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She Made Me Do It  (2016) is an autobiographical book by author and rapist Rock Urner. Published in June 2016, it was Urner’s debut novel that helped him launch his career as a writer. He wrote the book shortly after he was acquitted of all counts of sexual assault. At 11pm on January 8th, 2015, Urner sexually assaulted an insensate woman who was walking to her dorm room. According to the police and other eyewitnesses, the woman was not able to give any consent, because she was intoxicated to the point of unconsciousness. Since Urner felt violated and distressed after the courthouse trial, he decided to write a book in order to cope up with the suffering he had experienced. Urner’s novel not only describes the horrific psychological trauma that he experienced after the night of January 8th, but also justifies his reasoning behind raping the woman.

Summary

Rock Urner was a nationally recognized basketball player at Steinfard University. In his freshman year of college, he was enlisted as a potential player for the U.S Olympics. After winning three medals for his athletic achievements, he decided to go to a house party to celebrate his accomplishments with his friends. When he left the site, he noticed an twenty year old woman who was lying unconscious near the bushes of the Archimedes building. Furthermore, he felt a sense of excitement because she was wearing revealing clothes. Urner reveals that he decided to have sex with her since she did not object to his touch. However, after being caught by couple by-passers, he was taken to the Alo Alto police station and consequently arrested. After the night of January 8th, Urner was suspended from Steinfard University and convicted of rape and felony sexual assault. He was initially devastated and shocked by the suspension, as he did not understand why the woman had made such a big deal of the incident. Moreover, the constant bullying and hate that he experienced on social media were the root cause of his depression. Because of the injustice and agony that he experienced for having non-consensual sex with a woman for twenty minutes, he decided to find solace by moving to his mother’s house after the trial. At his mother’s house, he started a support group for other younger men who had been convicted for sexual assault charges. Through the strong friendships he formed in the support group, Urner slowly started to cope up with the tragedy. Although Urner received many accolades while he was an accomplished athlete, he writes about why overcoming the sorrow and anguish after committing rape was his biggest achievement.

Reception

Charles Scott of the National Men’s Right’s Association (NMRA), praised the book saying, “Readers will be inspired by how Urner overcomes his fear of acclimating back into society. His love for the community and hope for a better future will bring tears to your eyes. Women all around the world who are protesting this book must read it with an open mind. It is truly an eye opener.” Likewise, the president of Meninists For a Better Future (MFBF) said, “I could not stop crying while reading his story. The book was hard to put down, as the real victim was Urner himself.”

Sahana Sankar