Today I bumped into this, which reduced my faith in humanity a few notches. Rape culture is alive, and movements like this are making it all the harder to undo. The reality is that women are treated like objects, consent is treated like a hurdle meant to be overcome by "alpha" males, and approaching a woman like this is sexual assault, not "dating."
This is why - on some visceral level - I can't help but find it satisfying to read stories where women are empowered and/or fight back. It's not a solution - the ultimate solution is to deprogram rape culture from the start - but I can't help but enjoy these tales in meanwhile.
"Emerald Lakes," by Chuck Wendig
I found this story in the Spring 2012 Issue of Fireside Magazine. It's an Atlanta Burns story - a young woman who is staying at "Emerald Lakes" (which is neither). It's a place where troubled girls are placed, and where she has been placed for reasons that are - at first - unknown to the reader. When another girl starts to grow violent towards her, Atlanta at first just wants to hide from her attention.
But Atlanta Burns has an eye for trouble, and soon notices what is really going on. The reality - and her actions thereafter - are so dark and yet so damned satisfying that I wanted to cheer for her. The ultimate resolution to the tale and the revelations of her life's path left me wanting more from the character - I've seen listings for novellas with Atlanta Burns, and I'll be keeping an eye out for them.