Is Rape Culture Real?
The topic of rape culture continues to rear its ugly head in the heated arguments between anti-feminists and feminists. Anti-fems claim feminists are obsessed with the concept of rape culture while some deny it exists. Some anti-feminists take on the argument that by fighting against rape culture, feminists ignore male survivors.
I can say from a feminist perspective, advocates of sexual violence fight for the rights of male sexual assault victims, and we do not claim there are no male rape victims. We promote quite the opposite: male sexual assault victims are not heard enough and it will take them sharing their stories to dispel the myth completely. Sexual assault happens to men and women, and it is not only victims who are sensitive to the issue. Just because feminists acknowledge rape culture does not mean all feminists are victims. If you are able to ignore an issue because it does not affect you, you are letting your privilege hang out (and you might want to tuck it back in).
In order to deal with the issue, we need not to worry about the labels and branding. People educated about rape are sensitive to the issue because of its lasting damages on survivors, and because perpetrators of rape rarely face prison time or sanction. Victims have to change their lives and the rapist goes on about life.
So, what is rape culture?
Rape culture is the way society normalizes or trivializes rape. Think rape jokes, prison rape jokes, victim-shaming and blaming, and telling victims of sexual assault to just get over it. Its the glamorization of sexual violence. Its objectification. It is everything we do to make rape less of a big deal.
So, below are some images of a forum of men sharing their experiences and thoughts of rape. They are not talking about being raped; they are talking about raping. There comments resonate to me because they exemplify rape culture. Their ideals show me they care little about people, male or female, and while maybe not aware, they are perpetuating rape culture. Proceed with caution.
What do you think?
Do you believe these young men are perpetuating the belief rape is okay? Do you think this is something we can just write off? I don’t. I’m outraged and disgusted humans think this kind of behavior is acceptable, and I personally do not fantasize or have rape fantasies about being raped. Saying ‘women want to be raped’ is usually said in attempt to discredit rape victims when they come forward to disclose the crime committed against them. The person who said it is probably familiar with a court room.
I think the most noteworthy information here is the profiles of these young men. This was on a weightlifting site, and as you can see, most of them have nice bodies. Which means *duh duh duh* rapists are not the creepy predator types you may have thought. Rapists look like the guys you want to date. The guy you want to date may be a rapist. Damn.. is that a post I have to do next? Is your man crush a rapist?
The frustration I feel when someone argues rape culture does not exist is unparalleled. Rape culture is real, and until we acknowledge it, it will continue to discredit, normalize and trivialize rape. It will continue to make survivors harder to believe or taken seriously. Defense attorneys will still ask ‘did you want to be raped’ in cross-examination. Until we admit rape culture is real, objectification of women will not be an issue, and women will be seen by some as prey.
Til next time friends.
Be mindful. The creeps are lurking.