
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Individually, the stories were okay. Some were better than others, but on average they were three-star reads. As a whole, the collection was underwhelming.
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The hashtag #metoo was started by social activist Tarana Burke in 2006 to raise awareness of sexual abuse among women of color. Actress Alyssa Milano borrowed the hashtag in October of 2017 to encourage all women who have experienced sexual abuse, assault, or harassment to post about it on social media in order to show the magnitude of the problem. According to a CNN story, the hashtag was used on Facebook more than 12 million times in the first 24 hours.

Lori Perkins states the purpose of these essays is to show “the beginning of this particular phase of the movement” and I very much like the premise but ultimately I think this collection falls short. I was hoping for a collective, cohesive, voice but I found the essays to be disjointed. I was disappointed that male authors were included in these essays when barely a dent has been made in documenting women’s stories. Just as with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, when someone responded with #AllLivesMatter, they missed the point. This is about a historical, institutional, systemic, global crisis of sexual harassment, assault and degradation of women. 

I was especially taken aback by Jude M Lucien’s words in her essay "Men, Women and #MeToo": "Likewise, women sexually assault people. They don’t do it nearly as often as men do, and I attribute that to patriarchy (in other words, if women ruled the world, I think they might perpetrate many more sexual assaults, but they are subordinate in this world, so they don’t do it nearly as much)..." I understand this is a personal essay but I think that is a false and disappointing statement. 

Overall these essays are worth the read in the spirit of documenting the start of this movement but many more voices need to be added and heard.

“It’s how, as a society we view the female. How society takes our words, clothes, past sexual histories and scrutinizes them. This isn’t about how many people a woman has slept with. Or how short her skirt was on the day her boss decided to touch her without consent” - Gen Ryan Until When? #MeToo

“A world this riddled with sexual harassment and abuse will never be healed by a hashtag, that’s for sure. Yet this moment could be the first one in which you choose to do something different, to lay the first brick in a world that is built differently, a world safe for women’s bodies and men’s feelings, a world worthy of everyone’s wholeness.” - Courtney E Martin For Guys Reading #MeToo Testimonies

“The problem is not how many stories there are, but the fact that no one is paying attention. No one is giving them proper credence…” - Liz Debetta Our Bodies are Not the Problem
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It is hard to ignore the #MeToo campaign that is circulating with more fervency in light of the recent Harvey Weinstein sexual allegation and if I am honest when I saw that there was a #MeToo book I was sceptical. I initially thought that a writer had jumped on the bandwagon to make a pretty penny but when I looked into it and saw that it was a non-profit release I realised that I was wrong and that this is a book to take seriously.

Editor, Lori Perkins has compiled a series of writing from men and women about the #MeToo cause. Some of the essays are personal accounts and others reactionary. At times it can be quite hard to read as some writers don’t hold back when it comes to their own experiences of sexual assault. What is clear is that #MeToo is an important book and the campaign is not one to be forgotten in a hurry. 

#MeToo – Essays About How and Why this Happened, What it Means and How to Make Sure it Never Happens Again by Lori Perkins is available now

For more information regarding Lori Perkins and Riverdale Avenue Books (@LoriPerkinsRAB) please visit www.riverdaleavebooks.com.
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This was a fantastic read and important. This book made me cry but as it said there is strength in numbers so I posted my review and story @ http://touchmyspinebookreviews.com/2017/12/02/book-review-and-my-story-me-too-essays-about-how-and-why-this-happened/
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So with the topic of sexual harassment dominating the news, and the #MeToo campaign dominating my social media feeds, and Gretchen Carlson's Be Fierce being the last book that I read, the stars were aligning for me to read this so I could tell others about it. It's a free ebook, a collection of essays that was written in a very short period of time (a couple of weeks, maybe?) to seize the #MeToo moment. Which is admirable, but the quality is very uneven. I'm rounding up to four stars because I still think people should read this book, but don't feel like you have to read each and every essay if you can tell it's not speaking to you. There's dispassionate analysis and deeply personal accounts of assault. There's poetry. There's some misspelling -- more than would be tolerable in other circumstances. But if you feel like there's some pieces of this phenomenon that you're missing, or you just want to hear some voices beyond those on your Facebook feed, reading this is time well spent. And unless you need a hard copy (which is available for a nominal shipping cost) you won't have to spend any money on it. Stay engaged, my friends.

I received a free copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. (But you too can receive a free copy at the publisher's website, www.riverdaleavebooks.com, as mentioned above.)
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#MeToo

Before I begin, please be warned that there are potential sexual assault triggers in this book and possibly this review. If you have a #MeToo story, whether you’ve shared it or not, whether it happened yesterday or decades ago, you are stronger than you think you are and healing is possible.

#MeToo - Essays About How and Why This Happened, What it Means and How to Make Sure it Never Happens Again delivers what it promises. While I personally connected with some essays more than others, overall this book does a really good job of shedding a light on this ... I don’t want to call it a movement because that implies an ending. Perhaps cultural shift is a more hopeful term?

Some of the essays were political and others were heart wrenching accounts of experiences people have survived. Written by males and females, some who’ve experienced sexual assault and some who haven’t, I appreciated the different viewpoints and the opportunity to consider opinions that differed from my own. 

I think my personal favourite was the first essay, where I learned of Patricia Douglas, who in 1937 was the first woman to “publicly call out the studios”. We’ve been inundated with news items of men and women silenced for so long bravely coming forward and telling their #MeToo stories. Knowing how difficult this is for survivors today I can only imagine the courage it must have taken for Patricia Douglas to speak of this in 1937. That is one extraordinary woman!

I could go into detail about the contents of each essay, what I liked, what irritated me, what encouraged me to want to do more in this area, but what I’d really like is for you to read it yourself. Riverdale Avenue Books has committed to making this ebook available to download FOR FREE across platforms and are selling the paperback at cost, so they’re not making money from this project.

While you’re reading, please be safe if there are likely to be triggers for you and reach out for support if you need to, but also:

* Think about the issues (painful as they are). 

* Consider what you personally have the power to do to make sure we’re not talking about this time in history as a movement that could have been the catalyst for lasting change, if only ... 

One of the things I love about #MeToo is that people who have been living in silence are finding their voices. Survivors are finding the support they deserve and I hope they’re accessing services that can help them navigate healing. 

I could tell you my #MeToo story but I think I’ll give you a lesson in your response when someone tells you their #MeToo story. Believe me when I say that your response, especially if you’re the first person they’ve told, can make all the difference.

Now, some of these are outrageous in their insensitivity whereas others are more subtly damaging but I’ve heard every one. Please don’t say any of these to a survivor.

* “What did you do to make him think he could?” - a friend

* “What were you wearing?” - a friend

* “He was only being affectionate.” - his wife

* “How many seconds/minutes did it happen for?” - teacher in charge of student welfare, said in the context of if it didn’t last long enough it didn’t count

* “He told me what happened and he said that he didn’t mean to. It was an accident.” - his wife

* “Did you enjoy having sex with him? Is that why you didn’t tell earlier?” - a friend’s mother who worked as a nurse who primarily cared for abused children

* “Are you sure he did that?” - a friend

* “It couldn’t have possibly happened the way you described.” - the detective investigating my case

* “He told us what you said about him. You embarrassed us and we didn’t know what to say. He was really quite mad about it.” - friends

* “Are you sure it was him? Maybe it was someone else and you’re only saying it was him because you don’t want to tell me who it really was.” - teacher in charge of student welfare

* “You’re saying it happened the second time you saw him? That never happens! Why didn’t he do it the first time you met?” - the detective investigating my case

* “You can’t tell your friends about this. They’re not old enough to be able to handle it.” - teacher in charge of student welfare

* “The Royal Commission is unable to investigate individual matters.” - Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

* “He’s going through a difficult divorce, he’s an alcoholic and he has two children, one a girl a few years older than you. This would make his life even more difficult.” - teacher in charge of student welfare, who thought if I felt sorry for her friend I’d shut up

* “I can’t see you anymore. I can’t talk to you about any assault other than the one you were referred to us for.” - sexual assault counsellor

* “You’re the only one who’s made a complaint about him so far. Unless someone else makes a complaint there’s nothing we can do.” - the detective investigating my case

It’s pretty complicated coming up with dodgy reasons to shut someone up, isn’t it? Want to know what you can say that will help someone who has trusted you with their #MeToo story?

* I believe you

* It was not your fault

* You are not alone

Simple, huh?!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley (thank you so much to NetGalley and Riverdale Avenue Books for the opportunity) in exchange for honest feedback.
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I liked this book's purpose very much, it's admirable, it's raw and makes you feel things and understand the gravity of the issue. I was hoping for an all-women book, though, because while men have to be our allies in this problem, it would be nice to hear women speak of their issues, only women for a chance. I wanted to hear how #MeToo affected women, how it changed the way they saw life, whether the hashtag helped them or not. Men already have so many ocassions to speak, on any subject, this is about women or even men that had been victims of sexual abuse/harassment. But the men that contributed to this book, mostly spoke of how they had been ignorant of the magnitude of this issue or how they had been bullied at work and some of them did say supportive things, but you get my point. 

There were some essays in this book that hurt me deeply, you have these strong women that had to go through so much at the hands of men. And it's awful to read of it. There were some stories that didn't surprise me because they happened to me too, to women I know, but I still stood there and wondered how did we reach this point where rape and harassment are the norm. And having control over your body being something that you were lucky enough to have.

This book mostly made me sad, it did raise some questions, most of these I had already thought about multiple times. There was a question that stood up, though, and that was whether #MeToo will make a lasting impression.

I'm very much interested in knowing this, too. Because for a while, it's been an international matter, things changed, men lost their jobs, women came forward or felt safer speaking about what happened to them, but will it make a lasting impact?

Will it push us towards making this world we're living in a safer place for women? Only time would tell, I suppose.

Thanks Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with this copy. I admire the hard work everyone put into this book in order to inform people about why #MeToo matters.

And I want to thank everyone that was brave enough to come forward with their stories, you are forever my heroes.
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While some were more insightful than others, these essays managed to illustrate strong connections between gender inequality, toxic masculinity, and misogyny in a meaningful way.
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I'm sure that there are many #MeToo stories that could be compiled into collections that would be powerful tools, but this was not that. There were a few stories that packed a punch, but it was very uneven overall. Things like an excerpt from a memoir felt out of place, despite their subject matter. I wish that this had been pushed back even another month to develop it into something more powerful..
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The collection of essays edited by Lori Perkins - available for free download on Amazon.com - reveals personal experience of both and women that at certain moments of their careers or human development faced different degrees of sexual harassment and abuse. The testimonies are liberating but also aimed at giving strenth and support to those not yet able to talk about their trauma. It helps - although at a limited extent - to deal with the everyday weight of the soul drama, but also to realize that sharing is a way to empower others in similar situations, the silent voices of the victims. Such a collection has also the role of educating both potential victims and aggressors, offering examples of how much suffering sexual abuse can bring and how avoid ending up as a victim. Each and every one of us has a voice that we need to use it to fight and counter inequalities, injustice and abuse. And perpetrators, regardless how close to kin they are and what personal trauma they went through either, they need to be revealed. 
A very useful collection to read for everyone interested in understanding the subtle ways of sexual abuse and how important is to reject such public behaviors, regardless of the professional background and social status of the perpetrators. Abuse is just not acceptable.
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Average Rating: 3.29 stars. 

This is a difficult review to write. I by no means want to take away from the importance of the #MeToo hashtag, but this book definitely had its flaws. I wish I could give it five stars simply for the importance of subject matter, but I can’t. I’m going to divide my review into sections based on the essays themselves.

--

Remembering Patricia Douglas, the First Woman to Call Out Hollywood for Sexual Assault: 5 stars. Haunting, sad, and made me tear up. I had never heard of Patricia Douglas before this, but she deserved a lot better than she got.

After #MeToo 2 stars. The beginning was good, but it was somehow too long and too rushed all at once. It was split into a bunch of little sections, which, instead of making the essay easier to read, felt like an information overload. There were too many sections. Every time I flipped the page I was like “Seriously?? There’s more??”

The Bully Culture of the Weinsteins: 3.5 stars. Good, but didn’t give a lot of details and didn’t really set up any tension or feelings of being overwhelmed, so it wasn’t as effective as other pieces I’d read.

The Big Ugly: This left literally no impression on me whatsoever. I can’t even remember what it was about. I’m not even going to rate it.

Wall Street Assets: 2 stars. The writing was good but the uncomfortably graphic scene in the middle of it was unneeded and just plain weird.

#MeToo: A Rock’n’Roll Runway: 3 stars. The stories were haunting, but it is a very potentially triggering piece. There was also some unneeded and racist stereotyping of black girls, which was unappreciated and wrong. 

Consent: Breaking the Silence: 5 stars. Sad and hopeful all at once, with a good message r.e. statutory r*pe.

Tit for Tat: 2 stars. Another one that was kind of weird. It used the terms “male” and “female” wayy too often. Like, that is literally the type of language that TERFs use and emphasize on??? I really hope that it was accidental. However, there were some good guidelines in it that described the warning signs of a sexual predator.

“I was only…”: 5 Stars. An excellent and wonderfully written piece on the importance of not minimizing the effect of sexual harassment by not saying “I was only trying to help,” “It was only a joke,” etc. 

Me Too: Protecting Men from Themselves: 5 stars. The second good piece in a row! Hooray. An excellent look at how sexual assault victims are expected to protect the loving men in their lives from their trauma. Probably my favorite piece out of the whole book.

Men, Women, and #MeToo: 5 stars. An awesome look at aspects of r*pe culture that aren’t looked at a lot in the mainstream feminist stratosphere. Another favorite.

Every Book I Have Ever Written is a #MeToo Novel: 3.5 stars. Good subject matter, but I wish it had been longer with more depth than breadth. 

#NotMe’s Instead of #MeToo’s: 2 stars. There wasn’t really anything wrong with it, I was just kind of bored and it didn’t really keep my attention.

Not Them Too: 2 stars. Got a real “white feminism” vibe, and it was too short for me to really get anything else from it. 

Why We #MeToo: 1 star. I read this literally five minutes ago and can’t even remember what it was about. 

Until When? #MeToo: 2 stars. This was the third super short essay in a row, and I was getting kind of tired of brief essays. Wish there had been a long one somewhere in there to break the monotony.

Doing What We’ve Always Done: Gender Roles and Sexual Assault: 4.5 stars. Great topic about gender roles and how sometimes men just don’t get it. It reminded me of the intro to the10th Anniversary edition of Speak.

More Than a Hashtag: 4 stars. Brought some humor to an unfunny topic that was a welcome break from the more serious pieces. However, the humor didn’t detract from the overlaying message. 

For Guys Reading #MeToo Testimonies: 4 stars. A good step by step guideline for men wondering what they can do to help.

The Wild Feminine Freed #MeToo: 1 star. Uhhhhhhh. This was just kind of weird. Like wtf was going on. Seeing Baba Yaga, the centuries old witch from fairy tales who literally runs around on a house on chicken legs, as a symbol of femininity, was…. strange.

Our Bodies Are Not the Problem: 2.5 stars. Another…. Just, bleh. I don’t know. It had no effect on me. 

Hush: 4 stars. Short, but the good kind of short. It was nice to have a poem as a break from the essays. This one packed a powerful punch. 

Sexual Harassment on the Job from HR’s Perspective: 4 stars. Another superb piece. I loved that it went really into depth on sexual harassment in the workplace. I learned things I didn’t know before. 

Why the #MeToo Movement is a Call to Arms for Men Everywhere: 4 stars. A great piece on why it’s important to actively support the women in your life. 

Politics is My #MeToo: 3 stars. uhhh some more white feminism vibes. But besides that, it definitely wasn’t the strongest piece and not a very good essay to end with. 

Overall thoughts

All in all, it was definitely a nice book, and probably worth reading (especially since – according to the ARC copy, it will be free on all e-book platforms!!) if you are interested in the #MeToo movement.

I wish there had been more pieces written by women of color, and I was definitely looking for a piece written by a trans woman! Violence towards trans women is a super prevalent issue in sexual harassment, but the issue was only briefly mentioned once throughout the entire collection. And that made me sad. 

(Also – it should be noted that this novel could be extremely triggering in terms of sexual harassment/assault, r*pe, and violence. Tread with caution.)

I was provided an eARC copy by NetGalley in exchange for a complete and honest review.
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