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Sexual Justice: Supporting Victims, Ensuring Due Process, and Resisting the Conservative Backlash

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A pathbreaking work for the next stage of the #MeToo movement, showing how we can address sexual harms with fairness to both victims and the accused, and exposing the sexism that shapes today's contentious debates about due process Over the past few years, a remarkable number of sexual harassment victims have come forward with their stories, demanding consequences for their A pathbreaking work for the next stage of the #MeToo movement, showing how we can address sexual harms with fairness to both victims and the accused, and exposing the sexism that shapes today's contentious debates about due process Over the past few years, a remarkable number of sexual harassment victims have come forward with their stories, demanding consequences for their assailants and broad societal change. Each prominent allegation, however, has also set off a wave of questions – some posed in good faith, some distinctly not – about the rights of the accused. The national conversation has grown polarized, inflamed by a public narrative that wrongly presents feminism and fair process as warring interests. Sexual Justice is an intervention, pointing the way to common ground. Drawing on core principles of civil rights law, and the personal experiences of victims and the accused, Alexandra Brodsky details how schools, workplaces, and other institutions can – indeed, must – address sexual harms in ways fair to all. She shows why these allegations cannot be left to police and prosecutors alone, and outlines the key principles of fair proceedings outside the courts. Brodsky explains how contemporary debates continue the long, sexist history of “rape exceptionalism,” in which sexual allegations are treated as uniquely suspect. And she calls on readers to resist the anti-feminist backlash that hijacks the rhetoric of due process to protect male impunity. Vivid and eye-opening, at once intellectually rigorous and profoundly empathetic, Sexual Justice clears up common misunderstandings about sexual harassment, traces the forgotten histories that underlie our current predicament, and illuminates the way to a more just world.


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A pathbreaking work for the next stage of the #MeToo movement, showing how we can address sexual harms with fairness to both victims and the accused, and exposing the sexism that shapes today's contentious debates about due process Over the past few years, a remarkable number of sexual harassment victims have come forward with their stories, demanding consequences for their A pathbreaking work for the next stage of the #MeToo movement, showing how we can address sexual harms with fairness to both victims and the accused, and exposing the sexism that shapes today's contentious debates about due process Over the past few years, a remarkable number of sexual harassment victims have come forward with their stories, demanding consequences for their assailants and broad societal change. Each prominent allegation, however, has also set off a wave of questions – some posed in good faith, some distinctly not – about the rights of the accused. The national conversation has grown polarized, inflamed by a public narrative that wrongly presents feminism and fair process as warring interests. Sexual Justice is an intervention, pointing the way to common ground. Drawing on core principles of civil rights law, and the personal experiences of victims and the accused, Alexandra Brodsky details how schools, workplaces, and other institutions can – indeed, must – address sexual harms in ways fair to all. She shows why these allegations cannot be left to police and prosecutors alone, and outlines the key principles of fair proceedings outside the courts. Brodsky explains how contemporary debates continue the long, sexist history of “rape exceptionalism,” in which sexual allegations are treated as uniquely suspect. And she calls on readers to resist the anti-feminist backlash that hijacks the rhetoric of due process to protect male impunity. Vivid and eye-opening, at once intellectually rigorous and profoundly empathetic, Sexual Justice clears up common misunderstandings about sexual harassment, traces the forgotten histories that underlie our current predicament, and illuminates the way to a more just world.

30 review for Sexual Justice: Supporting Victims, Ensuring Due Process, and Resisting the Conservative Backlash

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley One of the things I will always remember about the Brett Kavanagh hearings was putting on Blasey Ford’s testimony at the beginning of a class, and several female students thanking me for doing so. Of course, we later discussed the confirmation hearings and the fallout. It is to all the students, male and female, credit that no one ever brought the idea that Kavanagh was on trial, despite what many pundits kept trying to claim. During the hearings, then President Tru Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley One of the things I will always remember about the Brett Kavanagh hearings was putting on Blasey Ford’s testimony at the beginning of a class, and several female students thanking me for doing so. Of course, we later discussed the confirmation hearings and the fallout. It is to all the students, male and female, credit that no one ever brought the idea that Kavanagh was on trial, despite what many pundits kept trying to claim. During the hearings, then President Trump referred to how tough men had it because they could, basically, be accused of sexual assault/harassment at drop of a hat and then their lives would be ruined. Funny how that worked out Kavanagh, isn’t it? It is true Brodsky’s credit that in her book, Sexual Justice, she takes seriously the reservations that some may have about how sexual harassment issues are dealt with in, primarily in schools but also in a boarder legal sense. No, she doesn’t treat Trump’s rhetoric seriously, though she does dismantle the assumptions that underlie it with grace and neutral tone. She focuses on what it means when those students or professor who are accused do not have access or full knowledge about how the process works, she deals with the question of race that can hang over some accusations as well as the history of why the defense in sexual assault cases is connected the way it is. She details the history of Title IX, the impact of both Trump and Obama on harassment cases in college, as well as educating the reader about the differences between the legal system and the system that may exist in a college as well as the public. She burns down the myths that several far-right groups have put forward about #MeToo and feminism. More importantly, what she also presents is a solution, or to be more exact a format or guide, to deal with sexual assault cases both in terms of education but also by the public. Her use of history and various cases does this. She not only deals with survivors but also those who have been accused - and she clearly states what that person’s story and/or outcome was. Her prose is easily accessible. IT is not a perfect book. While Brodsky does cite several studies over the course of the book, there are times I found myself wishing that some of those studies had been more recent (or if there was not a more recent study that this was made clear). I also, for the most part disliked the almost constant “I think” and “I believe” that proceed many statements. There are a few places in the book where this is needed - for instance when she is discussing race and harassment – but it is used way too much. It is your book, I presume it is your opinion unless you tell me otherwise. The above two aside, this book should be read by everyone and be required reading for those who discuss sexual assault/harassment.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Quin Rich

    This one is fairly disappointing, but makes some salutary points. Brodsky is a civil rights attorney with a pedigree of feminist anti-harassment activism on college campuses. She makes clear her commitment to justice for survivors and an end to sexual harassment. So I take her more seriously than I would others claims to stand for “due process,” which as Brodsky notes has been so horribly misused as to become meaningless in most cases. Brodsky offers a model of fair process that takes seriously This one is fairly disappointing, but makes some salutary points. Brodsky is a civil rights attorney with a pedigree of feminist anti-harassment activism on college campuses. She makes clear her commitment to justice for survivors and an end to sexual harassment. So I take her more seriously than I would others claims to stand for “due process,” which as Brodsky notes has been so horribly misused as to become meaningless in most cases. Brodsky offers a model of fair process that takes seriously the claims of advocates for the accused without erasing the rights of complainants. She makes clear that any definition of “due process” that ignores survivors’ needs or seeks impunity for harassment is bogus. She also debunks the claims of Men’s Rights Activists, conservatives, and some misguided “progressives” that serious action to end sexual harassment is in conflict with due process. Helpfully, she critiques the undercurrent of misogyny and erasure of Black women survivors that dominates the white-led discussion of harassment and racial inequality. That discourse wrongly frames Black men as under constant threat of false accusations and erases the far greater issue of survivors of color being erased from the debate. Although she doesn’t address abolition at length, she makes clear that the notion put forward by some self-professed “radical” scholars that Title IX is “carceral” is absolutely unfounded. To the contrary, strengthened processes by institutions for sexual harassment are perfectly compatible with a complete rejection of the criminal justice systems, as her chapter on police and courts shows. I wish more of my former colleagues would read this book for these reasons alone. But Brodsky constantly punches left at feminists more radical than her. For example, she attacks the use of the phrase “believe survivors” because it has been to willfully misinterpreted by anti-feminists. But the phrase “believe survivors” simply functions like “black lives matter,” by calling attention to where there has been an inequality and consciously seeking to correct it. Additionally, Brodsky make some very condescending comments about Grace’s accusations against Aziz Ansari, insisting that Grace was wrong to describe her experience as “sexual assault” and she should have contacted a “lawyer” first. I agree Babe did not handle that story well, but not at all because it was “unfair” to Ansari. What he did was inexcusable and a clear manifestation of male entitlement and patriarchy. She make similarly condescending comments about Senator Gillibrand and others who called on Al Franken to resign. Does a man have to commit the most severe harm imaginable before we recognize that his “low-level” pattern of behavior is unacceptable? That seems like too high a price to pay. Brodsky declines to define “sexual harassment.” This could have been an excellent opportunity to defend a robust, broad definition of harassment that includes low-level verbal and physical harassment, emotional and social coercion, and more high level assaults as compatible with due process. Contrary to what many misguided “progressives” believe, it is not “sex negative” or against due process to understand that a wide swath of seemingly minor behaviors can be experienced as assaultive. Brodsky herself has elsewhere argued cogently and convincingly that “stealthing” (condom removal without consent) is a form of assault, which many people strangely do not get. Because Brodsky declines this opportunity, many will continue to wrongly claim a broad definition of assault violates due process. Brodsky also makes some questionable choices in building her argument. She cites Tommy Curry to make the obvious point (which does not require a citation) that Black men can indeed be sexually assaulted. Tommy Curry is a committed misogynist with a grudge against Black women and Black feminist. His work, even when he is technically correct, does not deserve any more daylight, especially from feminists. Additionally, out some misguided notion of fairness, Brodsky credits the false claim that men are disadvantaged in custody court. To the contrary, research by Joan Meier, Phyllis Chesler, and the Leadership Council has demonstrated that custody court is patriarchal hell that routinely discredits women and children survivors of male abuse, gives custody to known abusers, and punished women for trying to protect themselves and their children from abusive men. Brodsky also is not sufficiently critical of many of the “progressive” voices calling for “due process.” She seems (it is unclear) to credit the letter written by Harvard Law professors criticizing Title IX processes at that school as an example of reasonable dissent. But it’s quite clear from Brodsky’s own discussion that the letter (signed by many vocal anti-feminists like Alan Dershowitz, Janet Halley, and Jeannie Suk Gersen) is more about protecting the law professors own fiefdom than having anything to do with due process. Perhaps she’s less than critical because Gersen blurbed her book. Accordingly, she doesn’t spend significant time debunking any one author, Gersen, Halley, Kipnis, Levine, or otherwise. Perhaps that’s because she’s written a popular book and not a more academic one. That more academic book is still needed to address the harmful claims made by these pseudo-progressives. Lastly, I just have basic questions abut whether if we instituted all of the processes Brodsky recommends if that would actually lead to significantly more findings of responsibility for harassment. Brodsky was to balance the rights of the accused with those of survivors, so this may not be her goal. But it is the goal for feminists who want to sexual harassment taken equally seriously as other violations, like fraud or plagiarism. It is, like Brodsky’s own stance, a de-exceptionalizing one. If we strengthen process but do nothing to challenge the pervasive culture of misogyny and disbelief, will we actually see real progress on harassment? I doubt it. Overall, I think Brodsky’s book will do much good but will also strengthen some wrongheaded thinking. Read with a critical, survivor-focused eye.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Seaman

    I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book. On one hand, I do understand on a surface level what this book is trying to say. There were just a bit too many legal details for me to really fully understand it. On the other hand, I was a little unsure about what the book was saying. I do think that everyone deserves a fair trial and due process. I do think that everything to do with sexual justice is complicated. But I also think that like SVU says these crimes are "especially heinous." This I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book. On one hand, I do understand on a surface level what this book is trying to say. There were just a bit too many legal details for me to really fully understand it. On the other hand, I was a little unsure about what the book was saying. I do think that everyone deserves a fair trial and due process. I do think that everything to do with sexual justice is complicated. But I also think that like SVU says these crimes are "especially heinous." This book kept going on and on about how these crimes should be treated like everything else. At some points, I thought that this book was doing the opposition's job. I definitely have mixed feelings about this one and want to do more research about the arguments. *eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*

  4. 5 out of 5

    Max

    This is really a wonderful book. Everything is so convincingly argued as to seem entirely obvious, even though the argument itself -- that institutions other than courts have to deal with all kinds of accusations of wrongdoing, that the fact that sexual misconduct has to do with sex has no bearing on the question of process, that justice for victims is entirely consistent with fair process for the accused -- seems to me at least to be original. Not that I'm an expert. I was familiar with some of This is really a wonderful book. Everything is so convincingly argued as to seem entirely obvious, even though the argument itself -- that institutions other than courts have to deal with all kinds of accusations of wrongdoing, that the fact that sexual misconduct has to do with sex has no bearing on the question of process, that justice for victims is entirely consistent with fair process for the accused -- seems to me at least to be original. Not that I'm an expert. I was familiar with some of this material, but I learned an enormous amount as well, especially from the chapters on MacKinnon's legal theory and on the historical relationship between racial oppression and acts as well as accusations of sexual violence. I thought these chapters were very good, and I also liked the chapter on Kavanaugh. A lot has been written about this man, but having read this book, and having trained myself to think about questions of process separately from the content of the accusation, I see this episode differently. People who are not activists, and who do not have any influence over policy, are going to find the book valuable, too. The tone in which the author tells these stories about sexual violence and its victims and perpetrators is detached but compassionate, both highly objective and uncompromisingly polemical. As a result, all kinds of readers are going to identify with the people the author has talked to over the years. They are going to see themselves in the book. I think that this is an incredibly important service, whether or not any of the ideas in the book are implemented. And I'm sure some of them will be. Finally, I can do nothing more than admire the author's willingness to talk to "the other side," and to take them seriously as intellectual opponents and as human beings. I'm not sure that I would have been so brave. And her reflections about how she wrote the book provide a kind of model for rejecting exceptionalism with respect to sexual harms. She's approached the research in the same way that she would an investigation of any other legal problem. The fact that the book is itself an enactment of a fair process makes the arguments for fair process in the book all the more persuasive.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    Personally, I think rapists should be treated like rabid dogs. However, if you would like to read a treatment of the issue of sexual assault and what can be done about it that is rigorously informed by ethical legal standards, this is a very good book. I thought the first and last sections were excellent. I appreciated her laying out clearly what can be done in civil court and non-court institutions, and that she mostly left the concept of "restorative justice" alone, which in my opinion is comp Personally, I think rapists should be treated like rabid dogs. However, if you would like to read a treatment of the issue of sexual assault and what can be done about it that is rigorously informed by ethical legal standards, this is a very good book. I thought the first and last sections were excellent. I appreciated her laying out clearly what can be done in civil court and non-court institutions, and that she mostly left the concept of "restorative justice" alone, which in my opinion is completely inappropriate for cases like this. However, I'm not sure I am fully on board with her discussion of "de-exceptionalizing" sexual assault, which forms the core of her book. I do believe she operates and thinks in good faith, so perhaps her perspective will be more convincing for other people. Ultimately, I would want more radical solutions, but I am neither a legal scholar nor activist, and it will take all kinds of feminists to make any sort of progress.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I was given a free ARC from the publisher for this review. This is a valuable book and a much needed one. With the #MeToo movement causing everyone to stop and think that maybe the way forward shouldn't look like the way things were done in the past, women need to know that there is hope and help in the justice system. Unfortunately humans remain obstinate, thinking of themselves over the rights of others and many people still view sex through a lens of what they want not what is best for all inv I was given a free ARC from the publisher for this review. This is a valuable book and a much needed one. With the #MeToo movement causing everyone to stop and think that maybe the way forward shouldn't look like the way things were done in the past, women need to know that there is hope and help in the justice system. Unfortunately humans remain obstinate, thinking of themselves over the rights of others and many people still view sex through a lens of what they want not what is best for all involved. I doubt this book will get much circulation because it is very technical, often citing legal cases. But I think it would be a great resource for anyone who wants to pursue a career in assisting persons who have been sexually assaulted or high school/college students doing research on the topic. In my ARC version of the book there are over 50 pages of author's notes and other resources, making this a very credible tool for research. I found I couldn't make myself finish the book, however, because the topic distressed me so much. This is not a criticism of the writing or the research, just my reaction to the topic. It should come with trigger warnings!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Inna

    Brilliant book on addressing sexual harassment fairly and empowering the victims. The book focuses on US, but there are many insights there relevant to other countries as well. Thus, highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie McDaniel

    I took a break from my normal diet of SF and fantasy to read this. This was an interesting, absorbing, and often infuriating read (especially the chapter on Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, and how the Republicans lied and obfuscated and ignored other accusers and did everything possible to shove this guy on the Supreme Court). For the most part, I found the author to be fair-minded and even-handed in her points. She is obviously concerned about due process for all, accuser and accused, and point I took a break from my normal diet of SF and fantasy to read this. This was an interesting, absorbing, and often infuriating read (especially the chapter on Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, and how the Republicans lied and obfuscated and ignored other accusers and did everything possible to shove this guy on the Supreme Court). For the most part, I found the author to be fair-minded and even-handed in her points. She is obviously concerned about due process for all, accuser and accused, and points out that allegations of sexual harassment should be handed the same way as allegations of other crimes, such as theft and racial slurs (this is in a context of academia and the workplace, not necessarily a courtroom). One important point she makes is in regards to the idea of "exceptionalism," defined by her as "an assumption that sexual harassment allegations should be subject to different, and usually more demanding, procedures than all other forms of misconduct": Scrape the surface of "exceptionalism" and you'll usually find misogyny beneath. Our collective fear of scorned, lying, irrational women who falsely "cry rape" has been ingrained in our culture and law for centuries, no matter the baselessness of the archetype. It serves as the unified, animating force behind the casual rape apologias, explicit doubts, and flawed policies that stand in the way of justice for survivors and an end to the violence. If we look at how rape victims have been treated historically, especially in criminal law, we can recognize contemporary exceptionalism as just the latest iteration of a long, terrible tradition. We believe we need special protections from sexual harassment allegations because we think that these accusations are particularly likely to be untrue. No matter that the best research shows that only between 2 and 8 percent of rape allegations are false, on a par with false allegations of other crimes, and just because a prosecutor drops charges or declines to bring them doesn't mean a rape didn't happen. It just means they might not think they have sufficient evidence to prove it. In the end, the author's conclusion is that sexual harassment should be treated as no different than other forms of misconduct, with clear policies for both accusers and accused, and suggests an even-handed set of procedures to follow: Rules governing members' conduct should be clear and understandable. A harmed person should have the opportunity to lodge a complaint, and the other person should be informed of the details of the allegation. Both people should be told how the process will work and, if possible, assigned someone to help them navigate it. Each should be given the opportunity, with sufficient time, to present their side of the story and any supporting evidence, including witnesses. Both sides should be able to review the other's relevant evidence and rebut the account the other side gave. As part of that, they should both have the opportunity to present questions to the other, to solicit answers that might undermine the other's story. The complainant, not the accused, should bear the burden of proving the allegation. A conclusion should be made by unbiased decision-makers, who should explain their decision to the parties. Of course, this would also require getting rid of the common kneejerk "bitches be lying" mentality, along with the cry of "boys will be boys" (as if boys are not intelligent beings who are quite capable of controlling themselves if they put their minds to it) and "we can't ruin a young man's life." (Never mind how the girl's life might be or already is ruined.) This is, of course, a contentious topic, but I think this book points to a convincing way forward.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara “Small Town Sara Reads”

    I enjoyed the beginning of the book and some of the things Alexandra Brodsky had to say. However, and maybe this is because a lot of the legal nuances went over my head, the more I got into it more I felt like I couldn’t quite figure how where she stood. ⠀ There is no question that Ms. Brodsky is incredibly smart and knows the field very well. But I couldn’t actually tell what she was saying. Her premise seems simple enough, that both the victim and accused in a sexual assault should have rights. I enjoyed the beginning of the book and some of the things Alexandra Brodsky had to say. However, and maybe this is because a lot of the legal nuances went over my head, the more I got into it more I felt like I couldn’t quite figure how where she stood. ⠀ There is no question that Ms. Brodsky is incredibly smart and knows the field very well. But I couldn’t actually tell what she was saying. Her premise seems simple enough, that both the victim and accused in a sexual assault should have rights. Basically, this is what I took from it, that the accused shouldn’t be punished without being heard nor should the victim be ignored. We all know which of these happens more frequently. ⠀ I ended up having a lot of really mixed feelings about this one. I just feel like she spent too much time walking the line of “accused attackers deserve care” and “victims deserve justice.” I think my biggest problem with this was that she didn’t really say anything much or new. Honestly, as a survivor of a non violent acquaintance assault, I felt like she was too worried about how being accused affects the accused. I get the need for non legal action options for victims but what happens if that university hearing goes in favor of the accused and they “get away” with it? She never once addressed that nor what victim options are if they just get stuck on a campus with their attacker who now knows the victim reported them. I felt the whole thing just felt unfinished with too many questions unanswered. ⠀ The system for sexual assault victims is broken. It fails victims and the wrongly accused over and over again. And I know that Alexandra Brodsky never said she had any or all of the answers but I just wanted something more. I may have missed things because a lot of this was very legal heavy and it went over my head. And I know I came at it from a “side” so that definitely effected my reading experience. I just ended up feeling slightly disappointed in the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    J Earl

    Sexual Justice from Alexandra Brodsky is a wonderfully nuanced work that addresses the need for the #MeToo movement to move into the next stage. Awareness has been on the rise and all too often the right and the Men's Rights activists have used the excuse of due process to cover their actual goal of continuing impunity for misogynistic harassment and assault. Brodsky shows that due process is not what these disingenuous people are claiming it is and by offering options illustrates what a real fa Sexual Justice from Alexandra Brodsky is a wonderfully nuanced work that addresses the need for the #MeToo movement to move into the next stage. Awareness has been on the rise and all too often the right and the Men's Rights activists have used the excuse of due process to cover their actual goal of continuing impunity for misogynistic harassment and assault. Brodsky shows that due process is not what these disingenuous people are claiming it is and by offering options illustrates what a real fair system might look like. At the core, I think, is the need to quit treating sexual harassment claims different from other personal injury claims. There is no need for a higher bar, the procedures in place offer an excellent starting point for addressing accusations of either harassment or assault. From there we need to not make it strictly a carceral approach. These are, as Brodsky shows through multiple examples, civil rights violations and legal action outside the criminal court system should be an option available to victims. Additionally, investigations within organizations are not legal proceedings and there are plenty of such procedures in place for other workplace disputes, this does not need to be made special when the purpose of making it special is too allow the harassment to continue unchecked. Brodsky offers some suggestions for moving forward but the most valuable aspect of the book is the shift in perspective and the subsequent shift in approach. While those on the right who want the misogyny to continue unchecked will still find fault with holding these people accountable, those who are genuinely interested in simply ensuring fairness will find a lot to like here. This is a valuable contribution to the discussion and should be the starting point for future discussion. Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

  11. 5 out of 5

    NaTaya Hastings

    Normally, I try my best to give long, involved, well thought out reviews to books I receive on Netgalley. I feel like that's only fair. If a publisher is willing to grant me free access to one of its books, I feel like I owe it to them to give a lengthy, well-written review, regardless of whether the review is positive or negative. I'm not going to do that with this book. I'm going to see that it is an ESSENTIAL read for anyone classified as a homo sapien and leave it at that. I don't care if yo Normally, I try my best to give long, involved, well thought out reviews to books I receive on Netgalley. I feel like that's only fair. If a publisher is willing to grant me free access to one of its books, I feel like I owe it to them to give a lengthy, well-written review, regardless of whether the review is positive or negative. I'm not going to do that with this book. I'm going to see that it is an ESSENTIAL read for anyone classified as a homo sapien and leave it at that. I don't care if you are a man, woman, non-binary, gay, straight, or bisexual. I don't care if you're something beyond a liberal democrat or the most conservative of all conservative republicans. It doesn't matter which side of the argument you are on when it comes to sexual harassment and assault (although how you could be on any other side than the "justice for victims" side is beyond me). If you are a human being with working (or non-working, for that matter) genitals, you need to read this book. I will be recommending it to everyone. It's truly one of the best, most well-written books on the subject of sexual assault reform I've ever read. And while you can tell the author is obviously on the side of victim's rights, she presents the material in as non-biased a way as I think is possible on the subject. It's truly a must read for everyone. And I guess I lied. While I didn't give as long of a review as usual, I didn't leave it at "essential reading" and nothing more either. Still. Phenomenal book. I highly recommend it to LITERALLY anyone, but especially to parents with young men OR women growing up in today's world.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Salam

    This audiobook was amazing. The narration was beautiful. I went into this book expecting it to be very heavy, and yes some parts of it very much were; however, the author did a phenomenal job of focusing on disseminating information and awareness so that the reader can learn about the issues and laws at hand, and the support systems that are in place and those that are lacking for individuals involved in sexual assault. Interestingly enough, the author went on to discuss the rights of those accu This audiobook was amazing. The narration was beautiful. I went into this book expecting it to be very heavy, and yes some parts of it very much were; however, the author did a phenomenal job of focusing on disseminating information and awareness so that the reader can learn about the issues and laws at hand, and the support systems that are in place and those that are lacking for individuals involved in sexual assault. Interestingly enough, the author went on to discuss the rights of those accused of committing the verbal or physical assault, both accused and convicted, and this was a very different and eye-opening approach that after hearing I think is important. She also discussed how law enforcement continues to fail victims and continues to discuss current legislation that's been passed. She also talked about key issues surrounding sexual justice including race, gender orientation, sexual preferences, and other factors that play a factor in our society. She did this in a wonderful way without delving too much into the details of actual assault cases, thus mitigating triggers. Having said that if you have ever been in a similar circumstance, or know someone that has please tread very lightly. The entire book can be very triggering and cause PTSD in certain individuals, especially those who do not have access to support, so please keep that in mind before you dive into the book. Thank you to @netgalley and @macmillan for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tala

    3.5 rounded to 4. This text is important and the fight for sexual justice for victims of assault continues on with no signs of slowing down. It adapts rather than disintegrates. While I commend the author with their thorough research and care to not see it from only one perspective, I did find a lot of it to be too centrist on the issue. They bring up valid points about how it isn't treated seriously as a crime and on the other side is treated too harshly if we rush to punishment. Every step of 3.5 rounded to 4. This text is important and the fight for sexual justice for victims of assault continues on with no signs of slowing down. It adapts rather than disintegrates. While I commend the author with their thorough research and care to not see it from only one perspective, I did find a lot of it to be too centrist on the issue. They bring up valid points about how it isn't treated seriously as a crime and on the other side is treated too harshly if we rush to punishment. Every step of the way the justice system has to hyper focus on the issue and destroy the notion that any kind of "sex" isn't a crime. The justice system will not change until the people in power view the crimes as actual crimes. There is so much more I have to say on this book but for now will leave it at this. Not to sound too blunt, many individuals view sexual assault as a lesser crime because the victim lived. The whole "but did you die?" mentality is rampant in the discussions regarding sexual justice. The Whataboutism is further diluting and degrading the valid arguments and viewpoints from the activists and survivors who are only asking for the bare minimum, justice. **received ARC by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lexi Kupor

    I am ambivalent about this book - I think it was really important for me to read concerning the past experiences I’ve had in terms of addressing sexual assault within our community, but I often felt more frustrated than heard at some points. Obviously there can often be a clear bias within feminist movements regarding the rights of the accused, but I’m not sure if the de-exceptionalism argument made throughout the whole book is the best answer, especially in schools. Especially for minors, these I am ambivalent about this book - I think it was really important for me to read concerning the past experiences I’ve had in terms of addressing sexual assault within our community, but I often felt more frustrated than heard at some points. Obviously there can often be a clear bias within feminist movements regarding the rights of the accused, but I’m not sure if the de-exceptionalism argument made throughout the whole book is the best answer, especially in schools. Especially for minors, these incidents ARE exceptionally sensitive and pervasive, and we can’t just ignore that in the hopes of making punishment more fair or difficult to instate. The author also falsely wrote that Audrie Pott was from New York, which, although a small detail, is something I found personally a little insensitive considering you could easily google her and find all the details about her life and experience in my high school district. I did message the author and she said she would fix this error in the soft cover versions of the book. Brodsky surely makes lots of thorough, convincing arguments, but I am just not quite sure if I am ready to agree with them all at this point.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Morgan

    DNF. This is not a casual read. The author's legal background heavily influences her writing, making it difficult to enjoy this book, in my opinion. The author starts by arguing for the rights of victims of sexual assault, yet not much later she also argues for the rights of those accused of sexual assault. I don't disagree with either of those viewpoints, even though the second one is hard to remember sometimes that people are innocent until proven guilty. So, the author does have a valid, if n DNF. This is not a casual read. The author's legal background heavily influences her writing, making it difficult to enjoy this book, in my opinion. The author starts by arguing for the rights of victims of sexual assault, yet not much later she also argues for the rights of those accused of sexual assault. I don't disagree with either of those viewpoints, even though the second one is hard to remember sometimes that people are innocent until proven guilty. So, the author does have a valid, if not popular, point with this book. My biggest problem with this book is that she fights for both points over and over and over again with different stories and different words to repeatedly make those points. I think this would have gone over better as a much shorter essay than an entire book. It's just too much. I did give 2 stars simply because the author's research and knowledge of the subject are very prominent in this book. I won this from Library Thing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sara Broad

    "Sexual Justice" by Alexandra Brodsky is a nonfiction work about the history of and failure to adequately address sexual harassment and sexual violence in the United States. Brodsky does include many suggestions on how we can combat these failures, which will require a cultural shift from individuals to institutions who do not act in favor of victims. Something that stood out to me is how people, especially politicians when is serves their own interests, to misconstrue the meaning and purpose of "Sexual Justice" by Alexandra Brodsky is a nonfiction work about the history of and failure to adequately address sexual harassment and sexual violence in the United States. Brodsky does include many suggestions on how we can combat these failures, which will require a cultural shift from individuals to institutions who do not act in favor of victims. Something that stood out to me is how people, especially politicians when is serves their own interests, to misconstrue the meaning and purpose of due process. Also, Brodsky details how institutions regularly treat victims with suspicion and address their attacks in ways that often protects the accused over those who are seeking justice. While "Sexual Justice" discusses an important topic, the style of writing made it a bit hard to get through, but overall it was a worthwhile read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzie

    I cannot say enough good things about this book. As an activist against sexual assault I found so many of the arguments presented here compelling. There is a clear emphasis on fairness in this book, while at the same time providing safeguards for victims of sexual assault (as it should be). The review of current practices was extremely fair and unbiased in my opinion. We must do better when it comes to the treatment of these situations on our campuses. Our colleges are not equipped to conduct fo I cannot say enough good things about this book. As an activist against sexual assault I found so many of the arguments presented here compelling. There is a clear emphasis on fairness in this book, while at the same time providing safeguards for victims of sexual assault (as it should be). The review of current practices was extremely fair and unbiased in my opinion. We must do better when it comes to the treatment of these situations on our campuses. Our colleges are not equipped to conduct formal judicial procedures; however, as noted in this book, that does not create an excuse for inaction. I definitely recommend this to anyone else interested in learner more about how to make the adjudication process specifically on college campuses more just and fair.

  18. 4 out of 5

    alexis piazza

    I was lucky to review an early copy of Alexandra Brodsky's wonderful new book, "Sexual Justice." In it, Brodsky cuts through the contentious headlines around the Me Too movement and the "due process" backlash, successfully framing how we as a society can work towards responding fairly when a person comes forward as a victim of sexual violence. Brodsky's central commitment is to treating everyone--both victims and the accused--with dignity, and she expertly recounts stories from both sides (victi I was lucky to review an early copy of Alexandra Brodsky's wonderful new book, "Sexual Justice." In it, Brodsky cuts through the contentious headlines around the Me Too movement and the "due process" backlash, successfully framing how we as a society can work towards responding fairly when a person comes forward as a victim of sexual violence. Brodsky's central commitment is to treating everyone--both victims and the accused--with dignity, and she expertly recounts stories from both sides (victims she zealously represented, accused she empathically interviewed) in service of that goal. The book is not about the law, really, but about our shared principles; it's an important conversation, now more than ever. I recommend it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    CJ

    I really appreciated how this book pushed back on a lot of the ways the Me Too movement has been framed in the media as oppositional to fair disciplinary processes, and how better and fairer practices in the law, school and the workplace can help everyone. One thing that is really lurking in the back of all this but that I hadn't quite noticed until Brodsky pointed it out is how sexual harassment/assault is viewed as unique from other types of misconduct in a way that introduces a lot of bias in I really appreciated how this book pushed back on a lot of the ways the Me Too movement has been framed in the media as oppositional to fair disciplinary processes, and how better and fairer practices in the law, school and the workplace can help everyone. One thing that is really lurking in the back of all this but that I hadn't quite noticed until Brodsky pointed it out is how sexual harassment/assault is viewed as unique from other types of misconduct in a way that introduces a lot of bias into how we think about it as a society. If you already know a lot about the law or feminism you might find this book repetitive, but I found it to be very informative and even-handed and I think a lot of people would benefit from reading it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessenia Class

    This was a deeply researched meditation on due process in sexual harassment/harm investigations. The author dove into this topic and argued compellingly for a certain set of principles to remain consistent in any harassment procedure, to avoid exceptionalizing SH, and to avoid twisted narratives of what due process is, especially from the right. I thought this was well done, but I kept finding myself frustrated with the limitations the author imposed on herself. On one hand it’s reassuring to kn This was a deeply researched meditation on due process in sexual harassment/harm investigations. The author dove into this topic and argued compellingly for a certain set of principles to remain consistent in any harassment procedure, to avoid exceptionalizing SH, and to avoid twisted narratives of what due process is, especially from the right. I thought this was well done, but I kept finding myself frustrated with the limitations the author imposed on herself. On one hand it’s reassuring to know what the author is speaking on, she’s confident about and well positioned to do so, and other domains where she is not, she simply won’t opine. But on the other, it left arguments at times feeling abruptly cut off or underdefended

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a heavy, detailed, legal-focused read, as I imagined it would be. Having formerly prosecuted sexual crimes in a major city, I was familiar with many of the legal aspects of the book. Though I do not work within the world of Title IX, I was a college-aged female in the US not too long ago and therefore experienced some of the advocacy the author discussed in the book. This was a necessary read, as the #MeToo movement is alive and well, and there are so many ways we can better the system. This was a heavy, detailed, legal-focused read, as I imagined it would be. Having formerly prosecuted sexual crimes in a major city, I was familiar with many of the legal aspects of the book. Though I do not work within the world of Title IX, I was a college-aged female in the US not too long ago and therefore experienced some of the advocacy the author discussed in the book. This was a necessary read, as the #MeToo movement is alive and well, and there are so many ways we can better the system. I appreciated the case studies the author included; they always make the information seem more ‘approachable.’ The author treated the subject respectfully and discussed both sides of the situation. Whether you agree with them or not, both sides of the issue are relevant and therefore require understanding for us to move forward as a country to better responses to allegations of sexual harassment/assault. I recommend this book, but make sure to read something lighthearted afterward.

  22. 5 out of 5

    wade

    The author here attempts to find better ways to deal with the ongoing problem of sexual harassment from verbal to rape. With many examples she shows how victims end up being portrayed as aggressors and the perpetrators as victims. Brodsky looks at the problem both within the legal system and in the educational system from secondary school through college. She points out many issues but a key finding is what she call exceptionalism which she doesn't like. She feels sexual injustices should be ha The author here attempts to find better ways to deal with the ongoing problem of sexual harassment from verbal to rape. With many examples she shows how victims end up being portrayed as aggressors and the perpetrators as victims. Brodsky looks at the problem both within the legal system and in the educational system from secondary school through college. She points out many issues but a key finding is what she call exceptionalism which she doesn't like. She feels sexual injustices should be handled the same manner as civil rights, religious and other forms of persecution are treated.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Boschert

    Brodsky writes in an easy-to-understand style about complex and nuanced subjects. If you've ever heard anyone complain about a "violation of due process" in the past decade of activism against sexual harassment and assault -- especially on campuses -- this book is a must-read. You'll come away with a better understanding of what processes are fair to both the victims of sexual harassment and the accused perpetrators. This issue ain't going away, so it's about time we all tried to get it right. M Brodsky writes in an easy-to-understand style about complex and nuanced subjects. If you've ever heard anyone complain about a "violation of due process" in the past decade of activism against sexual harassment and assault -- especially on campuses -- this book is a must-read. You'll come away with a better understanding of what processes are fair to both the victims of sexual harassment and the accused perpetrators. This issue ain't going away, so it's about time we all tried to get it right. Many overlaps with #MeToo and #TitleIX and prominent news stories that you'll recognize.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Doris

    Many people out there would be wondering who is DR FRANK, are the stuff they say about him are they truth? Well i have come to let people know that DR FRANK is real and that he is also very powerful. Sometimes ago i used to ask myself those questions listed above but after i contacted DR FRANK through these his whatapp number +2347036655985 and via email: DRFRANKSPELLCASTER.com i discovered that DR FRANK is a genuine spell caster that has the ability to restore love in any broken relationship or Many people out there would be wondering who is DR FRANK, are the stuff they say about him are they truth? Well i have come to let people know that DR FRANK is real and that he is also very powerful. Sometimes ago i used to ask myself those questions listed above but after i contacted DR FRANK through these his whatapp number +2347036655985 and via email: DRFRANKSPELLCASTER.com i discovered that DR FRANK is a genuine spell caster that has the ability to restore love in any broken relationship or marriage

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wes Schierenbeck

    Very relevant to the times we live in--I found it deeply thoughtful, persuasive, and empathetic. It explains complicated legal concepts in accessible terms. It will cause MRA meltdowns, but it is full of real tangible solutions for navigating the complicated world of sexual misconduct accusations. Should be (and will be!) required reading on the subject.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    This book was very well done, but extremely frustrating. In light of everything going on right now I feel so disheartened. It is all about rich white men protecting each other and their power. The fact that Kavanaugh has a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court makes my blood boil.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Cummins

    Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways for the opportunity to read this fascinating book.It includes many factual antedotes about victims who have strived for justice and freedom from harassment based on their sex.This was a very interesting book .Highly recommend.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emma Bechill

    Main takeaway: Sexual violence as a civil right issue.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mikaela Phillips

    A very accessible and thought-provoking read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alice Park

    the chapter on de-exceptionalizing sexual harms was esp thought provoking

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