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Rape Culture: It Is My Fault

I think it is pretty safe to say that women wearing short skirts, low cut tops, and lots of make-up want attention. These women want men to look at them. These women want the cat calls, the whistles, and the tap on butt.

If you agree with any of the above, I hate to break it to you, but you have fallen victim to what America knows as rape culture.

            “Rape culture” is a phrase that has been newly adopted by American society. Rape culture entails the whole of concepts involving rape. As defined by Marshall University:

                        “Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.  Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.”

It also encompasses the ideas of slut-shaming, victim blaming, gender stereotyping and much more. It attempts to normalize rape and sexual assault, but in reality, there is no excuse for anyone to be raped. That is someone taking something from you that is possibly one of the most personal things you have. When people downplay this, or blame you for your own rape, even more parts of you are being taken until you feel that you have nothing left.

This video is a performance at the Brave New Voices Grand Slam Finals at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. These four young ladies tackle several gender stereotypes in our society.

 

            Slut-shaming and victim blaming are people’s way of trivializing rape because it blames women for dressing provocatively or drinking too much. The idea of that is terrible. It does not matter how you are dressed, or how intoxicated you are, no one is asking for rape. Ever. Period.

In 2013, All Indian Bakchod made a video in response to victim blaming, in honor of the several rape cases in India.

Just because a woman wants to show off her body, does not give a rapist grounds to take advantage of her. It is her body and it is just as simple as that. No amount of alcohol makes rape okay either. Rape is rape. If she is too drunk to consent, leave her alone.

 

            Some people don’t believe in rape culture. They don’t believe that rape and sexual assault are big problems that we are facing today. If you ask those people who believe rape culture is not a real thing, the victim is a slut because of her actions or mannerisms. But is it right to place blame on a person because she is wearing a certain type of clothing? Why is she to blame if she is of age and becomes intoxicated? This way of thinking is what leads victims to feel like they cannot come forward with their story for fear of being seen by others as less then because something was taken from her. She will be called a slut because she was asking for it. The man or men that raped her will be labeled because “she wanted to ruin their lives,” or “boys will be boys,” “why should they have to pay for her being a whore?” These are classic examples of things that people say when there is a high profile rape case being presented in the media. This past year, “boys will be boys” was especially displayed in the media, through Robin Thicke’s song, “Blurred Lines”. Check out this feminist response to the video.

They are simply not right. Rapists are not right, and we should not cast blame on victims.

            In 2013, there were many high profile rape cases. There should be no such thing as high profile rape cases. It is ridiculous that it has become such a trivial thing, that they just talk about it on the news as if it were the economy or something. Rape is wrong and should not be publicized, out of respect of the victim. In 2014, I hope we hear about less rape cases, because there are less occurring. I guess only time will tell…

Desirrae is a small-town girl with dreams of making it in the big city... Well not really. She is a freshman who decided she needed to write more than she needed almost anything else. She is a journalism major who fantasizes about being as important as Barbara Walters someday. When she isn't writing, Desirrae can be found reading, watching Netflix, spending time with her friends at school, or talking to her families from home... Or sleeping. Probably sleeping.
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