Rape CultureFriday, November 08, 2013
We may all know that rape is wrong. It is a punishable offence. However, rape culture refers to the views society has towards rape and the US very much pushes a culture of sexual assault tolerance and neglect.
Though the US may not be as tolerant as some other countries, things like TV, movies, jokes, tweets, and even distasteful T-shirts further perpetuate the idea that women are objects to be used by men however they see fit.
Aspects of rape culture include victim blaming, slut shaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing sexual assaults.
America does all of these.
If you don't think that America is a rape culture then look no further than the military.
The documentary, The Invisible War, is a great and truly sad example of rape culture. This horrible epidemic of having men and women raped and having their perpetrators go free is despicable. It is disgusting. And yet, the military is doing it. They try to cover it up. They blame the women for drinking. They say things like "Oh, gee whiz golly wolly, men will be men".
But what does that say to the men and women who have to go through these horrible experiences? These are people who fight for our country, who protect our freedoms and they are having theirs taken away from the very people they were taught to trust with her life.
Another significant example that comes to mind about trivializing and even trying to ignore sexual assault crimes are colleges. Bonnie Erbe on To the Contrary recently talked about this with her panel.
They discuss how, on average, colleges received a C rating when it came to their safety procedures and handling of sexual assault crimes on campus.
Many colleges do not talk about their sex crimes on campus because it reflects badly on the school. However, because of this, a lot of people do not know that this is going on and therefore cannot take the proper precautions.
Another aspect of rape culture that is rampant in America is the way women are portrayed in the media. These images of women as nothing but objects for men's entertainment further enhance the belief that men can do whatever they want to women.
|As seen on a T-shirt.|
Jokes, tweets, sexist T-shirts further perpetuate the belief that men can do whatever they want to women because our society has objectified us to the point that they do not see us as humans.
We are nothing but tits and ass. This idea that we are simply sexual creatures made to please men whenever the mood strikes is one that is so dangerous and yet is the most commonly used to sell products, to get more ratings, and the one that is mostly overlooked.
Trivializing the seriousness of what rape is can also be seen as condoning it. Take for example this recent headline from Montana.
|Read the full article here.|
Things like this happen in America. We must talk about it. Men and women must not be afraid to talk about it. Just because it is an uncomfortable topic doesn't mean it should be ignored. The fact that so many different places and organizations are unsure of how to handle the cases and therefore cover them up should be ample evidence that it IS going on and it needs to be addressed. It is a big problem and these have to be dealt with before even more people go through these awful life-changing traumas.
We also have to be more aware as individuals. We have to go beyond what is funny for a few seconds and think of what it means for women. We have to stop blaming women who drink for getting raped. We have to stop defending men who cannot control themselves.
This rape culture mentality has to change. We cannot continue to ignore the problem. More of these crimes have be to harshly punishable. We have to talk more about these topics. We have to stop seeing rape as something normal that happens.