Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Book Review: I'm Not Your Baby (Joy Jennings)

I'm Not Your Baby
By:  Joy Jennings

Genre: Memoir

 In this suspenseful and riveting memoir about a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Australian beach girl, Joy faces the battle of her life against the not-so-friendly bronzed Aussie bloke. 
Through her raw, dark stories of frightening sexual assaults, shocking rapes, non-stop abuse, violation and street harassment, Joy Jennings shares of how she tried to make her way in her coastal home town, while being hounded, followed and tormented at every turn. 
Her powerfully moving story throws you into a world of tradies, hoons and bogans, who behave in the world’s most vile, vulgar and sexist of ways. With her candid and compelling recollections of being choked to within an inch of her life, having her car window smashed into her face, being stalked and having men rip the very clothes from her body, this memoir will not only keep you captivated, but also astonish you with every page. 
Readers will be taken on an unrelenting ride as they share Joy’s emotional journey. I’m Not Your “Baby” will have you fighting for our author who, with a determined heart, never gives up hope of finding love, peace and ultimate happiness. 
This is not a story about demonizing the Australian male, but one that humanizes the victims.


I need to start this review by saying how courageous the author is for sharing her story. 
So many women become victims of stalking, rape, and/or abuse and feel like they are alone. Being able to read about the experiences of others, shows them that they're not alone in this harsh world.

From very early in her childhood, well into becoming an adult, Joy found herself being victimized by men.  The very first instance talked about a neighbor peeping in her bedroom window when she was a small child.  She did what any child placed in that situation should do...she told her dad.  He "dealt" with the perpetrator, and the issue was never addressed.  This continues.  Horrible, violating things would occur, she told her father/parents, they dealt with it their way, and the issue was never to be spoken of again.  


This book made me angry!  In fact, I put it down several times and started reading something new because I needed a break from the sadness and frustration I felt every time I picked it up.  I'm fully aware that we are shaped and molded by our childhood.  I have no doubt that Joy adopted her parents completely fucked up "if we don't talk about it, it didn't really happen" outlook, but come on.  The behavior of the men described in I'm Not Your Baby is unacceptable and appalling, but I'm having a hard time understanding how one person finds them self on the receiving end of so many unwanted sexual advances.  Joy developed anxiety and began having panic attacks, as a result of dealing with the same things over many years.  Did she seek professional her attackers? Nope. She continued to internalize everything she experienced, continued finding herself in less than ideal situations, and later decided to write a memoir that does little to describe what she should have done differently.  I feel like she missed an opportunity.  She could have helped so many if she used her story to tell other women how important it is for us to value ourselves and not let past experiences dictate our worth.  

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