This month is Sexual Assault Awareness month where we acknowledge the women who have not been given the opportunity to receive justice for their experiences and also for those who have demanded and received justice against their assaulters. To express the importance of this month and how as a community we can learn to evolve when it comes to women’s experiences, I am recommending a book that I know every woman should read. There is plenty of work to be done to improve how we support our fellow women in times of crisis. 

            Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World is a novel I recommend for everyone to read. This novel is a way for every individual to be educated on the stories of women by women and for women. Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman, feminist writers, and editors are the authors responsible for this novel’s creation. 

Believe Me, is a collection of essays written by important voices in feminism today each has a story to share about a woman’s voice. The important question that this book answer is: What would happen if we didn’t just believe women, but acted as though they matter? (Commonwealth, 2020).  Essentially these essays will be parsing out the #MeToo movement, attitudes towards women in society, and the steps everyone can take to make a woman’s voice heard and valid. 

I enjoyed several of these essays because of the matter-of-fact tone and informative style that regard acknowledges issues that our country needs to ponder over. There are several key themes in, Believe me, essays that are being brought to the table for open conversation. One of these issues is acknowledging black trans women as part of the community. Many black trans women do not get the recognition they deserve. In this community, several black trans women aren’t considered women and get harassed on a regular basis and even killed. Their word is just as important as those of cisgender women in society. Their voices need to be part of the collective.

believe me
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

            A woman’s body is her own vessel that needs taking care of. Women’s health and their choices are being ignored. For too long a woman’s body wasn’t hers, it was the property of a man. However, this novel will point out these mistakes and bring a new sense of control for a woman to choose what happens to her body and to have the right to proper health care because she says so. 

            Sexual assault and harassment have been determined through the “he said she said” scenario. A woman’s word has always been misconstrued as an ulterior motive for money and publicity. That is not the case at all, women want to be understood and recognized as people who have the education and understanding for their own stories. Women will not be put in this stereotype frame of vulnerability and blame. Readers will discover that there is a way to avoid using that framework and to take victims of assault to their word and not be dismissed. 

            This entire anthological collection as a whole brings clarity to a big picture that is still in progress. This country and many others will benefit from these voices of today. The one concern when reading this book is how did we get away with this? All the suffering for those in such positions, how have none of us heard of these stories, half of these experiences on our media and televisions? 

Believe Me will bring a surge of satisfaction and confidence. Every human being should have an opportunity to really question the world and how everyone is being treated. Through the eyes of every contributing writer for this anthology is a story worth sharing, the first step towards a great change.

Expect Kiss & Tell Magazine to discuss many issues surrounding the topic of sexual health and wellness as well as issues impacting women in general. 

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