Rape Culture: The Normalization Of Violence
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Rape Culture: The Normalization Of Violence

We need to change how we talk about rape.

Rape Culture: The Normalization Of Violence

What is rape culture?

Rape culture is a complex SET of beliefs and practices that encourages sexual aggression, supports violence against women, sees violence as sexy, and sexuality as violent. This includes jokes, advertising, music, television, laws, words, and images that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe rape is inevitable, even natural . Not surprising in a country where someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes. Yet, as a society, we have become uncomfortable with talking about rape culture, gender, and anything that dismantles the very patriarchal culture that tells us not to disrupt the status quo.

According to the Rape Crisis Center, 1 in 6 American women are victims of rape in their lifetime, with increased statistics on college campuses and in other countries. This is not something to ignore, and as Clementine Ford states, "The way that we talk about rape as if it is some arbitrary thing that just happens to women, that we just walk out of the door one day and just accidentally step in a puddle of it because we weren't paying attention, that's how we remove responsibility from the problem."

I spent an entire semester researching rape culture for two of my classes and found that rape culture is everywhere. Rape culture is when Robin Thicke repeats, "I know you want it," 18 times in his hit single. It's when Bud Light releases a campaign with the slogan, "The perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night." Rape culture makes itself clear when two boys rape an incapacitated girl, and every news station focuses on the shambled futures of the "football stars."

The problem with rape culture is that we have labeled it a women's issue, shifting the blame from the perpetrator to the victim, implying that it is a woman's job to not get raped. By telling girls to change what they are wearing, not be out alone at night, and carry pepper spray just in case, we have done a great injustice to women. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explained, "We teach girls shame. Close your legs, cover yourself. We make them feel as though by being born female they are already guilty of something. So girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire, women who silence themselves, who cannot say what they truly think." It has become so ingrained in our minds that public space is a male-dominated space that we cause women to live in fear.

We have also taught men to believe that his sense of self is determined by exercising his sexual dominance and aggression. Chimamanda adds, "We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently. We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them. We stifle the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way. Masculinity becomes this hard, small cage, and we put boys inside the cage."

Looking forward, we need to understand the foundation of what constitutes this acceptance of rape in order to change the way the culture functions. We must focus on not only ending the victim blaming, but also on teaching our children to not rape rather than advising young girls how to avoid getting raped. Our efforts to stop violence toward women must address the attitudes about gender roles that begin from a young age and the misogynistic systems that promote this violence. I have only begun to touch on the complexity of rape culture, and I encourage everyone to watch Clementine Ford's Ted Talk to better understand this topic—trust me, it's worth the 12 minutes.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

A Beginner's Wine Appreciation Course

While I most certainly do not know everything, I feel like I know more than the average 21-year-old about vino, so I wrote this beginner's wine appreciate course to help YOU navigate the wine world and drink like a pro.

White wine being poured into a glass

Keep Reading...Show less
Types of ice cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? People from all over the world enjoy the frozen dessert, but different countries have their own twists on the classic treat.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

100 Reasons to Choose Happiness

Happy Moments to Brighten Your Day!

A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less

Remember The True Meaning of Christmas

“Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you?”

A painting of the virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, and the wise men

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Christmastime is a celebration, but have we forgotten what we are supposed to be celebrating? There is a reason the holiday is called Christmas. Not presentmas. Not Santamas. Not Swiftmas. Christmas.

boy standing in front of man wearing santa claus costume Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

What many people forget is that there is no Christmas without Christ. Not only is this a time to spend with your family and loved ones, it is a time to reflect on the blessings we have gotten from Jesus. After all, it is His birthday.

Keep Reading...Show less
Golden retriever sat on the sand with ocean in the background
Photo by Justin Aikin on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my dog. I am constantly talking about my love for her. I attribute many of my dog's amazing qualities to her breed. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and because of this I am a self-proclaimed expert on why these are the best pets a family could have. Here are 11 reasons why Goldens are the undisputed best dog breed in the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments