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A Peak Under the Skirt of Rape Culture

"Did you see what she was wearing; no wonder he assumed she wanted it." Does this sound familiar to anyone? It does to me. This is just a glimpse of some words, and actions, that are only the tip of the ice-berg; we call 'rape culture'. A lot of people are unaware this sort of language, or behavior, even goes on. Even more people are aware of these types of things, yet they don’t find them inappropriate, or see anything wrong with a little harmless joking. The fact is rape culture affects our life, whether we acknowledge it or not. The term 'Rape Culture' should not be a part of our vocabulary; we, as a society, have allowed it, but that needs to be changed.
Rape culture can be seen all around us, it's on TV, in movies, in grocery store checkout lines, in schools, and even in our own words we use every day. According to Elizabeth Plank, who has experience in behavioral science, "The easiest way to describe rape culture is by comparing it to the nasty gum stuck under your shoe: You don't always see it, but you know it's always there." Rape culture does not fit into one simple definition, it is a multitude of words, jokes, actions, and lifestyles that promote or joke about sexual violence.
Grey rape is an all too common expression that is associated with the ever evolving concept of rape culture. It refers to rape that does not have sufficient information, or evidence, for an un-biased rape conviction. "If a lack of clarity around consent is normalized, rape can be excused as an accident- merely a misunderstanding" (Alcid). It's much harder to prove rape if there is a lack of forceful violence beforehand. Some factors of grey rape are poor communication by either party, or misleading actions, just to name a few. Consent from eith...

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...ally are. This is unacceptable. This is what our society has left; victims who are being blamed. I don't know what has happened in our country to allow this issue to get so out of control, but it cannot continue.

Works Cited

Alcid, Sara. "Navigating Consent: Debunking the "Grey Area"Myth. EverydayFiminism.com. n.p. 4 January 2014. Web. 24 April 2014.
Mosley, Walter. "Ten Things to End Rape Culture." Co Ed. Rae Gomes. The Nation. TheNation.com, 4 February 2013. Web. 11 April 2014.
Palmatier, Dr. Tara J. "Our so-called 'Rape Culture'." Avoiceformen.com. 29 October 2013. Web. 11 April 2014.
Plank, Elizabeth. "Rape Culture is Everwhere - Watch Your Favorite Sitcoms Prove it." PolicyMic.com. 16 January 2014. Web. 7 April 2014.
Valenti, Jessica. “Why we need to keep talking about 'rape culture'." The Washington Post. Washingtonpost.com. n.d. Web. 15 April 2014.

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