J, a recent college grad, met the Director almost a decade ago when he approached her at a coffee shop on the Upper West Side. He complimented her beauty and told her that she was what he needed in order to realize his next film. Their exchange of phone numbers that afternoon marked the beginning of a five-year-long abusive relationship.
The national #metoo movement has inspired many, including J. K. Stein, to challenge the stigmas surrounding sexual assault and to share their personal stories. These unedited journals and their subsequent analyses offer readers a glimpse into the painful realities of sexual abuse and the ways in which giving consent is more complicated than a simple yes or no. J. K. Stein’s memoir invites readers to step inside the mind of a young woman trying to find herself in the face of power, manipulation, and self-hatred.
At its heart, this book offers analyses of abjection; the grotesque; consent; what it means to override one’s feelings when the stakes are high; the ways in which selling one’s body, even when never paid, might be read as a form of prostitution; the impact of these actions on self-image; the ways in which the author’s choices were motivated by her distorted body image and long-standing eating disorder; and finally what it means to have an opinion but no voice. Today the author has found her voice.