You Too? by Janet Gurtler
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.
Published: January 7, 2020
** I received a digital advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
“Every behaviour we tolerate, every behaviour we fail to call out – because we’re trying to be polite, or because we’re afraid of the consequences, or because we believe the man ‘didn’t mean anything by it’ or was ‘just flirting’ – makes it easier and more likely for him to escalate the behaviour.”
There’s a trigger warning for this novel due to the content of the collection of essays that feature the #MeToo movement and features different experiences about sexual harassment. The commonality between these essays was each author’s own personal experience with sexual harassment. These authors all reinforced that this could happen to anyone, and that it’s not your fault for what was said, or what was did to you.
I felt very empowered and angry after I read this book. I felt a range of emotions from disgust, to heartbreak while I was reading each essay. Some of the essays broke my heart; I could feel the author’s pain through the pages of the book. Other essays made me so angry; they began to make me question why no one would help in these situations, or why the perpetrator would think that saying and doing those things would be even remotely okay!
The essay that stood out to me was entitled “Sugar and Spice and Not So Nice” and was written by Jess Capelle. The main theme of this essay focuses on how women are taught to smile and be polite when other people make rude or demeaning comments towards us. To take the objectification that men have towards with women in stride – essentially not to “stir the pot.” This one really hit me in the gut when I read it, it reminded me so much of Halsey’s song “Nightmare.” Which is an amazing song full of feminism and female empowerment, I’m pretty sure that I had this song playing in my head the entire time I read this book.
I normally don’t read books of this nature, books about the #MeToo movement, and female empowerment, women telling their stories of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. This book sounded fascinating and relevant for today. I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would, I even recommend this book for Andre to read for him to better understand what women go through, and why the #MeToo movement began and what’s behind it. Hopefully he’ll read this and heed my advice and read a copy of it.
I strongly believe that this book is not just for women, it’s also for men who can educate themselves on this topic in order for them to gain some insight on what women are faced with almost on a daily basis. Some women have experiences that date back into their childhood which carries on into their adulthood and has helped to shape their opinions and attitudes on a variety of topics, such as being polite, smiling when a man says something degrading because that’s what you were taught to do, because that’s just how men are. Even writing those words makes me so angry, I know when I have children they will not be taught this type of mentality. They will be given words to tell men exactly what they think; they will not be afraid to speak out.
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