“Rape culture describes a culture in which sexual violence is common, accepted, normalized, tolerated, or even condoned. It permeates across geographical borders and transgresses social and cultural differences.” – Aily Shimizu
I am completely against rape culture. It’s a real thing that needs to stop. I believe that you cannot have sex with someone else unless both parties have given consent, and they are FULLY AWARE they have given consent. That doesn’t mean a drunk girl stumbling around who slurs, “Yeah, whatever. You’re hot, let’s have sex right now” has given somebody consent. THAT IS NOT CONSENT. That’s a drunk girl rambling with no ability to make decisions for herself.
Gender plays a big role in how we perceive rape culture. Typically, we are talking about girls getting raped by guys, which is statistically true. It’s interesting that we automatically associate rape this way, but it makes sense. At least, it does to me. It’s hard for me to imagine a woman literally trying to sexually rape a man due to the anatomy of their penises, but I mean, maybe they’re aroused by a determined woman? I don’t know. That was a horrible statement for me to make, but I guess that’s the point I’m trying to argue. If I even am arguing. Rape is bad. Sexual assault is bad. That’s my opinion.
I found this video the other day while on Thought Catalog, and it’s a great example of things we can all do to prevent someone from getting hurt. This is a year-old campaign New Zealand put out hopes to empower bystanders by showing them how easy it is to step in when they’re concerned that someone else might be in a dangerous situation.
The first article I read was Kathy Redmond’s Opinion: Stopping Rape Culture Starts at Schools. It’s obviously hard for me to relate to Kathy because she was actually sexually assaulted, but I can still see where she’s coming from. She says, “These boys are able to rape with impunity because they are told they can — by the town, by school and community leaders, by their parents.” Now, that’s a really bold statement. She goes on to say, “Do I envision those people saying, “Go out and rape, boys?” Not at all. It’s much more subtle.” Okay, that’s better. If there is a place where people were actually promoting the idea of rape, that’s a horrifying thought to me. She discusses the media’s perception of the Steubenville Rape Case and how they are asking questions about the victims such as “Why was she at the party?” “Look how she was dressed!” “She went to his room, what did she expect?”, rather than realizing that these girls are victims to a hateful crime that should have landed the boys much deeper in debt to society.
Another article I read was from the Huffington Post, related to the verdict of the crime. Steubenville Rape Trial Verdict: Trent Mays, Ma’lik Richmond Found Guilty The sentence received sparked controversy. “They’re only going to juvi for 4 and 5 years?” is what a lot of people have said, claiming they should have a much longer sentence. I think that sentence is enough to not ruin their lives completely, but to teach a valuable lesson to this country. CNN also made headlines by focusing on the lives of the boys on trial instead of the victim. Phrases like “promising futures” and “very good students” were used to report on the convicted, and that is something that bothers me.