Rape culture is a culture in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize and trivializing rape. It is something inherently present in our society, and it stresses that the victim rather than the rapist is to blame for their rape. Two of the most obvious examples of rape culture are slut shaming and victim blaming, in which a woman is criticized for having normal sexual desires relationships and the fault of the rape is shifted to the victim rather than the rapist. Rape culture is usually focused around women victims, but is just as harsh on male victims as well.
Rape culture is looking at what a victim was wearing and saying “she was asking for it.”
Rape culture is saying, “Well, she had one too many drinks. How could she have put herself in such a position?”
Rape culture is someone acing a test and saying “Wow, I totally raped that exam.”
Rape culture is getting catcalled and harassed by men who find it completely acceptable to rank female passerbys on their “racks”.
Rape culture is saying, “There’s no such thing as males being raped! Guys will aways take what they can get.”
Rape culture is the guy in front of you laughing during the health and wellness presentation on rape saying, “girls just are more quiet about wanting it.”
Rape culture is the case of a couple of football players in Stubenville, Ohio, who all raped a drunk sixteen-year-old girl on camera. Many quickly and adamantly came to their defense, saying, “Boys will be boys.” (http://www.thenation.com/blog/176846/how-jock-culture-supports-rape-culture-maryville-steubenville# is a great article on this particular case.)
Rape culture is teaching girls not to wear short dresses and drink, rather than teaching “don’t rape.”
Rape culture is misogynistic jokes about female “sluts” or “prudes”.
Rape culture is Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines - “I know you want it /
You’re a good girl… The way you grab me / Must wanna get nasty”.
It is estimated that one in four women will be sexually assaulted during her lifetime. However, because of the shame assigned to victims and the stress in reporting and bringing rapists to prosecution, there is a very strong likelihood that this number is much higher. I found it extremely difficult to create a simple doodle for this issue, and instead, I attached several images that might help explain this concept.
In his music video for his one-hit wonder single Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke and the other men in the video are fully clothed while naked and thus vulnerable women pranced around them. The “no means yes” message of the song’s lyrics as well as the inherently misogynistic video make it a prime example of the manifestation of rape culture in everyday life. Robin Thicke was named “Sexist of the Year’ for 2013 by the End Violence Against Women Coalition. Speaking to GQ magazine, he said: “People say, ‘Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?’ I’m like, ‘Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman.”
Media reactions to the Stubenville rape.
A really, really, really awesome image of how victim blaming works.
Rape culture is difficult to combat as it is a manifestation of beliefs throughout a culture, rather than an enforced law. I believe, however, that with education and awareness, we can fight against rape culture and allow victims the sense of justice they deserve.