Sohaila Abdulali was gang-raped as a teenager in Bombay. Indignant at thedeafening silence on the issue in India, she wrote an article for a woman'smagazine questioning how we perceive rape and rape victims. Thirty yearslater she saw the story go viral in the wake of the horrific 2012 Delhi gangrape and the global outcry that followed.
This book draws on her own experience, her work with hundreds of survivorsas the head of a rape crisis centre in Boston, her research, and threedecades of grappling with the issue personally and professionally. What WeTalk About When We Talk About Rape is about changing the conversationaround rape culture, questioning our assumptions, and figuring out how toraise the next generation. Grounding each chapter in an individual story, Sohaila Abdulali looks atwhat we-women, men, politicians, teachers, writers, sex workers, feminists,sages, mansplainers, victims and families-think about rape and what wesay.
She asks pertinent questions: Is rape always a life-defining event? Doesrape always symbolize something? Is rape worse than death? Is rape relatedto desire? Who gets raped? Is rape inevitable, like the weather? Is one rapeworse than the other? Who rapes? What is consent? How do you recover asense of safety and joy? How do you raise sons? Who gets to judge?What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape is neither a memoir nor anacademic study but it is deeply personal and meticulously researched. It is arallying cry and required reading for us all.