Daisy Whitney brings to light the serious issue of date-rape in the novel The Mockingbirds.
While the subject matter unquestionably needs to be addressed, especially in the teenage crowd, this novel could have done a much better job presenting the topic. Not only is it taken fairly lightly, but the message of the book is to stand up for oneself in the face of something that is known to be wrong-the exact thing the main character lacks doing.
When Alex is date-raped she takes a sort of roundabout way through the journey of acceptance. Instead of heading to the police, telling her parents, heading to the administration of the boarding school both she and the accuser attend (and the grounds on which the incident occurred), the she decides to enlist the help of a small student run organization-whose meetings take place in the laundry room no less- to seek justice. An act that never should have taken place and can’t be taken back occurred and the punishment for the perpetrator is that he must forfeit his spot on the water polo team in their high school.
This seems demeaning, brings a serious issue down to the level of a sporting event, and steers clear of everything that would have made the message of the book much clearer.
Rockford resident seeking information on sexual assault should contact Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, Inc.