Rape Culture: It’s Real (And You Should Give A Shit)

We as a whole, have finally started to acknowledge the rape culture that runs rampant throughout society. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, rape culture has been defined as:

a complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm . . . In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable.

(Emilie Buchwald, author of Transforming a Rape Culture)

and the site Force: Upsetting the Rape Culture explains how rape culture is everything we see and hear every day:

Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

We are taught “Don’t get raped”, not “Don’t rape”. We are taught to walk with our keys jutting out between our fingers, to always be alert in parking garages, not to go certain places after dark, to cross the street if we think we’re being followed, not to wear anything “slutty”, not to wear anything that we can’t run in, to target the crotch and the neck if we’re attacked, to scream “Fire” instead of “Rape” because no one will come for the latter, to keep mace and a whistle on us, to go places in pairs, to watch our drinks being made and to never leave them out of our sights, to wait until our friends get inside safely before we drive away, to call someone before and after we’re leaving someplace and to call someone when we get home safe… I could go on and on, man. (There’s even a case of college students being told to vomit or urinate on demand to protect themselves from rape.)

We are not, however, ever taught “Don’t rape.” We aren’t taught the ins and outs of consent, we aren’t taught to treat others like actual goddamn human beings, we aren’t taught not to ask “But what were you wearing?”, we aren’t taught not to say “Well, they didn’t say ‘no.'” They didn’t say yes, either, but we weren’t taught not to ignore that.

Rape culture is a real fucking thing. It’s never been present in the forefront of my mind for long–I mean, it’s always in the back of my mind when someone says something off, it’s always there when I see a message that screams wrong in someway, but it’s never been more present than it has now.

A few months ago, one of the guys in a class made a “drop the soap” joke. He was talking about the character of Sophia Burset, an inmate played by Lavern Cox in “Orange Is The New Black”. He then cut himself off and said “Oh, wait, does that still apply if he-she’s a tr*nny? They’re all askin’ for it anyways, might as well teach them a lesson.”

About two weeks ago, someone described the outcome of the Super Bowl like this: “Damn, the Patriots fucking raped the Seahawks.”

Three days ago, someone in a different class said she thought there was nothing wrong with 50 Shades and implied that the numerous articles talking about the main pair’s notable lack of actual consent were all written by people who were, basically, tripping balls.

We treat rape lightly. Even those who want justice against rapists often go about it the wrong way. In one of the articles about 50 Shades I linked above, it mentions an excerpt from 50 Shades that is meant to be taken sexily but actually is rape (trigger warning):

Grey: “I wondered what your bedroom would look like,” he says. I glance around it, plotting an escape route, no – there’s still only the door or window.

Steele: “Well, I thought I should come and remind you how nice it was knowing me.” Holy crap. I stare at him open mouthed, and his fingers move from my ear to my chin. “What do you say to that, Miss Steele?” […she says nothing…] I take pre-emptive action and launch myself at him. Somehow he moves, I have no idea how, and in the blink of an eye I’m on the bed pinned beneath him, my arms stretched out and held above my head, his free hand clutching my face, and his mouth finds mine.

Next, Steele says no.

Steele: He bends and starts undoing one of my sneakers. Oh no… no… my feet. No. I’ve just been running. “No,” I protest, trying to kick him off. He stops. “If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you.”

Grey: He bends and starts undoing one of my sneakers. Oh no… no… my feet. No. I’ve just been running. “No,” I protest, trying to kick him off. He stops. “If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you.”

He slaps her during intercourse.

Afterward when he leaves, she says this: “But now I feel like a receptacle – an empty vessel to be filled at his whim. […] I have an overwhelming urge to cry, a sad and lonely melancholy grips and tightens round my heart. Dashing back to my bedroom, I close the door and lean against it trying to rationalize my feelings. I can’t. Sliding to the floor, I put my head in my hands as my tears begin to flow.”

 

And in reply to Grey’s act of rape, one commenter says:

MR. grey needs to be put in some form of jail and tossed to the sodomites and see how he like it.

((I heavily disagree with the saying “Don’t fight fire with fire” (that’s a post for another day) but, in this case, I wholly agree. Repaying rape with rape isn’t going to help anything.))

Why do we think it is okay to do this? Why do we think it’s alright to make and sell “Keep Calm and Rape A Lot” shirts? Why do we let the media constantly gloss over the word ‘rape’WAVAW has an article listing more incidences of rape culture. Some of them are shocking as all hell.

I want to be safe walking through town at night. But there is always someone more drunk, in a darker alley, in worse conditions, walking through town at night. I want her (or him, or them) to be just as safe as I am.

We can’t stop rape without stopping rape culture. Problem is, it’s everywhere. And problem is, a lot of people don’t seem to notice it. But it exists. And you should give a shit.


 

If you were sexually assaulted or raped, there’s a hotline. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE. or go here.


 

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About Danny

I blog about whatever's on my mind. Usually that's stuff like Harry Potter metaposts, writing, and LGBTQ+ topics.
This entry was posted in Culture/Society, Feminism, Humanity and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Rape Culture: It’s Real (And You Should Give A Shit)

  1. Wilson says:

    Pretty sure there arent men going to watch 50 shades of grey.

    • Danny says:

      Hey man, idc what you happen to be into, but I was more talking about the part that even if men don’t go and physically watch 50 Shades, 50 Shades is everywhere. It’s there in advertising, there are excerpts all over social media (yes, people usually excerpt it when they’re laughing at it, but still) and to young boys and even older guys, it’s basically saying “It’s alright to ignore a safeword, it’s alright to fuck her (or him, or them) when she’s resisting, because don’t worry, she’s actually turned on by this. It’s alright to hit her even when she doesn’t want you to, because she signed a contract so everything’s cool. It’s alright to stalk her and do stuff w/o her permission because you’re dating.” 50 Shades perpetrates and promotes rape culture, even if you don’t actually go watch the movie in person. You get me?

      • Wilson says:

        Youre a virgin arent you?

        • nena says:

          What the fuck does being a virgin have to do with anything? Ever heard of projection because you sure pulled the virgin card out of thin air.. you sure you’re not the one having some hidden complex over being a virgin?
          Look don’t start throwing hate at some blog, which is hella fucking easy to exit, that you don’t agree with you asshat.

        • Danny says:

          I have no clue why that could possibly be relevant to anything. You’re not gonna be getting in my pants anytime soon; you have no business knowing my sexual history.

          Though, I love how you reply to a thought-out, polite answer with a question about someone’s virginity. Really shows your maturity there, asshole.

        • Wilson says:

          Is name calling necessary?

        • Danny says:

          I dunno, depends on whether you think liking someone’s post and then asking them about their sexual history is necessary. Besides, it’s my blog and I can write what I want. Don’t like what I have to say? There’s a handy little X on the corner of your window. Chill, kid.

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