Rape Culture (and Why I Don’t Buy It)

This is the last thing I’m going to do on feminism for a while, guys. Thanks for liking and supporting me in all of my ranting endeavors, but I actually like liking things, and going through all of this feminist drivel is making me really irritated when I don’t have to be. So I’m going to take a break and write a movie review or something. I hope I didn’t disappoint. I will return to feminism eventually, probably really soon, so no worries.

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This last post will be on rape culture! Wooo weeee wooo. That elusive, omnipresent thing almost as powerful as the patriarchy but even more vague and scary. So what is rape culture? According to Wikipedia, “Rape culture is a phrase used to describe a culture in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender, sex, and sexuality.”

Alright, another pervasive, unfortunate cultural problem that may or may not actually be able to be concretely dealt with in any way, shape, or form. This should be fun. Obviously, I don’t think rape culture is a thing. I don’t even think rape culture as a concrete occurrence exists even in legitimately patriarchal societies–mainly because I have to give the human race at least some benefit of the doubt and assume that we’re not all Snidely Whiplash villains who are secretly a-okay with rape.

In order to give my ranting some kind of shape and direction, I decided to take a handy dandy “25 Things Caused By Rape Culture Today” list from a feminist website and dissect each of those points. I decided to do this because rape culture is one of those really slippery concepts that can be applied to most things according to the internet, so I wanted a list of things from a feminist that I could get a nice hold on and definitely know that these are examples of rape culture. Because if feminists are anything, they’re consistent in what they do and do not find acceptable.


 

1. A university in Canada that allows the following student orientation chant: “Y is for your sister. O is for oh-so-tight. U is for underage. N is for no consent. G is for grab that ass.”

Yeah, that is a terribly classless and tasteless fight chant. But so are most chants that focus on anything other than “GO! Beat them at the game we play!” Have you heard any of the politically inclined ones that call people terrorists, or the ones that list all the ways we want our vague rivals to die horribly because we hate them for arbitrary reasons? Are those more acceptable? So, I agree that this isn’t a very good thing for large groups of people to be chanting, but you have to realize that a.) they were probably doing so mindlessly thanks to the whole mob mentality effect, so there’s no telling how many of them were uncomfortable with it, and b.) one college having a tasteless chant that it was quickly lambasted by the rest of the public for being terrible isn’t really indicative of an entire culture. If anything, it says we live in a culture that shuts that shit down as soon as the masses find out about it, which would indicate that the masses aren’t okay with it in the slightest.

2. Pop music that tells women “you know you want it” because of these “blurred lines” (of consent).

That song was apparently an inside joke that Robin Thicke wrote for his wife. And the video was actually making fun of how sexualized women have become in music videos, which you’d think you’d be happy with. Plus, I’m pretty sure people like Blurred Lines because it was musically catchy, not because of it’s awesome lyrics. Johnny Cash he is not.

3. A judge who sentenced only 30 days in jail to a 50-year-old man who raped a 14-year-old girl (who later committed suicide), and defended that the girl was “older than her chronological age.”

Once again, like the first example, this is a single anecdote that isn’t indicative of a society. That judge is an idiot. But the reason we even know about that case is because it was widely regarded as ridiculous and the hearing was newsworthy because it was such an insane line of reasoning and an unfair sentence. If this was a normal part of culture, this happening wouldn’t be news.

4. Mothers who blame girls for posting sexy selfies and leading their sons into sin, instead of talking with their sons about their responsibility for their own sexual expression.

This seems more like an issue of mothers not wanting to think badly of their children. I mean, my mom was mad at everyone except me when she caught me drinking once, so it’s by no means an uncommon thing. And if those moms are mad about their sons being led into “sin,” those boys weren’t going to get a fair and objective talk on human sexuality any time soon.

5. Photo memes like this:

Source: Funny Junk

Yeah, this is pretty tasteless. Not a meme, but whatever. What makes this any different from every other “replace the text in the box this person is holding up” photos? Are the ones making fun of Republicans fine, or are those unacceptable as well?

In all seriousness, though, this is an example of the gray area of consent. The second photo is terrible and does nothing to help make any point, and really just comes across as sexist, but the point still stands that what they were trying and failing to do was point out that sexual consent isn’t a black-and-white issue. And that isn’t an aspect of rape culture, it’s an aspect of reality. So this photo in particular can be considered sexist, but the sentiment still stands. Feminists being unwilling to address the fact that gray areas do in fact exist when it comes to rape isn’t helping. It’s shutting down conversation entirely. Someone bringing up that alcohol being in a situation muddies the waters isn’t being a rape supporter, they’re being a reasonable human being. What if they were both drunk? Does consent not count if you’ve been drinking just by default, or does it depend on the person and their own personal ability to hold alcohol? Did she rape him too if he was also drunk? These are the questions you can’t ask.

6. Supporting athletes who are charged with rape and calling their victims career-destroyers.

That happens. But the people who do that seem to honestly be a minority. I know in internet comment sections it seems like a lot of people, but I don’t remember any of these athlete rape cases being so cut and dry. I remember plenty of people decrying their supporters as sociopathic victim blamers. And it has more to do with celebrity culture than people being specifically okay with rapists. If the girl had gone out and said they physically assaulted and tried to murder her, people would still be calling her a career-destroying liar because they hero-worship athletes and think they can do no wrong. OJ Simpson got away with double murder and people defend him to this day.

7. Companies that create decals of a woman bound and gagged in order to “promote their business.”

And a quick search of that shows that those decals never got past the development phase because the social outcry against their tastelessness was so loud. Once again, this actually points away from the rape culture speculation.

8. People who believe that girls “allow themselves to be raped.”

Yeah. Those people are evil and have no idea how the world works and have no ability to look outside of their own frame of reference. The internet has made their voices louder, but the internet has done that with every group of people, positive or not. Is the mere existence of a school of thought indicative of the prevalence of that thought within the entire culture? There are entire websites dedicated to people who still think the sun revolves around the earth. Do we live in a culture that promotes geocentrism?

9. Journalists who substitute the word “sex” for “rape” – as if they’re the same thing.

I followed that link, and I’m fairly sure they substituted those two words because it’s considered journalistic etiquette not to put certain words in a headline for reasons of professionalism, “rape” being one of them. The opening paragraph made it clear that it was a rape case, with the journalist not hesitating to call it one. This seems more like you not knowing how newspapers work.

10. Politicians distinguishing “legitimate rape” and stating that rape is “something that God intended to happen,” among other horrendous claims.

Which obviously has less to do with rape culture and more to do with religious traditionalism, which is, I’ll grant you, legitimately sexist. But not only are those politicians people who were elected in fairly socially conservative places (ie, not the entire culture), but that “legitimate rape” claim was decried by everyone but the most staunch Fox News reporters. People went to town with that guy’s claim that he “heard from doctors” about what “legitimate rape entails.” And you just totally ignore that this was a comment about whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape, and probably had more to do with the guy trying to defend his strict pro-life conviction.

11. Calling college students who have the courage to report their rapes liars.

First, maybe they are. I know I just made myself sound like a horrible human being. Accusing someone of rape ruins that person’s life even if they turn out to be innocent, so I can understand people being so unwilling to accept that accusation when it’s leveled at someone they know and/or want to support (like athletes). And if you’re referring to court cases, it’s the opposing lawyer’s job to call the alleged victim a liar. I understand that being a terrible experience if the girl is indeed not a liar, but that’s how our justice system works. People are innocent until proven guilty, those accused of rape included.

Second, people are going to have opinions about criminal cases, and some of them will call the accuser a liar. That’s how it works. It’s not like every other crime that gets public attention isn’t met with plenty of people lambasting the victim as lying. Some people have an odd fascination with defending criminals–there are still people who honestly don’t think Charles Manson committed the crimes he did.

And plus, you’re the same people who say that it’s the woman’s choice to decide whether or not she wants to report the crime and that choice should be respected. So isn’t essentially calling the women who chose not to report the crime “cowards” hypocritical?

12. The ubiquity of street harassment – and how victims are told that they’re “overreacting” when they call it out.

Victims are told that they’re overreacting because street harassment is essentially people being dicks to you and giving you unwanted comments. That’s what it is. It’s not nice of them, but they’re sad, low self esteem having guys who probably don’t have girlfriends being unpleasant. Unless they touch you or make a comment that can legitimately be deemed a threat to your well being (like them saying they know where you live or something) it’s nothing more than an annoyance. It may be a frequent annoyance for some women, but it’s not a threat and therefore shouldn’t be treated like one like many feminists insist that it should be. It’s the prototypical first world problem.

Random assholes will yell any number of random things at passersby of both genders. Someone in a car yelled at one of my friends to get a tan once. Another time someone said they wanted to steal my male friend’s clothes (?). Another time, some guy on the street yelled at me for having a tattoo. I pity anyone who has to deal with that a lot, but it’s not something that should make you feel attacked, and that’s why people say that the “victims” are overreacting. Try going up to a woman in Saudi Arabia and saying, “I know what it’s like, sister. Obnoxious construction workers yell sexual things at me when I walk to the Starbucks down the block from my house. The struggle is hard.”

13. Victims not being taken seriously when they report rapes to their university campuses.

This is just plain wrong. I don’t know about you guys, but I go to college, and after the string of unreported rape scandals in big name universities, colleges have been cracking down hard on this issue. I couldn’t register for classes unless I took a multi-part class on sexual consent training. The only reason we’re hearing so much about it now is that the scandal is out in the open and past victims are coming out now that the school might actually tell the cops since its dirty laundry has been aired.

Then there’s the fact that colleges had the scandals to begin with, but it’s not to discreetly enable rape. The private colleges that were under attack for how they dealt with rape cases are all dependent upon financial backers. They get an endowment from outside supporters, and they want to maintain a good public image in order to maintain their funding. It’s totally immoral, don’t get me wrong, but if it was a string of unreported muggings going on, colleges would probably be just as likely to cover them up for the sake of their own reputation. It has less to do with them not caring about rape and more to do with “We don’t want people to know that crime happens on this campus because we like money.” Typically, for all the uproar, there’s no vocal group of people at my school telling our supporters to stop giving our college money.

14. Rape jokes – and people who defend them.

Why are rape jokes so wrong? Answer me that. Rape jokes can be bad of course, but non-offensive jokes about eating your vegetables can be bad. The merit of a joke is determined by it’s internal quality, not the standards of the outside world. So rape is bad. No one is saying that it isn’t. And survivors of rape probably don’t want to hear jokes about it because they had a traumatizing experience. I get that.

But you know what else is traumatizing? Murder and terrorism and suicide and crippling physical disabilities and vicious injuries and children getting hurt and PTSD. Most things that comedians make a living of joking about are terrible, traumatizing things in reality. So what makes a rape joke so much different from a dead baby joke or a PTSD joke? I’m pretty sure a mother who lost her child and a veteran who can’t sleep at night wouldn’t appreciate those jokes either. When Daniel Tosh makes a joke about stabbing homeless people because being poor is disgusting he gets all the laughs, but the rape joke was what took it too far? Can you see the hypocrisy yet? Maybe the people who defend rape jokes *gasp* aren’t okay with rape?!

Here’s a list of hilarious rape jokes, by the way, just off the top of my head: Patton Oswalt’s Road Warrior apocalypse situation, John Mulaney’s running in the subway, and Louis CK’s awkward rape foreplay.

15. Sexual assault prevention education programs that focus on women being told to take measures to prevent rape instead of men being told not to rape.

Really? That’s your solution? Giving men the blanket statement “DON’T RAPE!!!!!” That’s going to solve our problems? Funny, and here I was thinking that murder couldn’t be prevented from happening, but as it turns out people just haven’t been teaching their kids not to kill people good enough. It’s that simple! Tell them not to do it! Why didn’t I think of that?! So many things could have been prevented! “Hey little Charlie Manson, don’t start a cult!” Problem solved! Oh, happy day!

This is why I can’t take feminism seriously. You go on and on about all of the deep-seeded, complex societal issues that scar the fabric of our very existence with prejudice, and rape culture, and the patriarchy, and about how it’s affected everyone to their core, affected the workplace, our casual interactions, our very thoughts. And then you give us a “solution” so elementary, so thoughtlessly simple and black-and-white that it seems like it was thought up by a small child trying to solve an issue that it isn’t even capable of fully understanding.

Men are told not to rape. It’s borderline cultural taboo for a guy to hit a girl, even in justified situations. Rape is not okay. And men know that. I can’t believe I even have to say that. Women should be taught not to rape too, by the way. Everyone should be taught not to be a fucking sociopathic criminal. “Don’t rape.” Because that’s all you need to tell them. You don’t need to say why rape is bad, tell them that it is a horrible violation of another human being that can ruin someone’s life. Or teach them the valuable “Lorax” lesson that evil super villains don’t exist, that every bad person started out just like you or me and that some don’t even realize it. If you did that they might gain some kind of empathy, some kind of understanding. But no. An unexplained blanket statement like “Don’t rape” is perfectly fine. Never mind the fact that if someone has decided to engage in such a terrible behavior, that one consent class he took during freshmen orientation probably isn’t going to stop him, and the normally nice guy who is shitfaced drunk and wants to have sex with his hesitant girlfriend probably isn’t going to remember the body language workshop.

And should women just not be taught self defense? Should they not be taught basic common sense? Should women just in no way do anything to ensure their own personal safety because it’s not their problem that the world isn’t perfect? If they get hurt, it’s the world’s fault! Why should women be tasked with taking their safety into their own hands? They shouldn’t have to worry about their safety to begin with, and if you tell them that they should watch their drink at parties and not walk alone at night and get a tazer, you’re victim blaming. Because how dare you say that women should act like they have a brain in their head and a sense of basic self preservation. I should be able to walk through Blood territory wearing Crip colors, and if I get shot, it’s everyone else’s fault because those gangbangers should have been taught not to shoot people.

Everyone should know the basics of protecting themselves from people who may cause them harm. It sucks that we don’t live in a perfect world. It sucks that people have to worry about things like getting drugged and assaulted while walking home at night. But those are dangers that everyone (not just women, but everyone) has to deal with. It’s not just women getting roofied, it’s people of both genders getting slipped acid in a shot. And that is something that should be avoided. It’s something that people should be told how to avoid. Victims of crimes should not be blamed for being victims, but it doesn’t make you a horrible human being to point out that “Hey, maybe if that girl left the party with her friends like everyone tells you to do instead of staying behind should would’ve been okay.”

Sorry for the rant there. Moving on.

16. The victimization of hospital patients, especially people with mental health issues and the elderly,  by the very people who are there to protect them.

What does this have to do with rape culture? I literally have no idea. People unable to fend for themselves are often taken advantage of by the ones with authority over them?! No way. Basic knowledge of the Stanford Prison Experiment would help you know that authority and powerlessness do weird things to people. This seems less like a fault of rape culture and more a fault of natural human psychology where even average people can overdose on the power they have over someone else, even someone they claim to care about or be friends with.

17. Reddit threads with titles like “You just have to make sure she’s dead” when linking to the story of a 13-year-old girl in Pakistan being raped and buried alive.

Have you been on Reddit? There’s a thread for everything on that website. A couple hundred, or even a couple thousand people in one perverted and misogynistic group thread doesn’t say much for the billions of other internet users. Not to mention the fact that I’m sure all you’d have to do was Google it and you could find one or more Reddit threads directly opposed to the existence of that one you mentioned. Feminists have thousands of threads dedicated to their cause on Reddit.

18. Reddit threads dedicated to men causing women pain during sex (I’m not going to give the thread credence by linking to it).

See my above argument. Also, sadism exist. Sexual sadism exist. Once again, something existing says nothing about how society views the fact that it exists. And was it just me, or does that thread just seem like a group for male dominants in S&M type relationships? (Before someone yells at me: No, liking bondage and being a sexual sadist are nowhere near the same thing–one is consensual, and one is abusive. I know. I just can’t tell what one this particular example is because she won’t provide a link to it.

19. Twitter hashtags that support accused rapists and blame victims.

There were multiple Twitter hashtags supporting the release of one of the Boston Bombers. There were Twitter hashtags supporting Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine. There are Twitter hashtags centered around wanting to assassinate President Obama. Remember what I said about the internet providing a voice for everyone? Yeah. Once again, this says nothing about our entire society, just like the Boston Bomber support tweets don’t mean we live in a country that discreetly enables terrorism.

20. Publicly defending celebrities accused of rape just because they’re celebrities and ignoring or denouncing what the victim has to say.

I already talked about this. Celebrity culture is a bitch. If you’re going to confront the problem, you should start by confronting the actual problem instead of labeling it something else to make your point.

21. Assuming that false reporting for sexual assault cases are the norm, when in reality, they’re only 2-8%, which is on par with grand theft auto.

I’m too lazy to look it up myself. You faithful readers are just going to have to do that yourselves, sorry. But I remember reading that the false rape charge statistic was in the double digits. It doesn’t really matter, though. I already talked about feminism’s wonky usage of statistics elsewhere, and even if that wasn’t the case and this is an accurate number, this still isn’t an example of rape culture.

Like the hospital patient abuse, this is basic human psychology. It’s something called the availability heuristic. It’s the reason people are more afraid of planes than cars even though cars are statistically much more dangerous. It’s the underlying psychological idea behind the “hearing hooves and thinking zebras instead of horses” mistake. People will think something is more common the more they hear about it and the “bigger” it is. Since false rape accusations are rare, they are “big” and newsworthy, and since they’re newsworthy we hear about them more, and since we hear about them more, we assume that they happen more often than they do. We expect zebras instead of saddlebreds. It’s not rape culture, it’s how sensationalist media operates in order to make the news exciting.

22. Only 3% of rapists ever serving a day in jail.

And that is terrible. What do you expect me to say? Rapists deserve to go to prison and rot there. No decent, rational person in current America is saying anything different. But what do you want us to do? Really.

Rape is notoriously difficult to convict someone of. Unless the victim goes directly to the police with concrete physical evidence of the sexual assault, conviction is nearly impossible. Many rape victims take showers afterwards, and I don’t blame them. Many don’t go to the police until any other physical evidence is gone, which also makes sense. But I don’t see what you want to be done here. I honestly don’t.

Rape being difficult to prosecute is not an example of our justice system not caring. It’s an example of our justice system doing it’s job. The victim gets a lawyer and the accused party gets a lawyer, and it is that second lawyer’s job to defend their client, to cast doubt on the alleged victim. And creating reasonable doubt in cases of rape is easy because they so often turn into cases with no conclusive evidence, with no witnesses, and relying solely on the he said/she said. The victim says, “That person raped me.” And the one they’re accusing says, “No I didn’t.” And that’s all we have to work with in most of these situations. And if there is reasonable doubt, charges can’t be filed, because people are innocent until proven guilty.

So what is your solution that? Other than us pole vaulting into the future where we have the forensic capabilities to obtain better physical evidence that would act as proof, what is your suggestion? Should we just get rid of “innocent until proven guilty,” the cornerstone of our justice system, just in cases of rape because rape is bad? If we don’t have enough to work with we can either admit that there isn’t enough evidence to go any further with the case, always believe the alleged victim, or always believe the alleged assaulter. Those are our options right now. It’s not nice, but that’s how it is. It’s not rape culture doing that, it’s a tragedy of circumstance.

23. Women feeling less safe walking the streets at night than men do.

Something tells me this woman took all the gender studies courses but none of the psychology ones. Once again, this can be chalked up to basic human psychology and sexual dimorphism in cognition.

Men are no safer than women walking the streets at night. That doesn’t tend to be a situation where men get raped, but it’s also not a situation where very many women get raped in relation to the other circumstances that lead to that happening. The whole “getting pulled into a dark alley and sexually assaulted” scenario does happen, but not as often as you’d think. That being said, the genders are equally likely to be physically assaulted while walking the streets at night (it has more to do with personal disposition and alertness than gender), and men are more likely to get killed during those criminal encounters. So women may feel less safe, but how women feel has no bearing on the reality of the situation, which leaves women no more unsafe than men.

It’s pretty much common sense to be on your guard while walking at night–especially if you’re alone, in an unfamiliar area, or in a familiar area that you know people have been assaulted before. As for that bit about human psychology, men are much more prone to overestimating their own abilities than women. Men being less afraid of walking at night probably has more to do with men being under the impression that they could protect themselves from danger far better than they actually could.

24. 1-in-5 women and 1-in-71 men having reported experiencing rape.

Once again, not going to question whether or not that statistic is even accurate. Rape is a terrible thing, but let’s look at it with something resembling objectivity for a moment. Rape is a violent crime. All violent, rape included, has continually decreased over the years. Murder and aggravated assault are far more common than rape, even with those dropping numbers and even when you generously account for the fact that not all rape victims tell the police. Do we then live in a murder culture? Do we live in a physical assault culture? We live in a world that downplays the horrors of war, where people defend mass shooters, and where movies, TV, and video games depict violence as something that makes you cool. This very country was built upon violence to the point where violence has ingrained itself into our cultural psyche. Duels to the death were legal for a very long time. Murders still happen. Kids get in fights to prove themselves to their friends. Maybe it’s because we don’t teach people not to murder and beat people up, but that’s a problem of the culture.

25. The fact that we have to condition ourselves not to use violent language in our everyday conversations.

Did this person not take any classes other than gender studies? Here’s how language works: words take on colloquial meanings outside of their prescribed definition. Prescriptive language is infinitely different than descriptive language. The sounds that we put together to make words and the words themselves are completely and utterly arbitrary. The meanings of the words we use depend solely on the situation we find ourselves in and the context in which they are said. “Yes.” and “Yes.” can mean two very different things depending on how and when they’re said. Two totally different sentences can garner the same response: “Can I borrow your pen?” “I need something to write with and don’t have anything.” Language is a very fluid thing is the idea that I’m trying to get across.

And, no, we don’t have to condition ourselves not to use violent language in everyday conversation. You may feel the need to do that, but I certainly don’t. When I’m in the casual company of friends, I will use profane language. “Fuck” is probably one of my most used words. I’m an intellectual that way. So “Go fuck yourself” is bad because it’s sexually violent. Is “piss off” fine then? I know it tangentially refers to genitals, so I’m not sure. And really people “forcing themselves” to do stuff they don’t want to do is sexually violent language? So when I force myself to get up and do the dishes after they’ve been sitting in the sink for an hour, I’m really calling back to rape?

Believe it or not, we’re not telling the people who annoy us to go have sex with themselves. Sexual things probably aren’t even on our minds in the slightest when saying that, and the person we say it to knows that perfectly well. We’re not thinking of female dogs when we call someone a bitch, not thinking of cats or female genitalia when we say the word “pussy,” and not thinking of male genitalia when we call someone a prick or a dick. Because that’s not how language works.

For a closing point, that was really, really weak.


 

I actually have a problem with the idea of rape culture. The patriarchy is an annoying cop out, but, in the end of the day, I pretty much just shake my head at the concept, wonder what feminists will come up with next to insist that women are still being systematically oppressed, and move on. But rape culture is an idea that I find to be genuinely bad. This idea is not just stupid, it is harmful.

It makes humanity out to be fucking monsters only wearing the mask of decency and civility. It’s degrading to everyone involved. There are bad people and there are the ones those bad people victimize and there are the people who turn a blind eye to it, and that’s it. How terrible is that? How utterly misanthropic do you have to be . . . ? Not even all the feminists agree with this idea it’s so bad.

To quote RAINN, explaining why rape culture is a terrible thing to lean on as an argument:

 

“In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming ‘rape culture’ for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campuses. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime”.

 

The people who commit violent rape are the people who chose to willfully disregard the overwhelming and obvious message that society actually enforces that rape is wrong. Capital W, Wrong. And the ones who commit rape in the gray areas–the ones who got drunk and had sex with a hesitant partner, or the ones who got hot and heavy in the car but didn’t stop when their make-out buddy wanted to–they’re not going to get any help from this. They’re not going to be taught about why what they did was wrong or about how that could have avoided.

Because all feminists want to teach is that rape is evil, and all rape is equally bad whether you forced yourself on a girl at gun point or had sex with your girlfriend when she kind of didn’t want to, and if you do any of that you’re evil, and any time alcohol is involved consent cannot be given, so if you have sex with a drunk girl that’s pretty much rape if she wants it to be, and you’re evil, and you should just not do it, because we know you’ve never been told that before. They don’t want to acknowledge any of the gray areas; they don’t want to have a discussion about the nuances of sexual consent; they just want people to agree with them completely that rape is bad and end the conversation at that. Because the world isn’t black-and-white, and that’s terrifying to them.

It’s led to overt, hysterical censorship of harmless things because, “You don’t want to be a misogynist rape enabler, do you? That picture of a scantily clad woman enables rape.” It ironically makes every individual out to be a sociopath yet simultaneously removes all personal accountability and responsibility because it’s society’s fault and you couldn’t have known any better. Why own up to your own actions when you can blame a vague “culture” that taught you everything you know?

And, in keeping with the overall victimology of the modern feminist ideology, rape culture pretty much just goes right out and says that women are victimized by men at every turn, and they’re probably going to be much more overtly victimized sometime very soon according to the scary statistics. You heard it here, ladies, you should probably go lock yourself in a safe room now, because the world is definitely out to get you, and even if you think the people around you see you as a human being they really don’t, and being raped is pretty much inevitable in this terrible culture of ours. You heard it here, fellas, there is a rapist living in each and every one of you just waiting for the right time to show itself, and even if you think you treat the women around you with respect and dignity you really don’t, because you’ve been oppressing and frightening every woman you’ve ever met because you’re just intrinsically dominating all of us thanks to our terrible, terrible culture.

#YesAllWomen.

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9 thoughts on “Rape Culture (and Why I Don’t Buy It)

  1. You did well and said it all. Somebody has to 🙂

    Who wants to live in an imaginary world that’s out to get you anyway, a world where all men are potential rapists and all women are chronic victims? If you think about it, that’s just really bizarre and creepy.

  2. I read this article and the one about Iggy Azalea and I have to say your articles are quite long. Despite this I find myself reading every single word. You clearly and elaborately explain your logic so much so that a 10 year old can easily understand it. Attacking controversial issues such as this isn’t easy yet you do it with extreme finesse. Great read!

  3. Emry says:

    I agree that the term ‘rape culture’ is overly simplistic, but I do think we live in a society that is/was overly-tolerant of men sexually violating women, and that people who dare complain about anything from creepers to rape are immediately regarded as a nuisance. I don’t think rape is solely a feminist issue – but it’s still an issue. I was disturbed by the number of naysayers against people who spoke out against the rapists in the Catholic Church (where the majority of the rape victims were boys/men) just to preserve the power of the institution. Rape is a very humiliating, degrading, and scarring experience and society should sympathize with rape victims at least.

    You mentioned that you are currently in college and that you were required to take a class on consent. That is great, but no such thing existed on my campus or on many college campuses I know of. Remember that a lot of the activists are a bit older (they might have gone to college in the ’80’s or ’90’s), and only a couple of decades ago sexual harassment was a problem that didn’t really have a name. Also, I don’t know how often you get ‘harassed’, but personally, being able to go about my day without repeatedly being stared at, grabbed, or approached with rude, sexual, comments is a huge difference. I think we need to enforce basic social etiquette about not being creepy (obviously applying equally to both men and women. However, in my experience men are usually the perpetrators harassment towards both women and men. It is also not just a ‘first world’ problem – it happens in poor societies, too.) rather than just accepting this treatment.

    • I was also disturbed by the cover-up of the Catholic Church, but that’s the Catholic Church. Not everyone is Catholic, not even all Catholics supported it, and I know a lot of people who flat out stopped being Catholic upon hearing about the hypocrisy of covering up rape just to keep up the Church’s saintly image. Once again, I don’t think it can be applied to society as a whole. Even in that particular example it’s more of an issue of religion and people using the excuse of being close to God to do whatever they want without consequence, just like kings in the Olden Days declared that their Divine Right to rule let them starve their surfs because they’d go to heaven no matter what.

      I wouldn’t say that the consent class was “great.” The idea of having classes on consent is perfectly acceptable and I’d support it along with other aspects of sex education, but the education we got on consent was the most over simplified thing ever, to the point where I can’t imagine it helping anyone. I was literally called a victim blamer by our student instructor for sheepishly (I’m not as abrasive in real life as I am in my blog) pointing out that some girls can hold their booze more than others, so its unrealistic to say that ANY girl who has had had one drink isn’t able to give consent, but that’s what we were told. So I support the idea of a consent class, but the current execution is extremely lacking because it’s not a class for harboring conversation, it’s a class for just nodding at what the instructor tells you.

      Go ahead and enforce the “don’t be a douchebag to strangers on the street” idea, though. In my personal experience (I know I don’t speak for anyone but myself), unwanted sexual comments are no more or less irritating than unwanted comments on any other topic, especially when they’re given abrasively. I talked about my tattoo thing–I live around a lot of old people who don’t approve of me having body art and they constantly make comments about it and it’s the most irritating and disrespectful-of-my-personal-decisions thing ever. I know they’re trying to be nice, but, then again, obnoxious cat-callers are of the opinion that “they’re just giving a compliment, bro.” I’d like to live in a world where people who don’t know you don’t make comments about you like their opinion matters, but that’s not going to happen. I called it a first world problem not because it doesn’t happen in poor societies but simply because people in America conflate unwanted comments to being one of the worst, most disgusting things ever. And while you shouldn’t “accept” in in the sense of thinking that it’s okay, you should “accept” it in the sense that it’s an irritating thing that’s probably going to happen a few times because not everyone around you is going to be polite, and if I freaked out every time someone didn’t behave with tact around me I would die of an aneurysm.

      • Paul S. says:

        Was the professor of this class on consent really so zealous as to think he’s going to stop college women from having drunken sex?

        • It was actually a girl, and a student. I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say that the workshop training she was given discouraged having conversation.

  4. Your discussion of point 25 reminded me of another bit of pseudo-linguistic idiocy: if you talk about people who deny that vaccines are effective or deny that HIV causes AIDS, sooner or later someone will become All Concerned. Why? Because you’re using the word “deny” and by implication you’re comparing antivaccinationists or AIDS quacks to Holocaust deniers. Really. I’m not making this up.

    Now of course a lot of the time the people doing this sort of tone trolling really are vaccine deniers or HIV deniers, but too many journalists and commentators who have no obvious ulterior motives also fall into the trap.

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