While there are many problems in the world, like poverty, famine, cancer, and an abundance of carbon emissions into the planet, there is one that has been in the back of my mind for quite some time: rape culture. This issue is vastly popular in the world of bloggers and social networking site, tumblr. It’s slowly progressing into an important issue that the public is acknowledging. Reviewing the issue’s historical, social, political, cultural and economic perspectives will entail rape culture’s controversy.
Rape culture is an issue that has gained moment through the feminist movement within the last couple of decades. Rape itself has been around since the beginning of time and its definition has changed over the years. In the United States before 1993, a woman could not charge her husband for rape. The definition of rape varies by state and each state has it’s own set of rape laws. According to Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), rape culture “is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s. It was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence.”1 Rape culture existed in the 1970’s and still exists today.
The biggest issue with rape culture is that there’s a split decision on whether it exists or doesn’t exist. Any girl (or woman, to be politically correct) experiences rape culture without knowing that, in fact, it is rape culture. Tumblr user vonmoire describes rape culture as:
“[Living] my life with the ever burning anxiety that someone is going to put their hands on me regardless of my feelings on the matter, and I’m not going to be able to stop them. I live with the knowledge that statistically one in three women have experi...
... middle of paper ...
...is issue is still in its baby steps and it has been gaining momentum through things like the SlutWalk that originated in Toronto. The SlutWalk is a walk where both men and women come together to protest rape culture.4 SlutWalks are happening in Dallas, Chicago, Sacramento, Boston, Detroit and many other major cities through the U.S. and Canada. Rape culture will seize to exist when someone is asked for the last time what they were wearing, how much they were drinking or if they somehow caused the assault to happen.
1. Women Against Violence Against Women| Rape Crisis Center. WAVAW. Web. 6 April 2014
2. Vonmoire (R.D.). “When I Was Seventeen and Preparing to Leave.” Tumblr. Web. 5 April 2014.
3. “Rape Myths and Facts.” The Student’s Center of Health. West Virginia University. Web. 5 April 2014.
4. Dallas SlutWalk. “About.” Facebook. Web. 5 April 2014.
One of the most horrible things that has erupted from the subjugation of women is rape culture. Rape culture is the downplaying of the crime of rape to appease the violator, the accusation that the victim made a choice that led to their rape, or even jokes that suggest rape. According to Jessica Valenti’s, “In Rape Tragedies, the Shame Is Ours,” in today's world many people give in to rape culture by participating in these acts that somehow change our mindsets into believing that, “it is more shameful to be raped than to be a rapist”. Once ...
Rape is a virus that infects every nation, culture and society. It is constantly referred to as “the unfinished murder”, because of the deep state of despair the rapist leaves the victim in. There is no common identifiable trend that determines who will be a rape victim. Women are not assaulted because of their attitudes or actions, they are attacked simply because they are present. With rapists, just as with their victims, there is no identifiable trend. The old myth that only “sick, dirty, old, perverted men” commit rapes is a lie that society tells itself in order to sleep better at night. The startling truth is that most rapists work under a veil of normalcy. In order for the percentage of rapes to decrease, we have to change our ideas about rape and let go of the old myths of the past. And until this happens, rape will continue to plague our world at large.
“…in the absence of comprehensive sex and sexuality education…adolescents are largely getting their sex education and socialization through media—and the higher their ‘sexual media diet,’ the earlier their sexual experimentation begins.” (Olfman 10) The vast lack of acknowledgment that the media controls childhood sexualization is astounding. As Dr. Sharna Olfman explains “Media can be viewed then as both a reflection and a shaper of society.” In the patriarchal society U.S. citizens live in, there seems to be a massive blindspot where there should healthy sexuality education. A direct result of this blindspot is the prevalent acceptance of rape as an inevitable, inextricable part of society. Men and women are both dangerously,
Rape culture, a term created by feminists in the 1970’s has some serious connotations behind it. Essentially this phrase explicitly states that within our society due to sexism women are blamed for their sexual abuse. This belief, that a woman is to blame for the harm caused to her is not only believed socially but enforces politically. Men are one of the most dominant groups in society. Thus, in this particular case men are the bourgeois and women and the proletarians. These men in power are able to control what civilians read, hear and see everyday meaning they are able to push a cultural hegemony, cultural hegemony is the domination of society by a ruling class that purposely influences the thoughts and beliefs of society for their benefit.
“What is rape culture” is the question that has been repeatedly asked since its emergence in the 1970s. From our lecture, we have learned that the thing about Rape Culture is that it doesn’t have just one definition, but the simplest way to define it may be to say that rape culture is the society that accepts and even promotes sexual violence in one form or another. This includes, TV shows that make rape look sexy; you know the kind: guy pushes girl down, throws open her blouse, exposing her breasts, and even though she is saying no, everyone watching is saying yes. Rape culture is when a college student goes to their Dean and tells them they have been raped, and the first question the Dean ask is “what were you wearing?” Rape culture is saying “that exam just raped me” instead of “that exam was hard”. Rape culture is the most popular, catchy songs these days have lyrics like “I know you want it”. Rape culture is the party girl image, the “she was asking for it”, the “boys will be boys”, the slut shaming, the victim blaming, and the most concerning, rape culture is denying the fact that sexual assault is a problem in today’s society. One in six women and one in thirty-three men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. In the United States alone, that
Rape and rape culture are very real and present problems with our post-secondary system. Not a day goes by without a new revelation, number or statistic coming to light. Not a day goes by without feminists screaming to “take back the night” and men’s rights advocates crying for sex. There probably isn’t a person in existence who doesn’t have an opinion on the issue. There is so much focus on it, millions of dollars going into solving it. So, now there is a question we must ask ourselves - why is none of it working? Why are rape numbers increasing, instead of the other way around? Rape numbers are not decreasing because no one wants to address the root causes of the issue. Universities and colleges don 't want to crack down on alcohol abuse
It is not a topic that is brought up often, especially at schools or at gatherings, yet it is crucial that everyone be educated, or at least informed on a topic that affects women every day. “Given that sexual violence continues to occur at high rates in the United States, it is vital that we understand attitudes and cultural norms that serve to minimize or foster tolerance of sexual violence” (Aosved, 481). Growing rates of sexual violence goes to prove that it is not taken seriously by many, especially when myths excuse the actions of the perpetrator and instead guilt victims into thinking they are responsible for the horrible act. Burt (1980), in her article titled, “Cultural myths and support for rape” attempts to make sense of the importance of stereotypes and myths, defined as prejudicial, stereotypes, or false beliefs about rape, rape victims and rapists- in creating a climate hostile to rape victims (Burt, 217). Examples of rape myths are such sayings as “only bad girls get raped”; “women ask for it”; “women cry rape” (Burt, 217). This only goes to prove that rape myths against women always blame and make it seem like it is the women’s fault she was raped and that she deserved it for “acting” a certain way. McMahon (2007), in her article titled, “Understanding community-specific rape myths” explains how Lonsway and Fitzgerald (1994) later described rape myths as “attitudes and beliefs that are generally
What do you think and feel when you hear the word rape? Do you feel uncomfortable? Maybe even angry? Your certain feelings and emotions towards this word is a result of rape culture. Rape culture, essentially, is how a society as a whole sees and reacts towards rape or instances of rape. In 2013 rape was defined by the FBI as, “Penetration… of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” (Division’s Crime Statistics Management Unit 1). The definition was finally changed after the old definition deemed inappropriate by today’s standards, which beforehand, stated that physical force needed to be used for rape to be considered rape. This is good news for men and women who have been fighting for the definition to be changed, but unfortunately this does not mean that state laws are being changed the same way. Even though the FBI may acknowledge the older inappropriate definition, most states do not. Sexual assault is a commonly unreported crime, where only an average of 36% of sexual abuse is actually reported to the authorities (Planty 7). Some forms of rape can include physical harm, threats, and even death of the victim, and most victims do not want to tell others for fear of criticism, self-blame, or even the fear that their attackers will carry out on their threats. In many cases, victims do have a reason to be afraid. When someone is brave enough to come forward and say they were sexually assaulted, they are putting themselves in the position of being in not only a long legal process, but also having their motives questioned and misunderstood, which is the last thing they want after their experience. The legal system in the United States...
Many of the attitudes, beliefs, and mistaken ideas about rape have been with us for centuries. By looking at myths, such as “women ask for it,” and “it would do some women good to get raped,” from a historical perspective, lead us for better understanding how they evolved. Women are still seen as the property of men, are protected as such. Men and women are still taught to occupy very different roles in today’s world. Men are usually more aggressive, and women are seen as passive. (Vogelman) This socialization process is changing, but slowly.
Firstly, Rape culture can be defined as the normalization and excusing of sexual violent behavior towards women in everyday media and culture (marshall.edu). Rape culture can also be the over sexualization of women’s bodies and misogynistic attitudes. These images and attitudes may not seem like they are obvious or even present but they are subtly weaved into many of the symbols and daily interactions in society. This is what causes rape and rape culture to be normalized. For example, if a young woman is sexually assaulted in a club, instead of asking details about the person who committed the act, the questions are reversed onto the victim. There are questions that arise such as, “what was she wearing?”, “was she drunk?”, “was she flirting with him/her at first?”. These questions are problematic because they suggest that the victim is the one is at fault for being sexaually assaulted. This idea is pushed by the symbolic interaction that if someone is trying to get lucky the other individual has to follow through, especially in party settings. I often see this especially in music and movies where stalking and harassing a person to the point of being uncomfortable is chalked up as a heated “romantic” pursuit.. For another example, women’s bodies (and often men’s too) are oversexualized. The is especially in the advertising industry and again in the media.
According to Marshall University, Rape Culture is defined as “an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in media and popular culture.” In American society, it is not hard to find examples of rape culture. In popular movies, music, and current events there is an undeniable notion of victim blaming, and sympathizing with male perpetrators. People have begun to use the term rape as a casual adjective. For example “I just raped him in that game,” could be used to describe two people playing a game and one winning easily against the other. American society uses pop culture and current events to promote and justify the prominent rape culture.
Oftentimes, the things individuals take for granted as preexisting facts are merely the products of social construction, which exert tremendous impacts on belief and action. Men and women are socially constructed categories inscribed by norms of masculinity and femininity that enables rape to occur. Catharine MacKinnon claims that rape is defined in a male perspective, which lacks the account of female experience. On the other hand, Sharon Marcus argues that rape is a constructed language that scripts the female body. As bell hooks points out, black men celebrate “rape culture” as a mean of expressing patriarchal dominance and endorsing female subordination. In order to redefine rape and to develop effective rape prevention, it is crucial to deconstruct the predetermined assumptions about men and women. Rape is socially constructed, through the ways how individuals possess misogynistic ideologies and endorse patriarchal power, turning the erotic fantasy of male dominance into “reality”.
Many of the attitudes, beliefs, and mistaken ideas about rape have been with us for centuries. By looking at myths, such as “women ask for it,” and “women secretly enjoy rape,” from a historical perspective, can lead us for better understanding how they evolved. Much stems back to the idea that women are still seen as the property of men, and are protected as such. Men and women are still taught to occupy very different roles in today’s world. Men a...
The United States is clearly suffering a rape epidemic. “One in six women will be raped in her lifetime” (“Who Are the Victims?”). If we continue to allow gender roles to be perpetuated by religion and dominate our lives and our youth, men and women will forever be unequal. These causes must be addressed and be fixed. It is not only a political duty but this must be morally solved also. The solution to end rape and gender roles is upon us, if only society realized that. We have the power to end rape. Women should not have to live in fear at all.
Webster’s Dictionary describes rape as the crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse. Rape is a crime in which most women cannot defend themselves. The fear of rape plagues every woman at some point or another in her life. The traumatic effects of rape vary from mild to severe, from psychological to physical. This paper will evaluate rape, as well as the effects it has on women, the theory behind male dominance and patriarchy, and differences in demographics.