DISCLAIMER: I wrote this article for my Psychology class project last March. I just wanted to share it here.
What is rape culture?
According to a group called Force, it is a culture where people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate, rape. 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.
Rape culture has become a thing in our world today, but sadly, not everyone realizes it. Not everybody realizes how damaging and how horrible rape can be. Most people think about it as inevitable, and that usually, it’s the victim’s fault for getting raped. That somehow, the victim, which in most cases are girls, are to be blamed. I am not saying that only females get raped, males do too, but I want to talk about it in a woman’s perspective.
Usually, when a girl gets raped, she can get the reaction like these:
“Well, she shouldn’t have been walking alone at that time of night.”
“Well, she shouldn’t have worn those clothes.”
“Well, she shouldn’t have been too drunk.”
“She was a slut anyway, so she had it coming.”
What people don’t realize is that they’re doing something called victim-blaming. People seem to think that this girl is the reason for her rape, that she brought that upon herself and that she suggested it in someway. The thing is, women should be able to feel safe walking alone in the middle of the night. She’s supposed to be able to wear anything she wants without worry, or she can be drunk like a dog, and have no inhibitions. She should be able to feel safe and secure in the place she’s in and not worry about getting raped. It’s not these women’s fault, but those who raped them; it’s not the victim’s fault, but the rapist’s.
But first, let’s understand what rape is. According to Wikipedia, rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent. You see, rape doesn’t happen because of what a person is wearing or how drunk they are. A person can get raped whether they be fully clothed in something like t-shirt and jeans, or completely sober. It can also be in a situation when a woman can feel like she can’t say no, and that can also be considered rape. Rape happens because someone has a sexual drive of an animal in heat that he’ll do anything to have sexual interaction with anyone.
I think rapists took it to heart when Freud said that humans have two basic drives, which are sex and aggression. I think that they took those two drives, meshed it into one, and it led them to do something horrendous. And the sad part about this is that people actually normalize it, they feel more sympathy for the rapists than for the victim. Take the recent Stuebenville rape case as an example, when people heard about this, tweets were sent to the victim about how she had it coming, and it was her fault. Numerous people blamed her and took the rapists’ side. Many people, even CNN, showed sympathy for the rapists’ fates because they were part of a prized football team in the community’s high school. Tweets were sent showing remorse for the boys’ futures that were tainted, and the year the will spend in juvenile detention. And even the punishment for rape is a year in juvy, when someone who is caught downloading songs on the internet get 3 years.
That’s the thing about rape culture, people normalize rape. They turn it into something inevitable, and something that people can do, and its will always be the victim’s fault. But in all actuality, what it takes is for a person to just understand what NO means. We shouldn’t victim-blame, we should educate. Educate people that most of the time, no means no. That just because you have the capability to force yourself upon someone, you should do it. We have to educate people about what consent is. Consent is not a woman’s revealing clothes or her state of sobriety (or lack thereof) but and actual YES.
Sex is an amazing thing that was given to us to enjoy with our partners. It’s something good that can even help our health. Sex is supposed to be enjoyed, by both parties that are participating, not be forced upon by someone else. Rape culture should be stopped, and we need make people realize that rape isn’t something that we should normalize. Rape is something horrendous and something that should be taken seriously. We should realize that we are responsible for our own actions, and that we have the ability to determine whats wrong and what’s right.
Comment down below what YOU think about Rape Culture!
ORIGINAL POST HERE: http://enderunsecondsemester1213.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/the-thing-about-rape-culture/