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Today’s society is a clear example of what is called a “rape culture”, the way we are taught to think and act by our parents and everyone we know has made it this way. There are lots of examples out there, we don’t even need to look hard for them, we just need to open our eyes and see them. By taking a feminist approach this text will prove that today’s society is in fact a “rape culture”.
According to E.B. Taylor (1988) culture is «That complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, law, customs, and any other capacities and habits acquired by man as a member of society» (p. 40). This sharing of common culture makes up a major part of being in a group; all this common aspects are what makes up a society.
Rape culture is a concept that links rape and sexual violence to a society’s culture. Marshall University sees it as, an environment in which rape and sexual violence against women are dominant and normalized by media.
Fear of being raped has become a major influence in every woman, most women and girls live in fear their whole lives, while men aren’t slightly disturbed by this. By looking at what is rape culture we can already find a clear example of inequality, why should only women be victims of this culture? Why shouldn’t men be also victims of it? The answer, because this culture was created by men, all this ideas came from men that thought that they were better than women.
We might think that those men are terrible persons, because they created this culture, but in our everyday lives we actually support their ideas, maybe we don’t realize it, but we are supporting their beliefs, becoming one of those men.
Society has made us this way, since we are born we are made to follow certain patterns of behavior, the color of our clothing, the toys our parents give us, etc. as we continue to grow the same behavioral patterns follow us, and boys play football and soccer, while girls play to the house, and use their dolls. Boys and girls grow up with certain ideas of the way they are supposed to behave, girls are told that they should dress in a sexy way; this is one of the biggest causes of rape culture, objectification of a woman’s body. Men see women as an object for sexual pleasure, rather than seeing them as another human being with the same rights and obligations as them. In our everyday life we can find millions of examples to show us that we live in a rape culture, the list is endless and continues to grow with every second. Most of the time whenever someone hears about a girl being raped, we can hear comments such as: “she was asking for it”, “she allowed herself to be raped”, “she is probably overreacting”, the list goes on, and the sad thing is that people that say these things blame women for being raped and not the rapist.
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This is really sad; it is as if society tried to blame everything on women, even if they obviously didn’t have any part of it. We can find another example when we look at sexual assault prevention education programs, they are focused on women, they tell them that they should take measures to prevent rape, rather than telling men that they shouldn’t rape. Needless to say, teaching women how to avoid being raped doesn’t help at all. Rape culture is a problem growing in Canada, The Globe and Mail said that: Every 17 minutes in Canada, a woman has intercourse against her will. A widely respected 2010 study of nearly 13,000 female undergraduates in the U.S. found 20 per cent had experienced unwanted sexual assault. Most had been drinking, but that doesn’t excuse the assaults. Yet almost 60 per cent of rapes go unreported, and only 3 per cent of rapists ever do any time; sexual-assault offenders in Canada are sentenced to an average of two years. (Brown, 2014)
The small amount of rapes reported are mainly because people that have experience such a thing feel humiliated, and they don’t want to talk about it. Also, who would want to report an assault if the person you spoke to told you it was your fault for being drunk and not taking care of yourself. Rape culture helps itself, people blame the victims, they feel ashamed and they don’t report their assault, thus, the aggressor will still be outside of jail and he will be able to rape once again, starting the cycle one more time. We are certainly living on a rape culture, one caused by ourselves and by no one else, we allow things to happen, we turn our heads the other way, we blame the victims rather than the aggressor, this rape culture we are living in was brought by ourselves. More importantly this rape culture was created by men, most rape victims are women, women that men blame for drinking to much, for dressing in short skirts, etc.
Rape Culture. Marshall University, Women’s Center. http://www.marshall.edu/landing/home/index.html Brown, I. (20149 The raging debate over rape culture. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/ Lundy, K.L:, & Warme B.D. (1988) Sociology:
A window on the world. Ontario: Nelson Canada, A division of International Thomas Limited
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