While researching on Why Rape, it occurred to me that we can't discuss that without discussing Rape Culture. Hence, today, I'd be discussing on a concept that has been normalised in our world.
Rape culture, according to marshall.edu is an environment where rape is prevalent and sexual violence against women is normalised and excused in the media and popular culture. Emilie Buchwald, author of Transforming a Rape Culture defines rape culture 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. In a rape culture, both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable. However, much of what we accept as inevitable is in fact the expression of values and attitudes that can change (Brandonu.ca).
Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the magnification of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety. It is designed to show the ways in which society blames victims of sexual assault and normalises male sexual violence. It allows us to live in a society where it is acceptable to teach sexualised violence prevention as “don’t get raped” instead of “don’t rape” (Brandonu.com). In other words, rape culture is a society where victims of rape and sexual assault are blamed.
Blaming victims for being raped is like blaming a man for being robbed or blaming a random person for being a victim of circumstance(s). Is it their fault? How sensible could that get? Like seriously? Are they to be blamed? Rape culture makes innocent victims feel guilty of the act they have no idea or clue about. They say stuff like, 'why did she attend that party? Why did she go out? What were you doing alone with him? What did you expect? Why would she wear that skimpy skirt? He is your husband. He can have sex whenever he wants and you have no right to counter that because you are a woman...'. All these are said to make the females feel insecure. The woman can't walk on the street without watching her back. She can't stay out late without munching on fear as she walks home silently. She can't wear whatever she wants to because she would attract some men! Really? Are these what a woman should suffer from for being a woman? Does being a woman make you feel less a human?
Rapists rape because they know the victims would be blamed. They know the society has a way of blaming the victim, therefore, they know they'd go Scot free because the victims wouldn't have the courage to speak out. Even if they do, they won't be reported or they'd be taught how to prevent rape. You see how we embrace rape and sexual assault in our society?
Trivialising sexual assault is also a form of rape culture. We make sexual assault seem like it's not a big deal. We make it look like the men are wired to sexually abusing women by saying men would always be men. Excuse me, I don't get this! How are men wired? To be violent and aggressive? And women are wired to be submissive and passive, sexually? Men are wired to violently get or have whatever they want? So, men are now some beings the females should be scared of? Really, trivialising rape and other forms of sexual assault promotes the irksome act.
Putting pressure on the men to be sexually active and aggressive or violent while putting pressure on the women to be calm and not expressive is an example of rape culture. Also, assuming that men don't get raped or only weak men get raped is an instance. The general perspective that religious or decent women are not raped is just a way to promote rape culture. It's wrong! And that is a form of rape culture.
When we teach the women how not to get raped, do we teach the men not to rape? We believe women are the causes of their situations-- rape and sexual assault, hence, we teach them so much on decency, not staying out late and not going out alone while we leave the men, the perpetrators without teaching them. The moment we start teaching a particular sex on preventive methods on how not to get raped, we are promoting rape because rape is not a function of decency or not. Where rape originated from is not a function of decency.
Rape originated from war which we would look at in one of my posts next week. However, rape being a weapon of war was not and is not a function of decency or staying out late. Therefore, teaching the girls is not enough. The boys and men should be taught. We should teach them not to rape!! We should teach them control. We should teach them the effects of rape on the other person... Spreading stuff like, 'men would always be men; men are born to score; men are born aggressive and violent...' is just rape culture itself. It shouldn't be!
Rape culture encourages rape and other forms of sexual assault. It is blaming victims for what they are innocent of. It prevents victims from reporting because they'd be blamed. It's making perpetrators feel good for what they do because there is no justification. Why don't we be rid stereotypes and define what makes us who we are without hurting the other persons? Why don't you take a stand against rape culture? You don't know how, I'd show you how and the effects of rape culture in my next post. Thank you for following.