Rape Culture: The Beginning And The End
Practice Opening 1
Rape culture is perpetrated by everyone. Females, males, mothers, fathers, students, teachers. It’s not their fault; it’s just the way of life in America. Rape culture has been integrated into our environment for so long that it has become a way of thinking. Now, the unpopular opinion or way of thinking is to go against this culture, or to be a prude. Because rape culture is ingrained in our minds, everyone is at risk of succumbing to its’ pressures and ideals, especially males. As Kate Harding explains in an interview with Rolling Stone, “American boys are all growing up in the same rape culture, so they’re growing up with this incredible sense of entitlement to women’s bodies.” By revealing this idea, Harding begins the discussion on rape culture and its’ roots, allowing others to form opinions from it, which is the whole point of a discussion. The creation of the conversation of rape culture is important to improving ideals, protecting victims’ rights, and preventing people from becoming rapists. This conversation is one that must be had, but there are obstacles. Some people do not want to talk about it. There are several reasons for this, whether it is that someone doesn’t think a rape culture exists, or they are too uptight to talk about it. The uptightness, however, may stem from being actually being a victim of rape culture. This sparks the counterintuitive point of the rape culture conversation; those who would be able to contribute experience and points to the discussion are most often found to be apprehensive to talk, in fear of experiencing the trauma all over again.
Practice Opening 2
Rape culture consists of many things. It’s getting catcalled while walking to work in the morning, or for wearing a certain type of clothing. It’s the model in a magazine with her legs spread open. It’s the misogynistic chants shouted by members of a fraternity. It’s blaming the victim and not the perpetrator. Some of these characteristics are recent, thanks to modern inventions, systems and technology. The blame game, however, is nothing new. The idea that the victim of sexual assault “wanted it” has been the justification of the perpetrators actions for a very long time. There have, however, been legal reforms to ensure the offender faces necessary consequences. Yet, as a society, we are quick to make excuses for them, thus adding to the rape culture. The question that must be confronted is: how can we prevent contributions to rape culture? The confrontation itself is the answer. Facing the facts is the first step in reforming the flaws ingrained in our culture.
Rape Culture Defined
Rape culture is defined as many things. It’s a selling point. It’s a trigger. But most of all, it’s something that controls our society, and has for a very long time.
“It’s a culture where we always identify with the person who’s accused of rape instead of identifying with the victim. When someone reports a rape, we immediately start investigating that person – the presumption is that the person is probably lying – before we even think to investigate the person being accused.”
The Trauma Doesn’t End After the Physical Assault Does
Survivors of rape and sexual assault face trauma and victimization even after they are assaulted. Members of their society, friends, family, law enforcement, etc. have all been taught the rules of rape culture, and therefore subject these teachings without even meaning to. It doesn’t matter what kind of person is assaulted, there are different ways they are traumatized throughout the rest of their life.
“I mean I wanted it. I must have wanted it because I got an erection from her stimulating me and from fear.”
“All the guys would laugh at me about it, calling me faggot for not enjoying it and I was like, “psych, I totally did enjoy it.” Then they high-fived me and told me I was cool and that Ms. Tupper was hot and they were jealous. It was the most popular I’d been in my whole life. It was the happiest I’ve ever been. And I wasn’t happy, but sometimes as a guy, if you want to fit in you have to hide your pain and humor is a great way of doing that and that’s why I sincerely think that rape is hilarious. Because I have to.”
The Difficulty With The Discussion of Rape
People often shy away from the sensitive subject of rape and it’s resulting in negative consequences. We are unable to learn and teach more about the prevention of and the acceptance that it is not the victim’s fault. We should be sensitive to the reasons that people are apprehensive to talk about it, but something must be done encourage the conversation without harming others.
“Student organizations representing women’s interests now routinely advise students that they should not feel pressured to attend or participate in class sessions that focus on the law of sexual violence, and which might therefore be traumatic. These organizations also ask criminal-law teachers to warn their classes that the rape-law unit might “trigger” traumatic memories.”
Organized Content Descriptions
- The definition of rape culture and its’ culprits
- The creation of rape culture
- Different types of victimization
- The problems with the discussion and education of sexual assault and rape culture
- The discussion of rape culture is something that must be had, despite the limitations that prevent the discussion from growing.
- The way to completely solve the present issue of rape culture is to begin sex education at a young age. How do we solve the issue with people in older generations? Education. It is a hard line to follow because some people have closed minds or are unwilling to join the discussion. For different reasons. Is forcing education and the discussion of rape culture actually just another form of victimization?
Topics for Smaller Papers
-Rape culture definition and what supports and encourages the culture.
-Different forms of victimization and how those lead to victims not wanting to report/talk about their assault and experiences.
-If a victim of rape decides to report the rape and later decides to retract it, he or she is seen as a liar who made false accusations. I could refute that argument by claiming they actually retracted because they didn’t want to be traumatized and victimized all over again during the process of prosecution.
Current State of Research Paper
Everything is still a work in progress. I found it hard to get all of my thoughts and ideas in order, and I am still developing a clear position I want to portray and discuss in my paper. Rape culture is a broad topic and there are multiple understandings of it, and I am really only discussing my understanding and basing that off of my research. I think that my research is strong and valid, although I will need to find more sources. I really want to focus on the discussion of rape culture and its roots. I anticipate my paper progressing into a large discussion of this culture and how to end it, but I am finding it difficult to come to a solution on how to do so.