Asking for It Book Summary - Asking for It Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Asking for It summary

Kate Harding

The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture – and What We Can Do about It

3.9 (16 ratings)
15 mins
Table of Contents

    Asking for It
    summarized in 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Rape victims are often blamed for their own assault.

    Imagine you heard the following statement in court: “Like a spider, she drew him into her web.” What kind of criminal do you think that would describe? A murderer? A con artist? No, an attorney once said this of an 11-year-old girl when he tried to defend the man who had raped her.

    Unfortunately, that sort of argument often prevails both in the courtroom and society at large. Victims of rape are often slut-shamed as though they’ve invited the crime on themselves.

    In this particular case, which happened in Cleveland, Texas in 2010, the 11-year-old girl wasn’t only raped by one man. She was repeatedly gang raped by several men. The offenders returned to her several times.

    You might think this would be a clear-cut case in which the men were quickly convicted. But it wasn’t, because the girl was audacious enough to wear makeup. Even worse, she was Latina.

    Tragically, these factors were twisted and used to blame her. And this sort of thinking isn’t limited to defense attorneys.

    In rape cases, the perpetrators are often painted as victims. When James McKinley wrote about the Cleveland gang rape in the New York Times, he noted that much of the community was shocked by the case, but not by the tragedy of what happened to the girl. They were shocked that the men had been “seduced” into such behavior. There was a lot of concern about the case affecting the men for the rest of their lives.

    Those attitudes might seem absurd, but they didn’t appear in a vacuum. They’re the product of the culture we live in. Rape culture blames victims, exonerates rapists and normalizes sexual abuse.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Asking for It?

    Key ideas in Asking for It

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Asking for It about?

    Asking for It (2015) is about rape culture, the social and cultural practices that normalize rape by diminishing the experiences of victims and vindicating perpetrators. These blinks outline the various manifestations and effects of rape culture, and the steps we can take to dismantle it.

    Best quote from Asking for It

    From time immemorial the rule has been not to punish the male offender, but to get the victim out of his way. – Susan B. Anthony, 1896.

    —Kate Harding
    example alt text

    Who should read Asking for It?

    • Anyone whose life has been affected by sexual violence
    • Romantic partners looking to understand more about consensual sex
    • Policy makers and sex educators

    About the Author

    Kate Harding is an author and columnist who specializes in issues surrounding violence against women and the cultural negativity regarding women’s bodies. She has contributed to The Book of Jezebel and DAME Magazine and coauthored Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere.

    Categories with Asking for It

    Books like Asking for It

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial