Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rape Culture

Though a little upsetting this is an article worth reading. It really tries to get at and challenge the way our society views rape and discusses a "rape culture" that not only allows but encourages us to place blame or at the very least responsibility on the victim.


"Rape culture is encouraging men to use the language of rape to establish dominance over one another ("I'll make you my bitch")….Rape culture is 1 in 6 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Rape culture is not even talking about the reality that many women are sexually assaulted multiple times in their lives. Rape culture is the way in which the constant threat of sexual assault affects women's daily movements….Rape culture is a judge blaming a child for her own rape….Rape culture is encouraging women to take self-defense as though that is the only solution required to preventing rape. Rape culture is admonishing women to "learn common sense" or "be more responsible" or "be aware of barroom risks" or "avoid these places" or "don't dress this way," and failing to admonish men to not rape."


  1. Interesting article. I want to read the court cases themselves -- is this an instance of her arguments being denied because of the courts supporting rape culture/falling prey to blame the victim mentality (as the article claims) or were the judges ruling on the way her lawyer interpreted the law (perhaps her lawyer did a weak job; it happens)? It will be interesting to see where this goes next and how different courts handle the matter.

    I certainly think the school administration could have handled the situation better. Reminds me a bit of the Phoebe Prince case, where again the school put the onus on the victim to handle the situation.

    Putting that aside, what next steps would you recommend? Shining light on the issue is all well and good, but what do we do from here to fix it?

  2. I think a huge thing is that there needs to be more rapist accountability. In this particular case, the student should have been suspended from the football team until at least after the trial, and even with the misdemeanor charges... Thinking about it, where it anything but football with any charge but rape the consequences from the school would most likely have been a lot more severe.

    I think too much emphasis is placed on telling people how to prevent being raped in the first place, but since not every rapist is a sociopath hiding in the shadows, more needs to be done to clarify the lines of rape in a way that is not ambiguous, places a larger emphasis on acquaintance rape and ultimately holds everyone (the perpetrator, witness that do nothing, victim blamers) accountable for what is happening. People, especially educators need to start changing the way rape is talked about and presented to the public.