Giving the Devil His Due was a lot. This charity anthology is a collection of short stories compiled by the global, virtual organization that works to end violence against women called The Pixel Project. They are doing some cutting edge things and reimagining what nonprofits can look like and their efforts to mobilize communities.
They also do a Read for Pixels Campaign! So cool!
But back to Giving the Devil His Due. I do want to give a trigger warning for this collection. Some of these stories go into graphic detail about violence against women, including sexual and physical violence, but it also can get pretty graphic in other violent ways as well.
I think the whole project was an interesting concept. Each of the authors wrote about what they imagined justice for women who have been victims of violence. There were men and women (and a non-binary person) who contributed to the collection.
There were no limits to these authors’ imaginations. Justice was not limited to a court of law. The perpetrators in these stories suffered awful fates. An eye for an eye.
This was the thing that intrigued me the most. From the abolitionist’s standpoint, putting more perpetrators in prison isn’t the answer. And for most people, there should be a punishment equal to the crime.
Regardless of my feelings about what I realistically think should happen to perpetrators of violence, I think this was a really important cathartic experience for survivors. Because these violent acts aren’t real, they have an important outlet to imagine revenge for themselves.
This is the power of books in general. They allow us a space to imagine what life could be, from the things we can work toward, and the things that can stay a fantasy.
For the most part, the collection comes from a diverse group of authors, although many of the experiences are written from the point-of-view of white women. And while I love that men who identify as allies contributed to the work, I just don’t care for men, writing from the point-of-view of women. These were the biggest limitations for me.
Overall, I would recommend this book to any victim/survivor of violence who is at a place in their journey for this outlet. Even though they might not be able to kill their perpetrator in an act of revenge, this book may give them the courage to be bold and fight for what justice looks like to them.
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