Addressing The Real Issue With Rape Culture

Rape. IT MATTERS!

Or does it?

In today’s society, it seems as though rape matters sometimes…when its 'convenient.' For years now, women have been shamed for how they look and how they dress. It has gone as far as the infamous phrase today—“She was asking for it.” Or even “If you dress a certain way, you’re only seeking attention.” Or worse, “She wanted it.”

But is that really the case ladies? Jokes have been made according to this trend…this overlooked topic with headlines on the forefront. For example, we all know that “No means no.” But according to some, “No means yes.” But how?? I call that victim-blaming.

Ways to Identify Victim-Blaming:

  1. She provoked him.
  2. Well, she shouldn’t have been dressing like that.
  3. It was her fault. She was asking for it.

Victim-blaming only makes it more difficult for those victims of rape and sexual violence to come forward and take a stand. And today? It is even more difficult because we live in a world where rape culture IS a culture…an overlooked, underestimated, does not receive enough seriousness culture!

Women are constantly labelled as so many things, most commonly ‘objects.’ Does wearing short shorts speak the words: “Yes, come rape me?” Or does getting extremely and uncontrollably drunk represent ‘consent’? This rape culture today has become more of an issue with each passing day. Rape culture has gotten worse to the point where women are becoming more and more afraid of coming forward because they fear public attention, doubt, and the justice system. The justice system has proved to be more of an injustice system than anything.

Rape is a serious topic to even discuss. It is also something difficult to experience. It is something difficult to get over. It is just difficult in general. I personally know victims of sexual abuse and rape…and those victims are still victims today. Why? They were too afraid to come forward to family and law enforcement. When a woman fears coming forward to the police about being victimized, that is how you know there is something truly wrong with our justice system. There is no way that sexual violence and rape should be normalized…NO WAY!

Am I alone on this one?

Ladies, PLEASE STAND UP!

“Boys will be boys!?” Oh really? I DON’T THINK SO. That statement in relation to victim-blaming and rape culture glamorizes that ‘boys will make mistakes, but it is okay.’ SAYS WHO? No boy is raised to think it is ‘cool’ to rape someone…whether it is while under the influence, during unconsciousness, or even in one’s ‘right state-of-mind.’

We have got to come together and eliminate the whole act of scrutinizing women for what they choose to wear, what they have done in their past, and what their possible mental state could be. We have to take rape accusations more seriously.

Let’s define ‘rape’ and ‘consent’:

Rape- unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent

Consent- permission or approval for something to happen or agreement to do something

Comprehension working properly? Okay, good. Because we have got to stop blaming victims for something THEY DID NOT ASK FOR.

News headlines have been consumed with different stories about acts of rape and sexual violence. More likely than others, white men have been the face of an ongoing number of reported rapes against young women. It's already sad enough that we had to see the infamous Stanford University swimmer, Brock Allen Turner, get a 6-month sentence for the raping of an unconscious woman back in January 2015. What's even sadder? He has only served 3 months of his ridiculous sentence and is expected to be released VERY soon. And sadder than that? An African American, 19-year-old at the time, Vanderbilt football player named Cory Batey committed a similar crime to Turner. The difference? The only difference was the results. Cory Batey received mandatory jail for the crime he committed (15-25), while Turner faced nothing even close.

Lets not forget to mention John Phillip Enochs, a former Indiana University student who only served 1 day in jail and received 1 whole year of probation for pleading guilty to raping 2 women. The most interesting of them all is the fact that both of them received leniency in their sentencing. Is that fair? Does this reveal vital facts about our justice system?

Ask yourself an important question: Are you contributing to a rape culture?

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