Amber Tamblyn wants to resensitize the conversation around sexual assault with Any Man

Actor Amber Tamblyn's debut novel, Any Man, tells the story of six men who have fallen prey to the violence of a female serial rapist.

Her book tells the story of six men who have fallen prey to the violence of a female serial rapist

Amber Tamblyn (courtesy of: Harper Collins Canada)

Amber Tamblyn gained recognition appearing in films like The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and 127 Hours.

The writer, director and Emmy-nominated actor is a prominent voice in the Me Too movement and is also a founding member of the Times Up campaign. Tamblyn believes that the key to these movements comes down to making people feel, more than just understand. That kind of empathy was the motivation behind her debut novel, Any Man.

"No matter what happens next, certainly the entertainment business is changed forever," she says. "That does not mean it's fixed." She adds that a dialogue has been started, but there's so much further to go still. 

The cover of author Amber Tamblyn's new novel, 'Any Man'. (Courtesy of: Harper Collins Canada)

"[It's] not just women saying, 'We're not asking you for permission anymore to have space in positions of power on boards across industries. We're demanding it. We're just saying this is the way it's going down from now on.' It's really important for men to also get in line with that. And how do you get them in line with that? How do you get them not to feel threatened? How do you get them to feel like their livelihood isn't being taken away? You have to sensitize. You have to bring them in and make them feel. To me, that is the answer. To say, we know we've explained to you what this experience is like for us, but now we need you to feel what this experience is like for us. And one of the greatest ways we can do that is through our art."

The book flips the script on the stories you might normally hear, telling the story of six men who have fallen prey to the violence of a female serial rapist. Tamblyn doesn't spare any details in this book, forcing readers to confront rape culture head on to shine a spotlight on the way we talk about survivors of sexual assault. 

Tamblyn talks to Tom Power about Any Man and explains why she decided to tell the stories of male survivors of sexual assault.

— Produced by Cora Nijhawan


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