Hey guys! Today, Mindy McGinnis is stopping by our blog to share a guest post on rape culture. Her post is just as powerful and compelling as her book, so make sure you check it out below!
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
Pub Date: September 20th, 2016
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.
While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.
But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.
So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.
Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.
In preparing to do a guest post about rape culture, I wondered what I had to say that could add to the conversation. The subject has been covered, and well, by others. So I told myself to wait for a couple of days, and something would come up.
I didn't mean for my thoughts to be taken literally.
Last week was our county fair. It's been hot and dry here. Thousands of cars and pairs of feet had stirred up a dust cloud, and as I was leaving the grounds I saw a minivan coated in a fine film of dirt that someone had decided to treat as a canvas. The ubiquitous dick and balls drawing was everywhere, along with FUCK ME scrawled multiple times.
I watched people walk past it, some pointing and laughing, some shaking their heads. Parents covered their children's eyes and rolled their own. But nobody did the one thing that made the most sense.
Nobody erased it.
There we were in a public place with multiple erect, demanding penises in clear view of anyone who walked past, along with a directive to perform a sexual act on it. And no one was willing to make it go away with a swipe of their forearm. Sure, it can be argued that they didn't want to touch someone else's personal property, but I wonder if such passivity sends the message that the dicks had a right to be there, or in the least, are an acceptable background in our culture, one deserving only of an eye roll and a quicker step to put it behind you.
Do I think people are being actively harmed by dicks drawn on dirty cars? I don't know. As for the FUCK ME, I can't argue against bad language without painting myself a hypocrite, as I have a sailor's mouth. It's the passivity that bothers me, the acceptance of a situation that young girls will see a dick as soon as they are old enough to open their eyes in public - and will never stop seeing them.
I did the only thing I thought I could do. I tucked my hand in my shirt sleeve and wiped the van free, uncovering a sticker family on the back, two little girls bringing up the rear.
So that's two that didn't have to see a dick.
It's a start.
Mindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film by Stephanie Meyer's Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST was released in 2014. Look for her Gothic historical thriller, A MADNESS SO DISCREET in October of 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books. Mindy is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary.
Mindy, thank you so much for stopping by the blog and sharing your thoughts!
Everyone, be sure to check out the rest of the tour schedule and the giveaway below. But most importantly, be sure to pre-order THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES!
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