|A slide by Dr. David Lisak used to explain how Rape Culture, bystanders, and facilitators help camouflage sex offenders in our community.
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.
Rape Culture affects every girl and woman. The rape of one woman is a degradation, terror, and limitation to all women. Most women and girls extensively limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not share this same fear. That's how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though MOST men don't rape, and many women are never victims of rape. This cycle of fear is the legacy of Rape Culture.
Examples of Rape Culture:
- Blaming the victim (i.e. "s/he asked for it!, s/he should have known better, asking questions about why s/he dressed a certain way, etc.)
- Trivializing sexual assault (i.e. statements like, 'boys will be boys!,' calling rape 'gray rape' or a 'miscommunication,' etc.)
- Sexually explicit jokes and rape jokes
- Tolerance of sexual harassment
- Inflating false rape report statistics
- Publicly scrutinizing a victim's dress, mental state, motives, and history
- Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television
- Hyper masculinity (i.e. defining "manhood" as dominant and sexually aggressive)
- Defining "womanhood" as submissive and sexually passive
- Pressure on men to "score"
- Pressure on women to not appear "cold" or "a prude"
- Callous sexual attitudes (i.e. statement like 'women who have sex are sluts,' or talking about 'banging' 'hitting' 'pounding' your partner to describe sexual activity, etc.)
- Assuming only promiscuous women get raped
- Assuming that men don't get raped or that only "weak" men get raped
- Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
- Teaching women to avoid getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape
How You Can Combat Rape Culture?
- Get educated about sexual violence
- Avoid using language that objectifies or degrades women
- Speak out if you hear someone else making an offensive joke or trivializing rape
- If a friend says s/he has been raped, take her/him seriously and be supportive
- Think critically about the media's messages about women, men, relationships and violence
- Be respectful of others' boundaries and physical space even in casual situations
- Always communicate with sexual partners and do not assume consent, ASK!
- Define your own manhood or womanhood. Do not let stereotypes shape your actions.
- Get involved! Join a student or community group working to end violence.
~Thanks to Marshall University for the text on this page