Running a book club on In Her Corner? Here are some topics you could discuss.
1. Bella is the only daughter in a family famous for producing jiujitsu and MMA fighters. Yet the family is uncomfortable with her following the tradition and fighting professionally. Why do you think that is? Have you encountered any other instances where someone was discouraged from following the family business?
2. Kyle’s reluctance to work with Bella stems from his discomfort with strong women because of his past experience with his ex. Do you think he is justified in being wary? Why or why not?
3. Bella is confronted several times by men who make her uncomfortable, and she deals with each of them in different ways—she calls out the barfly who tries to pick her up; she defends herself from Ryan’s physical assault; but she is much more tactful with Hadrian. Why do you think she reacts differently in each scenario?
4. Bella turns down the first racy photo shoot Ryan sets up for her to get her name out there because she doesn’t want to be objectified. But she doesn’t turn down the photo shoot with the UFF, even though she understands the aims are the same. Why do think that is? Do you think her choices are justified, or is she being a hypocrite?
5. Was Kyle justified in the way he dealt with Shawnese’s former pimp, Andre? Why or why not?
6. “Toxic masculinity” is a term in feminism which describes the patriarchy as being harmful to men. Check out this wiki article about it. Kyle’s father imposed very strong black-and-white ideals of what manhood was. As a result, Kyle lost all connection to his disowned transgender sister, Jessica. And he became terrified about what being raped meant to him as a man. Have traditional gender roles adversely affected the people around you and your relationships to them? How can we teach ourselves to overcome gender stereotypes?
7. “Microaggressions” are non-physical aggressions, usually commonplace banter that, intentional or not, demean and belittle people of differing privileges. From this Wikipedia article: “The theory of microagression usually revolves around perceived demeaning implications and other subtle insults against minorities, and may be perpetrated against those due to gender, sexual orientation, and ability status.” Nearly everyone in the book is subjected to a microaggression at some point—even Wayne, who is called a “baby” for having frequent debilitating health issues. Do you think you could recognize a microaggression aimed at you on the spot? How do you deal with people who use them?