Friday, June 16, 2006

A Bad Man

"Guilt by Association" came out a little over a decade ago. My sister has had this book for a while but for some reason I never read it until now. The story involves a young college student who is raped and beaten by a man she meets at a party when he offers to walk her home. That was in 1962 and the woman's life as she had planned it is basically ruined as she doesn't go back to school and her boyfriend breaks up with. Then in 1992 she learns that her rapist, whose last name she didn't know, is a California senator that is running for President of the United States. She decides to get revenge.

It's a satisfying story to watch how she gets her revenge, but at the same time the book was pretty disturbing. When she is raped almost everyone, including her mother and boyfriend, think that it was her fault and that she must have led the man on by letting him walk her home. Nevermind that her jaw was broken, her knee shattered, multiple ribs broken, her lung punctured, her larnyx crushed, and her lung collapsed from the beating he gave her. How could anyone think that was consensual? Even if she wanted to have sex, I don't think she wanted she be beaten within an inch of her life. I know people that pretty crappy views of rape back in the 60's, but I couldn't figure out if the author was exaggerating or really being truthful that back then a lot of people didn't believe that women could be raped. I mean, we've all read "To Kill a Mockingbird" and that was a rape case. But it probably goes without saying that the public view black men and Harvard law students differently when it comes to rape.

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