Tradition is a book that’s willing to go there when it comes to sexism


Brendan Kiely’s Tradition comes out today, and feminists everywhere will want to pick this up. The novel not only takes on rape culture within educational institutions, but it condemns just about every sexist ideal we’re taught to accept in schools.

Brendan Kiely, author best known for All American Boysreleased a new novel today. Tradition is a dual perspective story that tears apart rape culture and condemns the sexist values perpetuated by far too many educational institutions.

Set at Fullbrook Academy, a prestigious boarding school for high school students, the book follows Jules Devereux and James Baxter. Jules just wants to make it through her senior year and get as far away from Fullbrook as possible. A recent break-up has shown her how feeble her friendships and standing at Fullbrook are, and she’s done with the ideals the school upholds, ones that favor one gender over another.

James has been given a second chance after a dreadful mistake at his previous school. Accepted to Fullbrook on scholarship, he needs to keep his grades up and his conduct impeccable. But what if behaving well means turning a blind eye to injustice?

Tradition demonstrates Jules’ and James’ struggle to alter the way society views women, from objectifying their bodies to insisting that they keep their voices down when expressing their beliefs. If there’s a double standard when it comes to female students, Kiely addresses it. And he doesn’t stop there.

Tradition also makes a point to challenge behaviors considered essential to being a man. When James opposes the status quo at Fullbrook, he’s met with the same criticisms as Jules. After all, why wouldn’t he want to rate the freshmen or tally how many girls he’s been with?

The real story begins, though, when a sexual assault goes unpunished on campus. The general indifference from staff and students show Jules and James that it’s officially time for greater action. They plan to expose the unjust system that forces victims into silence for the sake of boys’ futures. And they don’t care if it results in consequences.

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Tradition hits shelves today, May 1. If it sounds like just the raging social justice story you need in your life, you should definitely make a point to pick it up.