A timely and heartfelt collection of essays inspired by the #MeToo movement, edited by acclaimed young adult and middle-grade author Janet Gurtler. Featuring Beth Revis, Mackenzi Lee, Ellen Hopkins, Saundra Mitchell, Jennifer Brown, Cheryl Rainfield and many more.
When #MeToo went viral, Janet Gurtler was among the millions of people who began to reflect on her past experiences. Things she had reluctantly accepted—male classmates groping her at recess, harassment at work—came back to her in startling clarity. She needed teens to know what she had not: that no young person should be subject to sexual assault, or made to feel unsafe, less than or degraded.
You Too? was born out of that need. By turns thoughtful and explosive, these personal stories encompass a wide range of experiences and will resonate with every reader who has wondered, “Why is this happening to me?” or secretly felt that their own mistreatment or abuse is somehow their fault—it’s not. Candid and empowering, You Too? is written for teens, but also an essential resource for the adults in their lives—an urgent, compassionate call to listen and create change.
I think the first thing I want to say is I wish there was no need for a book like this. I wish we lived in a society that the stories contained in this anthology were tales of days gone by. Unfortunately, that is not the case. This a book that is hard to read at parts, it doesn’t pull punches but instead hits you right where it hurts. Women around the world will read these stories though and nod their heads with the sad knowledge that this is the way the world is.
But one thing I do know for certain is that we need to stand together. To protect each other. To amplify the voices of those who are so often robbed of their ability to speak. There are still many #MeToo fights to be fought – and we need to fight them together.From Intro by Janet Gurtler
This anthology of 25 essays is a mixture of tales of sexual assault, experiences of the ongoing sexual harassment that makes up women’s lives and powerful stories of how we are ending this NOW. I wish I could talk in-depth about each story in this anthology but if I were to do that we would be here all day! I do want to highlight some of my favourites, Sugar and Spice and Not So Nice, is a great story about how we can stand up and say no, how we can stay firm and remind everyone that this is not okay behaviour. Bus Stop Witchcraft was an uplifting essay from a young person on how we can join together every woman and work together to change the world and make it a better place. The One We Don’t Talk About is a heartbreaking tale of incest and how even in this day of #MeToo we still sweep this under the rug. Finally, Burn was such a beautiful written essay speaking volumes of taking back your story and your power and rising like a phoenix.
Sadly there were a few things I found disappointing, firstly there is one essay in here by a cismale and I found this essay to be so deeply problematic in the way it was written. I do believe that we need to be talking about male sexual assault but this essay, in my opinion, comes across as extremely tone-deaf, as we hear about how he listened to boys mock girls and he never says anything and is silently complacent in this. In addition to this, I found that many of the essays were tales about when they were girls written by middle-aged women that I felt will not truly connect with teens of today. I wish there had been so more diversity as there are not really anyone that talks about identifying as LGBTQIA.
But the biggest thing would be that I think the ebook is about 10 essays too long and I personally felt more beaten down than uplifted by the end of it. Overall though it serves it’s purpose, to create solidarity and strength among us all and remind young women they are not alone. A Powerful book that hopefully inspires a powerful generation, so that we can stop asking You Too?