Women's Awareness Blog











{December 14, 2014}   Blaming The Victim ~ U.S.A. Rape Culture ~ Be A Part of The Solution

WHAT IS RAPE CULTURE?
In a rape culture, people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate, rape. Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

Rather than addressing the problem of sexual assault against women on college campuses the trend has been to blame and shame the victim. The NY Times reported on a study conducted at Bob Jones University in S.C., a Christian/Evangelican University revealed that students who reported sexual assault were asked not to report the incidents to police for fear of what it might do to the families, university, communities, etc. involved. Some students were even asked how their bodies responded to sexual abuse…http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/12/us/bob-jones-university-sex-assault-victim-study.html?module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=U.S.&action=keypress&region=FixedLeft&pgtype=article  “…in many cases, victims said they were assaulted as children by people within their churches, and were told by university officials that speaking out would hurt the Christian cause.”

Rolling Stone recently reported  a chilling account of a rape at UV campus and its lack of action to which UV responded with a zero-tolerance policy on sexual assault. Then Rolling Stone under criticism by the Washington Post retract its story indicating “…In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced…” Which again, indicates a lack of credibility and places blame on the victim. Rolling Stone then corrected itself by admitting the mistake was the Rolling Stones…http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/13/us/uva-rape-turmoil/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

You get the gist of things here? The consciousness of a Rape Culture shoves the blame and shame onto the victim.

One college University of Iowa (UI) is proactively taking steps to raise awareness or social consciousness to change the culture of rape.  http://thegazette.com/subject/news/changing-the-rape-culture-20141031

Time magazine calls it, interestingly, time to end the “hysteria” over culture of rape. You’d be hysterical too if you were raped! I know I was. But Time goes on to say, “Though rape is certainly a serious problem, there’s no evidence that it’s considered a cultural norm.”  When I read anything in the media, the first thing I’m always aware of is if it’s in the media, it’s what they want Americans to believe. It has nothing to do with FACT. In fact, the major media sources are all told what is and isn’t news. http://upsettingrapeculture.com/rapeculture.php

The Time article goes on to promote that most guys don’t rape. “The vast majority of men absorb these messages and view rape as the horrific crime…”   http://time.com/30545/its-time-to-end-rape-culture-hysteria/

While true, most men don’t rape, in fact 23 percent of men rape women,  Yes, it’s about individuals who choose to disregard gender equality and rape but it’s MORE about a culture that is lethargic, or gives lip service to taking action to stop the violence against women. IT’s about a society or culture (and its organizations and institutions) that trivializes and normalize violence against women. Its about a culture or society that puts blame on victims and shames them into silence. The entire point behind a culture of rape is not in the number of men who rape BUT A CULTURE that accepts rape and violence against women as normal and responds to the tragedy of a rape culture by trivializing the outcry of 1 out of 5 women (and 1 out of 4 women on college campuses) who have reported rape and will not be silence.

“Invoking “rape culture” is simply a way of looking, academically or anecdotally, at how the ephemera around sex and sexual violence may systematically create subtle biases in behavior and perception. That’s all “rape culture” really means: that certain beliefs and norms in our society may make it easier for sexual violence to take place. …I would also add the unwitting people who perpetuate certain ideas about sex and sexual violence—”have unconsciously created an unplanned culture [of rape] that afflicts all women and men.” http://reason.com/blog/2014/11/21/a-different-way-to-look-at-rape-culture

…cavalier attitudes toward rape could contribute to a culture where the seriousness of the violation

is devalued. And while this devaluation won’t drive more people to start committing assault, it could

allow those who do to thrive… http://reason.com/blog/2014/11/21/a-different-way-to-look-at-rape-culture

It isn’t that “rape culture” directly causes rape, but that it makes people less likely to speak up if they have been assaulted, or less likely to speak out against someone they know has committed sexual assault. That it drives online threats and harassment. That it influences the way our police and the criminal justice system treat sexual assault allegations.

Raise Awareness Refuse to Be Silenced by a Culture of Rape.

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