We Are Becoming Immune To Rape Because Of Our Culture, That's NOT OK

We Are Becoming Immune To Rape Because Of Our Culture, That's NOT OK

Our world is becoming increasingly dangerous.


It's time to recognize the culture we live in. I'm not talking about political culture or our cultural differences. I'm referring to the rape culture that we all promote whether we acknowledge it or not. We are a point in society where women are finally standing up and voicing the harassment and assault they have faced, and we are fortunate that consent is being a topic of conversation all over college campuses. But are we recognizing these strives and deciding that all of those things are enough?

Is talking about sexual assault and rape enough to prevent it from happening? Is one girl coming forward with her story enough to stop the culture we live in?

No. It's simply not enough, and we are all part of that problem. For example, if a girl comes forward at a college party and says she was sexually assaulted, are girls going to continue to go to that same party the next weekend without fear? Of course, they are. This is because while we recognize that rape is awful and shouldn't happen, we have become immune to it.

We hear the word rape or sexual assault, and instead of that immediate sick feeling everyone should naturally get, we just hear it and feel no reaction because it has become such a common thing. It's is something that we hear about so often that when we hear it, the significance does not register. Rape has become normalized.

Still not getting it? How do you feel when you hear about a random homicide on the news? I doubt you think about that homicide whenever you visit the city where it took place. I doubt you even think of that person for more than a second of the day. We are beginning to do the same thing with rape and sexual assault.

We cannot afford to become a society where this is okay. We cannot be okay with the normalization of rape. It is not right for us to only care when we know the person affected or when it is us. We should not live in a world where we dictate what matters strictly upon our own connections. A world where we think like that is a world where sexual assault prevails and rapists win.

We can't afford to be immune to sexual assault. We can't become complacent and satisfied with where we are now in regard to this issue. We need to keep progressing and fighting for a world where this isn't something anyone fears. Blocking out commentary on sexual assault is a simple disservice and endangerment to society.

While not to discredit the progress we have made, it is so important not to turn a blind eye to the problem at hand. As a society, we owe it to the victims, who bravely spoke out, to listen and not ignore their story. Those who feel any differently need to take a long, hard look in the mirror because they are part of the problem too.

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A Solution To The Abortion Debate

We need to tackle the problem at its core.

There are very few political issues that are as controversial as abortion. Pro-life vs. Pro-choice seem to be the smack down of the year, every year. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion years ago, but people from all sides of the political spectrum still focus on it.

I'm not going to give you a pro-choice argument. Yes, I am pro-choice, and yes I have very firm beliefs, but I don't think the argument should focus on whether or not women should have access to abortion.

The argument needs to tackle this "issue" of abortion at a much deeper level. It's not about pregnant women wanting abortions — it's about unwanted pregnancies.

There are many reasons a woman chooses to have an abortion. Maybe they can't afford a pregnancy and a child. Maybe they have health problems. Maybe they are not in a place in their lives where they can properly care for a child. Or maybe, they just don't want to have the baby.

Regardless of their reasons, the core cause of abortion is an unwanted pregnancy. Naturally, the way to end abortion is to stop unwanted pregnancies from occurring in the first place. If a woman never becomes pregnant without wanting to be pregnant, there would be no need for abortion, and the divisive debate could finally end.

How do we do this, you ask? Well, you've come to the right place.

There are two things that need to happen in order to stop unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

1. Comprehensive sexual education

27 states currently have abstinence-only education. This means students in 27 states are never taught about birth control. They never learn the realities of sex and sexual experiences because they are taught not to have sex until marriage.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with practicing abstinence until marriage — or even in marriage if that's what you decide. But the truth is, not everyone is going to be abstinent, and by teaching a curriculum that stresses abstinence, students lack a knowledge base necessary to prevent pregnancies and STDs. Some people won't know anything about sex alone, let alone about condoms, the birth control pill, the birth control patch, shot, ring, IUD, or other forms of birth control that could prevent pregnancies.

Statistically, states with abstinence-only education have a much higher rate of teenage pregnancy or STD transmission, while states with more comprehensive education have seen a drastic decrease in these cases.

People seem to think that including comprehensive sex ed in schools will encourage teenagers and young adults to have premarital sex. But lets face it: they're going to do it anyway. So lets make sure they are educations and that they practice safe-sex so no unwanted pregnancies occur.

2. Access to birth control

Education is all fine and dandy, but unless people have access to birth control, they can't really practice safe sex.

The discourse around birth control needs to be less taboo. Young women should not be embarrassed to talk to their healthcare provider about different options. Both men and women who plan to be sexually active, even if they have the smallest inkling that they will be sexually active, should have condoms so that they are never in a position to "risk it."

Birth control needs to be covered by all health insurance. Not only does it prevent pregnancies, but it also helps regulate women's menstrual cycles and treat endometriosis, along with other health problems women may have. But most importantly, it prevents unwanted pregnancies. Birth control needs to be available to every one, both men and women and genderfluid and genderqueer and everything else on the gender spectrum.

Even people who are pro-choice are not pro-abortion. Whether it is because of morals, medical reasons, or any other reason, no one wants abortions to happen.

Making abortion illegal will not stop abortions from happening. People will resort to dangerous methods to get abortions if they are outlawed, but they will not stop completely. The only way to stop abortions is to solve the core of the problem through comprehensive sex ed and access to birth control.

In order to make that happen, the discussion needs to move away from "Should abortion be legal or not?" to "Let's stop unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place." Stopping unwanted pregnancies is the only way to stop abortions.

Cover Image Credit: The New Yorker

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Sexual Education Needs To Be Taught In Middle School

No, porn does not teach you sex.


Sex education is supported widely and even by parents, however, we are not teaching it effectively. In middle school, I didn't learn sexual education, let alone learn anything about puberty and what a menstrual cycle even is. In middle school, I learned more from my friends than from health class or my parents.

If parents supposedly support sexual education, why are we not creating a curriculum to teach it more effectively? These teenagers are 'learning' more from their friends than their parents or adults and learning from porn. No, porn does not teach realistic sexual expectations. Teens don't see the side of where the pornstars are posing in sex positions or take multiple takes. Teens don't see that pornstars get tested for HIV and STDs very often. Most teens say they never received any sexual education at all.

These topics we need to focus on teaching should range from menstruating, puberty, self-touching, and all the way to sex and diseases, as well as pregnancy. we teach girls that they need to be on birth control but what about these young men needing to wear condoms. Many girls don't even know the difference between tampons or how to even insert a tampon. Lots of teens are told that they shouldn't be touching themselves, but we should be teaching them that it is ok to explore your body. I've come across many young men that think that just because they don't feel like they have a disease that they don't have to get tested.

Everyone needs to get tested and everyone needs to learn an excessive amount of information about sex because no one else is teaching it.

I have a passion for teaching sexual health to middle schoolers for the sake of their sexual health and for future generations.

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