Rape Culture Essay

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As discussed in my exploratory paper over the possibility of a rape culture existing in the U.S., the conversations surrounding this idea often splits feminists (and other advocates) over the label’s legitimacy. The general consensus of the debate surrounding rape culture seems to rest on two sides: some feminists believe we have aspects of society that normalize sexual violence, particularly rape, while other advocates and feminists believe that while the U.S. has barriers to overcome in decreasing sexual violence, rape culture is an exaggerated way to label those barriers. In my research, my loudest proponent of a rape culture existing in the U.S. is Kate Harding, whose book Asking for It: Slut-Shaming, Victim-Blaming, and How We Can Change…show more content…
The defining aspect of a rape culture is often the blaming of victims. Too often victims are confronted with a reproachful line of questioning that shifts focus from the perpetrator of the sexual assault, but on the victim. In the book Asking For it by Kate Harding, she explains if “ if rape is the violation of a person’s autonomy, the use of another person’s body against their wishes, then it shouldn’t matter what the victim was drinking, how much sexual experiences she has before, and the signs of struggle on her body.” This trend of blaming victims also occurs on college campuses. Many college counselors tasked with the job of representing and protecting students use language to suggest the victim is somehow at fault. For example, a student police officer told a student rape will always happen continue to happen as long as women It does not go unmistaken that this could be one of the many reasons why sexual assault and particularly rape go unreported; there is not a stable environment where victims feel compelled to speaking about their…show more content…
In everyday life we are exposed to the stories of celebrities evading the prosecution of rape and even going to rehabilitate their images. For example, director Roman Polanski admitted to raping a thirteen-year-old girl, and Woody Allen, who took pictures of his partner’s underage daughter, or Bill Cosby who now has over twenty accusations of rape. These three celebrities have managed to still maintain a fan base and support despite the allegations of their crimes. In a way we are constantly trivializing sexual assault to make us feel better about. For instance, when we all enthusiastically sing along to Robin Thicke’s as he continuously claims he knows this girl wants it or as Rick Ross raps “put molly in a girls’ champagne/ she ain’t even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that/ she ain’t even know it.” In the circumstances of movies and television sexual assault/rape have been used to move along a storyline. Both Game of Thrones and American Horror Story have scenes where characters are raped seemingly only for shock value. What sis our pop culture implying as we are bombarded with images trivializing sexual assault or rape? Does this trivialization allow in a way for there to be a “grey area” in discerning what constitutes as rape and what doesn’t? As Sally Kohn, notes in her article for CNN, many instances of sexual assault involved multiple bystanders, but not one intervened to halt the crime,

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