torachan: (Default)
Title: The Last Time I Wore a Dress
Author: Daphne Scholinski with Jane Meredith Adams
Number of Pages: 211 pages
Book Number/Goal: 61/75 for 2009
My Rating: 5/5

Note: The author now goes by Dylan, but I will use Daphne and female pronouns for the purposes of talking about the book, because that's how the book is written.

Daphne's father beat her. Her mother abandoned her. She was sexually abused many times as a child. She essentially had to raise herself and her sister. When she unsurprisingly acted out, instead of anyone actually caring, she was locked up in a series of mental institutions for most of her teenage years.

Because she was tomboyish, the doctors focused on that, in some cases forcing her to wear makeup every day as part of her treatment. She suffered from depression the entire time she was locked up, was raped several times by male patients, and her parents barely kept in contact with her, yet the doctors continued to focus on the fact that she didn't act like their idea of what a girl should be. She was looked on with suspicion for not having sex with the male patients, as most of the other boys and girls paired up. She was punished for having a female best friend, as they thought the relationship was inappropriate.

This book is really, really depressing to read and basically will make you hate the medical establishment. This quote from the last chapter really sums it up best:

I still wonder why I wasn't treated for my depression, why no one noticed I'd been sexually abused, why the doctors didn't seem to believe that I'd come from a home with physical violence. Why the thing they cared about the most was whether I acted the part of a feminine young lady. The shame is that the effects of depression, sexual abuse, violence: all treatable. But where I stood on the feminine/masculine scale: unchangeable. It's who I am.

Oh, and as if that wasn't bad enough, go to the Amazon reviews and you'll find that all the negative reviews are filled with victim-blaming. Fun!

The book is a really good read, though, and I highly recommend it.

Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags