Rape Culture: The Tumor of a Generation
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Rape Culture: The Tumor of a Generation

When will enough be enough? Isn't even one too many?

Rape Culture: The Tumor of a Generation
Jalan Williams

One in five women and one in 71 men have been affected by sexual violence. This means for me, as a female, when I hang out with a group of my girlfriends, one of us has most likely been affected by rape or sexual violence. And this does not include victims who have been affected second hand by sexual crimes of some nature. I for one, am fortunate enough not to have been attacked in any way, but that is not so for my friend. Her story has been shaped by the date rape of a man she came to love, or so she thought, and therefore my life has taken a different path as well. Although her life is separate from mine, the rape that took place affected me deeply as a person, causing depression and recreating the way I view the world. I have become desensitized to the power a man can force upon a woman and the aftermath of that arrogant choice. My friend's rape created a fear of men that began to show itself when men began to pursue me, but it has only developed and grown as rape cases have run rampant across my television screen. Not only does my friend's story affect me, but I am also consistently subjected to something known as rape culture.

Rape culture, in my opinion, has become weaved into society, perpetuating itself in television shows, advertisements and even in everyday speech. "She shouldn't be dressing like a slut," "Maybe if she didn't act like a skank," "She was asking for it dressing like that." I hear these statements almost every day and no one cares about the harm it is causing. I have also become blatantly aware of people using rape as a curse word or joke. On multiple occasions, "annoy" will be replaced with "rape" normalizing the action and creating statements such as, "Oh my gosh dude, get off of me because you're totally raping me right now." As someone who has been deeply affected by rape, I cringe everytime I hear rape thrown around so flippantly. And yet, it is still undecided among many Americans whether or not we are living in a society that normalizes rape.

Other writers and even journalists continue to touch on whether or not rape culture is prevalent or even an issue in America today. In one writer's opinion, "The definition alone cannot answer the question of whether or not Western society perpetuates rape culture." The definition is as follows, " In feminist theory, rape culture is a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality." I understand where this writer is coming from and I agree that the definition can create confusion when defining rape culture, but I would argue that rape culture is not only perpetuated but accepted in Western society today. Rape has become more prevalent due to news coverage and where one would think this would help the problem, it is only making it more catastrophic. Within the last year, Brock Turner, a Stanford University swimmer, was tried and convicted of raping a young girl on campus. Turner was convicted of this heinous crime but only sentenced to six short months in jail and then would receive probation upon finishing his jail time. Turner was released after only three months. Fantz quoted a petition stating, "Judge Persky failed to see that the fact that Brock Turner is a white male star athlete at a prestigious university does not entitle him to leniency." This embodies one of the many reason's rape culture continues to remain prevalent in America. The US continues to shout for justice when it comes to rape cases and yet the, primarily male, judges consistently under sentence the criminals sitting right in front of them.

When will rape statistics hit a point that society is willing to do something about it? Are we waiting until it is one in four women? One in three? I for one am tired of waiting because the longer society waits, the worse rape culture will become. If a person had a tumor growing inside their head and they were fully aware of it, would they not seek medical attention immediately in order to take care of the issue? The normalization of rape has become a tumor in America, in the brains of her citizens. The longer society waits to take care of this fatal threat the larger it will become and the further it will spread until our justice systems and all that keeps us safe becomes inoperable. Each individual American must start taking action in the way they speak, think and teach on the subject of rape. If every person living in the United States, or even half of the population, would make the decision to change their habits of speech and start standing against the perpetrators living among us, I believe we could eradicate the culture we have so ignorantly created.

If you are raped or have been raped visit call 911 immediately after the attack and then visit this website for further help.

If you or someone you know has been raped and needs an outlet to have a voice then visit www.one-too-many.com and share your story.

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

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