Why aren’t men taught at a young age why they should not rape someone? Why do we promote rape culture in our everyday lives?
“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 1). Rape is a huge problem that is minimized and seen as taboo to talk about. No one wants to have a conversation about rape and how is affects women in there daily lives, because it is something that all women have to deal with. “About 20 million out of 112 million women (18.0%) in the United States have been raped during their lifetime. Only 16% of all rapes were reported to law enforcement. In 2006 alone, 300,000 college women (5.2%) were raped,” (Kilpatrick). We are constantly being told how we can protect ourselves against rape, but no one ever talks about how men can go about not raping women. I remember being told at school as a small child that if I am every sexually assaulted to yell fire because if you yell rape no one will come to help you. There are two major issues with this, one being that little boys never have a class or adults coming up to them and telling them how not to rape a women and the second issue I have is that no one will come and help you if you are being raped. How can we keep moving forward as a society if we can’t even bother to teach our men that rape is wrong?
There is a lot to cover when you talk about rape so I want to focus on slut-shaming and how men get off on rape charges because of it. Slut-shaming is a huge issue that most people do not know a lot about. “Slut-shaming is the experience of being labeled a sexually out-of-control girl or woman (a “slut” or “ho”) and then being punished socially for possessing this identity. Slut-shaming is sexist because only girls and women are called to task for their sexuality, whether real or imagined; boys and men are congratulated for the exact same behavior. This is the essence of the sexual double standard: Boys will be boys, and girls will be sluts,” (Tanenbaum 1). Girls will be sluts is the main issue. If you get raped then it was because you were to drunk, you were to slutty or you lead the guy on. Non violent rapes are being looked at as not an issue, because if there isn’t violence then how can there be a rape?
Most rapes that happen are by a person that you know. It is not that guy you met at a bar, but by that friend you have had since high school. The problem with these rapes is that they tend to be non violent and when a rape is non violet it is much harder to bring up rape charges against them. The way that these men are getting off on these rape charges is that they claim she lead them on in some way. “The more acquaintance rapes are reported — and the more acquaintance rape claims are taken seriously by prosecutors, judges, and juries — the more people clamor that women are falsely claiming they’ve been raped. And if the accuser is not lying, then she is responsible for the incident by drinking and being sexually promiscuous, her actions resulting in sexual penetration that, though unwanted, cannot be considered serious or harmful,” (Raphael 2). Even when these rape charges are brought up they get dropped because these women are being harassed and forced into saying that they lied about being raped. Our society just refuses to take these women seriously. We are told all of our lives that we have to protect our selves against rape and then if you do get raped you are to blamed for it. Why is it that we try so hard to tell young girls how not to get raped, but we never talk to boys about why they shouldn’t rape someone? Why do we put all of the fault on the victim?
SlutWalks Go Global — The Top 10 Everything of 2011 — TIME
“The latest study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that 12.3 percent of American women over eighteen years of age, or more than fourteen million women, state they have been forcibly sexually penetrated within their lifetimes — 620,000 of these within the last twelve months. Yet this information remains hidden to members of the public and the media,” (Raphael 2). We refuse to even state publicly how big of an issue rape really is. The fact of the matter is that when we do talk about rape we don’t even think about the fact that most rapes go unreported so this statistic is really low and incorrect because women feel that they cannot report when they have been raped. We look at women who have been raped as women who cannot protect themselves. If you are raped then you have done something wrong because good girls don’t get raped. We have to stop blaming the victim. Women don’t wont to come forward because they will be harassed for getting raped. We put so much focus on the person being raped and none at all on the person who is doing the raping.
“A major problem with studies of sexual assault in general, and of rapists in particular, lies in who is being studied. There is no picture of a “typical” rapist other than general demographics. The studied that have been done have utilized a select group of the rapist population — those rapists that got caught. This limited focus may not only invalidate general assumptions about a rapist’s motivations, but it may also call into question the validity of finding of treatment general assumptions about a rapists who have raped extensively and have been caught with enough evidence to warrant a long sentence of incarceration,” (Hall 4). The only time that rape really seems like a big problem is when a man gets reported for it more than once. It can be easily swept under the rug if only one person is saying they got raped because then we can say that they are lying for one reason or another but when a lot of people come forward and say they are raped then we have to actually deal with the fact that the man is probably a rapist. Men should not be able to get off so easily for rape charges. My short skirt and mild flirting is no reason to rape me.
where is your line? » Blog Archive » SlutWalk: Why I Am Marching
We cannot allow men to get away with rape anymore. Non violent rape is a real issue, just because there was not a struggle does not mean that there was not a rape. I know a few women who have been non violently raped who never reported it because they knew that no one would do anything about it. The fact that women wont even report these crimes because they know nothing will be done is the saddest thing. Women get blamed and no one does a thing to help them. It is never the victims fault and society needs to do more to make sure that men never rape. We need to stop making up reasons as to why women get raped and start telling men reasons as to why they should never rape a women, because this is to much of a problem and it should never happen to a woman.
I have never been raped and I thank God every day for that. I know a few women who have been raped and a lot more who almost have. I do not have a story to share with you but there are so many women out there who do. http://projectunbreakable.tumblr.com/ This is a link to “Project Unbreakable”. It is a tumblr that is a “photography project aiming to give a voice to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse,” (Project Unbreakable). It is a very powerful tumblr to look at that shows how much rape affects a person’s life. We do not give these people enough of a voice and every time we promote rape culture we take that voice away from them.
Here is a link if you want to learn a little more as to why Grace Brown, the founder of Project Unbreakable, started her blog. http://abcnews.go.com/US/unbreakable-blog-lets-sex-abuse-victims-speak/story?id=15481021
This is a link to Slutwalk LA’s profile https://www.facebook.com/laslutwalk. It was started as a protest march to take back the word slut and to show the world that rape, harassment and assault is not okay.
Hall, Rob. Rape in America: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1995. Print.
Kilpatrick, Dean G., Ph.D., Heidi S. Resnick, Ph.D., Kenneth J. Ruggiero, Ph.D., Lauren M. Conoscenti, M.A., and Jenna McCauley, M.S., “Drug-Facilitated, Incapacitated, and Forcible Rape: A National Study,” July 2007. (https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/219181.pdf) (December 21, 2011)
Raphael, Jody. Rape Is Rape : How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming Are Fueling a Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis. 1st ed. Chicago: Idependent, 2013. Chaffey Library. Web. 2 May 2015.
“Rape Culture.” Womens Center. Marshall University, n.d. Web. 06 May 2015.
Tanenbaum, Leora. “The Truth About Slut-Shaming.” Huff Post Women. N.p., 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 2 May 2015.