Rape culture was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized sexual violence.
Many feminists have provided great definitions of what rape culture is and how it plays out every day. Emilie Buchwald, the author of Transforming a Rape Culture, describes that when society normalizes sexualized violence, it accepts and creates rape culture. In her book, she defines rape culture as:
“A complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm . . . In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable . . . However . . . much of what we accept as inevitable is in fact the expression of values and attitudes that can change.”
Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.
- Rape culture is when women who come forward are questioned about what they were wearing.
- Rape culture is when survivors who come forward are asked, “Were you drinking?”
- Rape culture is when people say, “she was asking for it.”
- Rape culture is when we teach women how to not get raped, instead of teaching men not to rape.
- Rape culture is when the lyrics of Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ mirror the words of actual rapists and is still the number one played song.
- Rape culture is when we are still playing R Kelly’s music.
- Rape culture is when the media mourns the future of convicted careers and fail to mention the young girls who are victims.
- Rape culture is when cyberbullies take pictures of sexual assaults and harass their victims online.
- Rape culture is when college campus advisers tasked with supporting the student body, shame survivors who report their rapes.
- Rape culture is when colleges are more concerned with getting sued assailants than in supporting survivors.
A rape victim once said the first words she heard after her ordeal were “You were drinking, what did you expect?” These questions about the victims’ choices the night of the assault as opposed to the choices made their rapist were in some ways as painful as the violent act itself.
I attended the Vigil on the 29th for victims of Femicide and after the event the most disturbing and ironic statement I heard was the closing remark of one female leader she said “Dear girls as you’re walking home walk in parks to ensure you get home safe.” It is like saying “to keep girls safe we need a curfew for them” and then I ask if men are the ones doing the crimes why can’t we have a curfew for them instead?
Worst of all, the widespread and normalized nature of rape culture makes it increasingly hard for victims to speak out, as they learn to believe they won’t be taken seriously, or are dismissed when they do.
In case any of you is trying to do better here are some pointers:-
No is a complete sentence.
No does not mean convince me.
A man’s arousal is his own responsibility and not the responsibility of the body that evokes that arousal.
A Persons worth is static, inviolable and begins the day they are born clothes do not change that.
Stop making comments on the streets about womens bodies its disturbing and wrong.
When another man is being inappropriate tell them to shut up call your bros out men listen to other men.
Let us collectively END RAPE CULTURE.