What is rape culture?
"Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety" (For more information, read this page from Marshall University)
What are examples of rape culture?
Here are some examples from Southern Connecticut State University
1. Blaming the victim ("She asked for it!")
2. Minimizing sexual assault ("Boys will be boys")
3. Sexual Jokes
4. Tolerance or indifference to sexual harassment
5. Inflating false rape report stats
6. Publicly scrutinizing the victim's dress, mental status, motives, and history
7. Unjustified gendered violence in movies and TV
8. Defining "manhood" as dominate and sexually aggressive
9. Defining "womanhood" as submissive and sexually passive
10. Assuming that only promiscuous women get raped
11. Assuming men don't get raped or that only "weak" men get raped
12. Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
13. Teaching women to AVOID getting raped
How can we actively try to end rape culture?
Here are ten things we can do according to The Nation
1. Name the real problems: violent masculinity and victim-blaming
2. Re-examine and re-imagine masculinity
3. Get enthusiastic about enthusiastic consent
4. Speak up for what you really, really want
5. Get media literate
6. Globalize your awareness of rape culture
7. Know your history
9. Practice real politics
10. Lobby your community
And here's two additional things to do:
- Don't laugh at rape
- Tell your story
My word to you:
Know your worth as a person. Don't go through your life feeling small and don't go through life contributing to the examples of rape culture that I discussed above; do not be passive. If we want rape culture to come to an end, then we need to be activists. We cannot keep pushing it toward the next generation to deal with this big issue because then we have become the root of the problem.