How Jodi Picoult Exposed Rape Culture in The Tenth Circle

I was originally going to put this in the actual book review but I decided to separate them because a lot of this is important and needs to be focused on with nothing else.


I will be sharing excerpt from the book so if you haven’t read it, it will give away some of the plot.


There will be discussion of rape and sexual assault

There were a lot of quotes in this book that really stood out to me and I think that due to current events and the Stanford rape case that they were important to point out:

… even if he could collect enough evidence to merit a trial, and even there was a conviction, you could bet it wouldn’t be for very long. In most cases, the victim was still in therapy when the rapist got done serving his sentence.

This is a problem within the justice system. This should not be how it goes. It’s so frustrating that people fail to realize the impact that rape has on victims. Ironically, the ones that don’t are the ones that simultaneously perpetuate rape culture while claiming it doesn’t even exist.

And even though the article was ethical enough to never mention her by name, everyone knew that it was Trixie Stone…who had set this tragedy in motion.

Trixie didn’t start a damn thing. Jason did when he refused to obey the signs that she didn’t want to have sex. Yes, obey because you don’t have the right to another person’s body.

Just because I said yes before doesn’t mean I couldn’t say no this time…..?” ~Trixie Stone

This is bullshit. Saying yes once doesn’t mean that you can assume that that will be the answer every time. Want more on that, read my post on consent.

You were supposed to be able to say the magic word, and that was enough to make your wishes – or lack of them – crystal clear. But no one ever said yes to make sex consensual. You took hints form body language, from the way two people came together. Why, then, didn’t a shake of the head or a hand pushing hard against the chest speak just as loudly? Why did you have to actually say the word no for it to be rape?

Again, refer to the consent article. You are not obligated to verbally say no. If it’s unwanted its rape. If you’re intoxicated and/or unconcious, it’s still rape. Period

Semantics didn’t matter when you were bleeding between your legs, when you felt like you’d been broken from the inside out, when free will was taken away from you.

If that doesn’t pull on your heart strings then I don’t know what will. This is how victims feel after being raped. If you can’t see the problem with this then I suggest you talk to someone about that.

And on top of that, what about the fact that the judge didn’t put Jason on house arrest because he had a hockey game to play? Or that 13 faculty members at Bethel High School were supporting him but didn’t give a damn about Trixie? Or that Trixie was called “slut,” “whore,” people said she was “asking for it,” and that she only claimed rape because “she regretted a bad decision” That ladies, gentlemen and non-binary conforming people………is rape culture.

About Bookmark Chronicles

Hi! I'm Rae. 26 Book Blogger. Booktuber. Gryffinclaw. Coffee & Tea Lover.
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17 Responses to How Jodi Picoult Exposed Rape Culture in The Tenth Circle

  1. Great post about a great book! You’ve definitely inspired me to re-read some Picoult soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am going to have to start re-reading some of her books, because I’m starting to forget which book has which “theme” in it! I know I have this book, but I cannot remember who Trixie is!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. carlalouise89 says:

    I agree! Jodi Piccoult really went with this!! And I loved the part how she consented, but then said no – because it needs to be clear that THAT IS STILL RAPE. And that’s one of the things I loved most about this book! Such a good book, and such a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. awayinneverland says:

    I absolutely loved this book and I think it is something people should read because of the reasons you said. This book showed how rape could completely tear someone apart and no one should have to go through what she did. One of the reasons I love Picoult as an author is because she isn’t afraid to touch on taboo topics and she always manages to write brilliant stories. I have yet to read a book by her that hasn’t touched me in some way (and there’s only 5 books by her I haven’t read).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree more. I always know that I’m going to like her books but I was so moved by this one (because of current events and watching the news) And she talks about these things so gracefully

      Liked by 1 person

      • awayinneverland says:

        I’ve been reading about all of that too. It’s sad that a woman (even men sometimes) can get hurt like that and then get blamed for it. But you’re right, she talks about those things in a way that doesn’t make you cringe, that instead makes you really think about what the overall situation and how everyone feels.

        Liked by 1 person

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