Rape culture in today’s society

1 Apr

By: Payal Majithia

This month I wanted to discuss a topic that we had briefly discussed in tutorial, a topic that many people seem to not acknowledge happens unfortunately far too often in our society. This topic is rape culture. As many of you already know, the Steubenville rape was a case that we discussed in both tutorial and lecture already. As a recollection, the Steubenville rape happened in a small town after a few athletes dragged a young, drunk, unconscious girl away from a party, and took videos of themselves raping her and uploaded pictures of her unconscious body onto social media networks such as Instagram.

https://i2.wp.com/media1.policymic.com/site/articles/22035/photo.jpg

Because of their positions of such valued athletes and our societal stigma of rape culture mentality, these “young men” were only given a year’s sentence in jail. It baffled me that the possession of cocaine, an illegal substance, resulted in 3-25 years of jail time, and violation of another human being’s rights only resulted in one year. The boys who participated in the rape of this young girl never once showed remorse for their actions towards her, and instead, only admitted to feeling remorse at being caught and having to pay the little consequences that they did. With news channels such as CNN showing empathy towards the rapists and belittling the crime that they committed, claiming that their “lives were ruined”, shows how truly corrupted our society is within the rape culture mentality. The following link shows links to three sets of social networking comments about the Steubenville rape before, during, and after the trial:

http://publicshaming.tumblr.com/post/45735132701/if-you-thought-these-unbelievable-reactions-to

With Twitter posts such as “Steubenville rape case sounds like some slut who got drunk and called rape cause her friends were clownin.” and “I honestly feel bad for those boys in the Steubenville trial. That little whore was asking for it”, our generation is not only setting a demoralizing and strewn mindset for future generations, but they are also slut-shaming and victim-blaming a young woman with human rights who had her body violated and images of her violation distributed throughout the internet. This is rape culture.

https://gendrstudies.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/555710_322369661163517_155339471199871_894988_697683070_n.jpg

We as individuals in society are so egocentric and ignorant that we refuse to face the truth: that these monsters are our classmates, our friends, our neighbours, the people we trust. Of course, I’m sure rapists do lurk in the dead of the night, waiting eagerly for their next victims, but this is not how the majority of rape/sexual violence cases occur. Statistics show that up to 90% of victims of sexual assault or violence know their victims. People refuse to acknowledge this fact and prefer to pin the blame on the victim, as it is the easier route than facing the truth that the onus is in fact not on the victim, but instead, surprise surprise, on the rapist. Instead of instilling into individuals’ brains from a young age that they should not rape, we (or more specifically, young women) are told how do dress, act, drink, and talk in public to “avoid” getting raped. By keeping this stigma, an individual is instead actually increasing the problem of rape culture. By “abiding” by these “rules”, instead of avoiding to get raped, we are leaving another victim to get raped. Because after all, rape doesn’t happen because of your clothing or your alcohol intake. Rape happens because of rapists.

https://i1.wp.com/s3.amazonaws.com/s3.weareultraviolet.org/images/UV_RapeCulture_V4.jpg

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2 Responses to “Rape culture in today’s society”

  1. cpacc April 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    I really liked this post about rape culture. Just as we’ve been discussing in class and in tutorial, this topic is something that has been avoided and ignored for far too long. I, personally, did not have much knowledge on rape culture and about these astonishing facts, that have disgusted and displeased me. It is sad that society sees rape victims in this light and something must be done. The fact that in 20 years there has not been a change in rates of campus rapes is unbelievable and quite sad, to be honest. I think schools and society in general definitively have to step it up and start paying attention to rape, putting consequences on the rappers and listening to the victims.

  2. livvyla April 2, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    There were really important issues brought up in your article; thank you for sharing. Rape culture is so strong and widespread that it has greatly influenced our legal system. Victims of sexual assault are not only less likely to pursue legal action, but less likely to even report incidents of sexual violence. See the link for some depressing statistics about sexual assault, reporting, and the court: http://theenlivenproject.com/the-truth-about-false-accusation/. On a more positive note, the legal proceedings as well as the news coverage surrounding the Steubenville case have received considerable backlash by the public. This protesting and dialogue, I believe, is fundamental to dismantling rape culture.

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