Happy Pub Day!
Fired Up about Consent by Sarah Ratchford is a book for anyone passionate about sexual assault prevention, or for anyone who considers themselves a feminist. Throughout the book Ratchford writes paints a picture of what a culture of consent could look like. I would say this book is for beginners, full of definitions, explanations, and examples from Ratchford’s own life and the lives of others. This book is for survivors of “sexualized violence” (I love this updated term) and is inclusive for all identities. If you want to learn more about demystifying what a culture of consent looks like, how to have healthier communication and relationships, and how to support and advocate for survivors, and prevent more from being subjected to gender-based violence, this is the book for you.
I work in the interpersonal violence prevention field, so I was instantly drawn to the title of this book, Fired Up About Consent. However, I’m not sure if other people who aren’t passionate about sexual assault prevention will be fired up about this book. In my brief research, it seems like Fired Up about Consent is a part of a larger series of books that delve deeper into social justice issues people should care about (Fired Up about Capitalism by Tom Malleson and Fired Up about Reproductive Rights by Jane Kirby). There is not much in the way of marketing to connect the titles besides the titles themselves and the publisher. If this book wasn’t a part of a larger theme, I would love for it to be called Creating a Culture of Consent.
Because of the introductory nature of the content, I felt like the chapters were doing a bit too much at times. There was a lot of different things happening under one chapter heading, and sometimes I would forget what we were talking about. That proved difficult for me to reference back to certain sections later. Another pet peeve of mine as I was reading was the text boxes. It was frustrating to read a paragraph and a sentence would be cut off in the middle by a text box. I would either lose momentum for that section or have skip over the textbox to finish the sentence or paragraph and then come back to the text box. I personally felt like they were very disruptive in their placements.
Other than those nit-picky technically things, I found the content very informative. Ratchford makes some really good points that are very researched and concise. There were some concepts that were freshly reimagined to me, and the terminology was explained well. Ratchford really took in consideration the power of words. I almost got Cosmopolitan vibes from the voice of the writing, but in a way that describes consent culture in a way that’s not inaccessible for everyday people.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book. However, I would say that I feel more informed, than fired up.