“Locker Room Talk,” Donald Trump, and Jameis Winston — How Rape Culture Graduates from Boys to Men
Tahir Duckett

For one thing, no one in five American women have been raped. That is a ludicrous and baseless claim that fails to bear even the most cursory scrutiny.

For another, just because it is now trendy to conflate generations of libertinism in which women were as fully complicit and compliant as men, with “rape culture”, doesn’t just magically transform whole codes of socialization based on licentious cheapness into a crime committed only by men on unwilling women.

The knowledge gap here is almost unbreachable merely because so many adults now are too young to remember when “rape” itself was a throwaway joke term used by men and women alike as part of a lifestyle where it was normal for everybody to want to fuck everybody. You don’t remember women wearing “rape whistles” and joking they didn’t work because they blew them and nobody came to rape them. You don’t remember rooms full of drunken teenagers and college kids with plastered young women begging loudly for someone to rape them.

I wouldn’t go back to those insane times for anything, but it happened. There was a sexual revolution where a great many people decided that to fuck for fucking’s sake was the meaning of human life, and absolutely as many women and girls took part willingly in it as men and boys. Times and social mores and definitions of sexuality have changed, but maybe not as much or as fast as the terminologies did. Ever notice that these easy charges of “rape culture” tend to emerge from settings where hookups, FWBs, threesomes and casual one-offs are also considered normal and even healthy even if no one can decide any longer what “consent” is?

Rape is rape and was always a crime. It was always something that did great harm and left great trauma. So did bacchanalian looseness as a social norm and still does. And yes, the one does overlap with the other. But frat parties and orgies and bar-hopping and Tinder are not in themselves either “rape culture” or some outgrowth of any nonexistent “patriarchy.” They are results of long histories of misplaced and misguided sexual ethics and they do create harms. But they are neither one exclusively men’s fault nor is the cure for it found in placing all forms of masculinity healthy or otherwise on trial as at the root of the urge to violate anyone, and/or oneself, sexually.

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