April 20, 2014
Rape Culture: An Issue Denied
Rape culture is well-defined as a complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual violent behavior and supports violence against women. Rape culture exists due to the fact that it in its self as an issue denied. From blithe acceptance of misogyny in everything from casual conversations with our peers to the media we watch, we accept the disgrace of women and the conjecture of the uncontrollable hyper-sexuality of men as the norm. There needs to be a call to attention for this severe problem. "Scientia potentia est” knowledge is power, living in ignorance and denial compounds the issue to unfathomable heights. Educating the populace, equipping them with the information to bring this grotesque way of thinking to an end is the best way to keep the future generations protected. Rape culture includes anecdotes, television, music, advertising, legal verbiage, laws, and imaginings, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so standard that people believe that rape is unavoidable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a major problem to change, individuals in a rape culture think about the continuance of rape as “just the way things are.” (Buchwald) This is a major chronic issue in the United States. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as obscene. Writer George R. R. Martin explains this perfectly by stating in an interview, I can describe an axe entering a human skull in great explicit detail and no one will blink twice at it. I provide a similar description, just as detailed, of a penis entering a vagina, and I get letters about it and people swearing off. To my mind this is kind of frustrating, it’s madness. Ultimately, in the history of [the] world, penises entering vaginas have given a lot of people a lot of pleasure; axes entering skulls, well, not so much. (qtd. In Goodreads) Martin shows the incredible bias that people have when it comes to violence and sex. A women getting her breast cut off gets an R rating. That same women in a different movie has her breasts lovingly touched in a consensual sex scene it is labeled porn and receives a NC-17 rating. Study examined the MPAA's assertion that sexual and violent content are treated equally when rating a film. It was hypothesized that sex and violence are not treated equally based on a content analysis of 210 sequences from 13 films consisting of material present in unrated or NC-17-rated—but not in R-rated—versions of the same film. It was hypothesized that more sexual sequences than violent sequences would be removed from R-rated films. The findings supported the hypotheses (Leone). Surreptitiously promoting violence by giving easier access to violent content over sexual content, engrains the stigma that sex is a dark taboo. Combine that with the violence and oppression that is inherent in the system, and the jokes that are made out of rape, promotes and encourages the aforementioned denied rape culture. The media, weather it is television, the internet, etc. has a direct effect on the way people see their world, and the conclusions that they draw stem from what they have seen and taken in through repetitive exposure.
Doing a google search of rape jokes, a person will quickly become aware of the countless web sites with jokes like, “I called that Rape Advice Line earlier today…Unfortunately, it's only for victims.” Or “My favorite game is Grand Theft Auto, you can do virtually anything…I was able to experience raping a child, robbing a charity shop and killing a Jew with my steel crowbar…Then I went home to play Grand Theft Auto.” These are on the first page, and are not the “sickest” jokes on that first page. Heather Romano a student at Montgomery county community college was asked: had she ever heard rape jokes among her peers and how did those jokes make her feel? She stated that, Yes, I have heard rape jokes, or the...
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