Rape Culture

Topics: Rape, Sexual intercourse, Prostitution Pages: 5 (1533 words) Published: April 14, 2014


In the United States, rape has become one of the most underreported crimes each year (“Reporting Rape” 1). The term rape culture refers to how our society has taught women how not to be raped instead of teaching men not to rape. Through jokes and the sexualization of women we are more likely to believe rape is not a big crisis in our nation. Rape culture leads to the acceptance of rape as a natural occurrence through images that objectify women, media, and the stigmatization of rape victims. In our culture we are made to believe that victims should be blamed for their own abuse according to their state of mind or what they were wearing at the time. Rape culture has become such a major part of own lives that we don’t know its even happening.

In todays society, women have become such a “sex” object from the media, movies, and advertisement, or even jokes. Through images that dehumanize women, they turn them into objects, leading to the increase of violence towards women. In a Stop Violence Against Women event students face the issue face on and said: When the media objectifies women, it also creates an analogous definition of masculinity. She added that the media imposes these societal roles, causing people to ignore complex human personalities and identities (Turmam 1). The over-sexualization of women in today’s media gives women the wrong hopes. At one-angle women see sex as a necessity to be in todays “norms” but not to put themselves out enough to be sexually assaulted. The word “slut” has oppressed women by telling them to dress a certain way, where to go or not go, who to talk to and who not to talk to. “Slut” shaming is an act of shaming a person based on how much they flaunt their sexuality. Taking the word too lightly can have awful consequences on how rape will be justified. Women who show too much skin or dress provocative are labeled as “sluts” and are tormented as well as looked at with less respect. Women should be able to wear whatever choice of clothing they want, go out where they want and not be in constant fear of rape. We are living in a culture where survivors are afraid to speak up (Kacmarek 2). Most women are afraid that by speaking up they are putting themselves out to be judged. People around us judge a person who has been raped not on the circumstances but by the type of clothing they were wearing, saying that they have “lost their self-respect” which means they might have brought it upon themselves. Research has found that an increase in sexist jokes can have a negative outcome for rape victims (Viki 1). By creating a society that looks down on those who show their sexuality, it creates fear when women are sexually assaulted. This also makes men believe that it is “okay” to come onto women. Nobody but the rapist should be blamed for the abuse that happened. No one ever asks to get raped, in any situation. Jessica Valenti confronts the issue of  “no means no”: Until American culture and law frames sexual consent, as proactively, enthusiastically given, there will be no justice for rape victims. Its time for the U.S to lose the “no means no” model for understanding sexual assault and focus “only yes’ means yes” instead (Broderick 3) America has looked at consent is such a loose way. Many forget that “ no” does not mean “convince me.” A survey reveals that many people between the ages of 14-25 do not actually learn about consent in mandatory sex-education classes (Broderick 2). A consent sex does not mean there wasn’t a no, but rather that the yes was not forced upon by convincing or hostile situation where they feel like they were pressured to say yes. Also that being when people are under the influence or even unconscious, just because they didn’t say no does not mean that it gives the right for a person to have sex with him. Two people consenting is a necessity when it comes to sex.

Many people are not aware of how frightening the statistics involving sexual assault is....
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