Rape Culture and its effects on the Society

Topics: Rape, Sociology, Sexual assault Pages: 9 (2458 words) Published: September 25, 2014
Daniela Fernandez
Gabriela Rodriguez
Victor Rivero

Rape Culture

It is rather difficult to give an exact definition to a social problem. Some may say a social problem is defined when the issue is affecting large groups of people. But who defines “large” and why must multiple people be negatively affected by something for it to capture global attention? Our book tells us a social problem exists when an influential group defines a social condition as threatening its values; when the condition affects a large number of people; and when the condition can be remedied by collective action (Loseke, 2003; Spector and Kitsuse, 2000). This definition is obscure as well, what makes a group influential? Economic status? Social standing? If this were it; then would the problems of poverty, lack of healthcare, and flawed educational systems that affect the lower classes even be considered as social problems? Through out the semester we have discussed the prevalence and magnitude of social problems our society faces. We have decided to highlight a major problem our developed society faces everyday commonly referred to as “Rape Culture”. Rape Culture is a concept that links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, and even condone rape. Although the problem had long existed prior to being framed. Feminists in the United States coined the term in the 1970’s. What exactly makes rape culture a societal problem? First and foremost its prevalence in our modern society is overwhelming aspects of rape culture are found in the media, educational systems, societal norms/structures, and legal systems. We encounter rape culture everyday even without realizing it examples include: victim blaming, trivializing sexual assault (boys will be boys!), teaching women to avoid getting raped rather than teaching men not to rape, Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history, sexually explicit jokes, gendered violence in movies and television, and the objectification of women throughout the media. Rape Culture affects everyone, it excuses criminal behavior, causes not only physical but emotional harm, results in life time repercussions, leads victims to suicide, condones criminal behavior and creates a fearful environment for everyone in the society. It is difficult to pin point where and when rape culture was formed. Historically, rape culture has existed since the beginning of matriarchal civilizations; emphasis on the value of male lives over those of women opened the door to the construction of gender roles and norms. These norms and gender roles have survived generation after generation by being enforced by parents, society and media outlets. Children are raised based on their gender since the moment they’re conceived even before entering the world their parents, peers and society have certain expectations of them. Little boys are to be athletic and masculine while little girls are expected to be feminine and caregivers. Although this concept may seem archaic to some it is very much alive and well in this our 21st century. Gender roles play a key part in the prevalence and prolonging of the rape culture we live in. By demeaning women and lessening their value in society we are permitting violent sexual crimes against them to go unpunished. Aspects of Rape Culture are found overwhelmingly in the media. How women are portrayed in magazines, product advertisements, movies, television shows and commercials etc. Here in the United States, we are constantly being sold something whether it may be a new soft drink to the latest technology; one point of advertisement never seems to change, women. Women are key objects used throughout the media to help sell a product; they are publicly demeaned, devalued and objectified on a daily basis. The exposed necks of the models, the women of color in animal prints, the headless women’s...
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