Let Me Educate You On Rape Culture

When most people hear the phrase “rape culture” they get uneasy and it’s because they know rape is a form of sexual assault. The word culture really isn’t a bad word because of the fact when most people hear “culture” they think of the wonderful things and people that make their life great. So why does the phrase “rape culture” make people feel uneasy when we practically live it? Rape culture by definition is a society or environment whose prevailing social antidotes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse. Most people would say they’re not associated with rape culture because they haven’t committed a sexual assault, but rape culture is so much more than that. There are four levels to rape culture which are: victimization, degradation, removal of autonomy, and explicit violence.

The first level of rape culture is victimization which includes making rape jokes, sexist attitudes, and victim blaming. A great example of victimization is Donald Trump. Everybody remembers that audio footage of him talking about how he approaches women… grab them by the pu**y. And everybody remembers how multiple media outlets dismissed his so-called “locker room talk” by claiming boys will be boys. Victimization is very common in our society, that lots of us participate in it. I remember chilling with a group of friends one time when a girl, who had on short dress walked by us. My friend had criticized her outfit choice and said she was basically asking for it. Now me being against rape culture, I had to check her real quick and proceeded to tell her an outfit is never a form of invitation or consent for sex. If a person were to “ask for it” they would simply say so.

The second level is degradation, which includes catcalls, revenge porn and threats. A prime example of this is Rob Kardashian when he had leaked nude photos of Blac Chyna on social media. Chyna had made Kardashian angry so in return, he decided to get revenge on her. We call this revenge porn. Revenge porn isn’t something you hear about every day, but catcalls are. Take this scenario: a woman is walking down the street minding her business when a guy tries to holler at her by yelling “Girl in the pink dress” and she ignores him. The guy feeling butthurt calls the woman a bitch for not responding. The degradation started when the guy first yelled at her and only got worse when he called her a derogatory name. Women are not dogs to be yelled at to get their attention, they’re human beings.

The third level is the removal of autonomy which includes safe word violations, statutory rape and groping. Most common statutory rape stories we hear are on the news that usually involves a teacher and a student. Statutory rape may not hit close to home for you personally, but groping might. Think back to the God-awful phrase “grab them by the pu**y.” Most stories I’ve heard of unwanted touching happened in a bar or a club where there’s low lighting. A bar and a club are supposed to be a fun and chill environment and that can quickly be ruined by some entitled jerk who thinks they have the right to grope someone.

The fourth and last level is explicit violence which includes rape, incest, and murder. The explicit violence is the type of stories we hear on the news and social media. A perfect example is Brock Turner, the man who had raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. This level of rape culture is something that should not be tolerated or any level for that matter. Now knowing more about the different levels of rape culture, do you contribute to it?