Harsh Realities of Rape Culture

Harsh Realities of Rape Culture

Is the victim to blame?

Rape culture today is a constant blame game looking to ignore or justify a crime. The process begins with, of course, the rape itself, but after this the story is different for each individual victim. The victim can choose to tell someone, keep it to themselves, report it, get help... the list goes on. However, the problem with our society today is that once a victim chooses to speak up, a long journey of scrutiny and blame follows. I cannot speak for every victim, but I can speak from personal experience.

According to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), out of every 1,000 rapes about two-thirds go unreported and approximately 994 rapists walk free. Now for most people, their first question is 'why wouldn't you just report it?' To answer this, you have to put yourself in the victims shoes. The simple act of talking about your rape is difficult because you have to re-live the assault. This is hard let alone, but then reporting it? The questioning, the scrutiny, the unwanted flashbacks, not to mention the judgement if your rape case wasn't 'by the book'. And by 'by the book' I mean you were sober, clearly stated no, fought back, and he/she still proceeded. If your case doesn't fit these strict guidelines, then your in for a long and painful journey, not even including the recovery from the actual rape. People are brutal, and I'm not just talking about the rapists. I think the hardest part for me was realizing how much people will talk about and judge you. They will try to justify at times, 'oh you were under the influence maybe you wanted it'. That ignorant statement right there is the prime example why rape culture needs to be reevaluated. Because what it says is that if you see someone passed out or highly intoxicated that you can have sex with them or assault them and it would be their fault. Rape is Rape. And victim-blaming has to be stopped because as victims we go through enough already. This is not something we can just forget or get over, no matter how hard we try. We might have a good couple of days, weeks, or months, but for some reason our minds cannot forget. Flashbacks can be triggered by even the simplest of things, even years down the road when we hope and feel that we're okay. And talking about it is hard too, because there are good people out there who truly want to help us. But the majority just want to justify, find a reason, and blame someone, and the easiest person to blame is the victim. Because maybe we 'remembered wrong', maybe we 'wanted it', maybe we 'gave them the wrong signals', maybe we 'regretted our actions and lied about it', maybe we 'shouldn't have drank so much', maybe we 'shouldn't have worn that'... Or maybe, we should be blaming the rapists themselves. Maybe we should be helping the victim recover and start to redefine rape culture so that when it does happen the victim isn't scrutinized, but rather accepted and listened to. Rape and sexual assault are serious offenses, and considering that 99% of rapists go free there is a clear and significant problem in our society with rape culture. Maybe instead of ignoring the problem, we should train officers and authorities on how to properly help a victim so that they feel safe and not alone. And maybe we should talk about rape and sexual assault and educate people instead of pushing it under the rug and acting like rape can't happen anywhere to anyone. Maybe we should push for new laws and new programs to prevent rape and stop hurting the victims more than they already have been. Maybe we should stop justifying the crime and attempt to prevent it from happening. And maybe then rape won't be taken as a joke anymore.

Cover Image Credit: Andrea Laurita

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Internet outraged at Delhi Aunty for Sl*t Shaming

Public outrage - justified or an overreaction?


When the topic of sexual violence against women arises, women are often held responsible - because of how they dress, or how they behave, or even if they have a voice. A recent incident in Delhi showed that the mindset of people has not changed. In a video posted by Shivani Gupta, a middle-aged woman is seen defending her claim, "Women wearing short dresses deserve to be raped."

This backward mentality surrounding rape and rape culture is horrifying to see. The middle-aged woman first shamed them for wearing short clothes and when she was confronted, she told them "they deserved to get raped." She made things worse when she told other men in the restaurant to rape such women who wear short clothes.

Shivani and her friends later confronted this woman while taking the video. They wanted a public apology for her statement and followed her around. The older woman stood by her statement. Fair enough. They felt threatened by her statements and wanted an apology for her actions. The older lady, however, was brazen about her ideologies and refused to apologize. In fact, she threatened to call the cops for harassment.

The woman who made the regressive statements. Shivani Gupta

While the anger and outrage by the women who uploaded this video are justified, several questions are being raised on whether the older woman was later harassed for her statements. Public shaming is not the way to solve this issue.

"We cannot dismantle a culture of shaming by participating in it." - Rega Jha.

Now, I believe that nobody must engage in victim shaming. Nobody has the right to police the outfit one wishes to wear. It is astonishing to believe that even in the 21st century, people still believe that an outfit determines the morality and character of a person. That older woman was wrong to sl*t-shame the girls for wearing what they want. That being said, even though what that woman did was horrible, public shaming will not work. It will not change the mindset behind these ideologies. What that older woman did was akin to bullying. Publicly shaming her, stalking her facebook account or posting comments or by coercing her, you are also behaving in the same manner of bullying.

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