Rape Culture: Elements, Media, and Solutions Rape culture is the acceptance and rationalization of rape and sexual assault in society due to the normalization to male aggression and toleration to female factorization. Over the years, sex has become a deed less about intimacy and more about possession (the dominance over a partner, the credit men receive for having sex with more than one woman, etc. ), Underlying sexism in our daily lives contributes to the practice of objectification, and ultimately fuels the perpetual presence of rape culture in society.We see evidence of this influence everywhere e go-?in songs, movies, TV shows, and more. This paper analyzes the main elements of rape culture (sexism, power, body image, and victim blaming) and its relationship with the media, as well as proposes several motions we may take so as to dissolve rape culture from our society.
Sexism and Power Rape culture’s defining attribute is society’s perpetual sexist mindset. Sexism often promotes male dominance and female submission. Our sexist conditioning starts at an early age (Disney movies, cartoons, bedtime stories), becoming embedded within our minds by the time we reach adulthood.As children, we are aught to idealize men as the icons of masculinity, control, and power, and regard women as traditional ‘damsels in distress. ‘ Sexism doesn’t just divide men and women-?it creates a rift, a social imbalance in power between the sexes. The concept of power is key to understanding the principles of rape culture, for rape is not about sex at all. It is about power and dominance, destructively so, and more often than not, about the domination tot a man over a woman. According to a 2005 article published by the British Medical Journal, “Intimate partner violence is integrally linked to ideas of male superiority overcome.
IV]lenience is usually used.. ,to seek resolution of crisis of masculinity by providing an (often transient) sense of powerfulness” (CTD. In Sinister 608). Benevolent sexism (the encouragement of traditional female roles) and hostile sexism (negative attitudes towards women) work together to empower men and cripple the validity of female authority.
Without the same unquestionable power bestowed upon men, women often find themselves in danger of, and at the mercy Of society’s normalized sexism.An extreme case may be found in Jenny’s political races; gangsters have reasoned that “female candidates can be uniquely unlimited and discredited” through rape (Kristin and Hudson 62). To put it simply, sexism’s one-sided standard is the basis for rape culture. Rapists (majority Of Which are men) are so empowered by dominance that they unconsciously use this authority as an excuse to rationalize rape. Sexism also has a heavy hand in defining another element of rape culture: body image. The ‘Ideal’ Body Image Humans identify themselves through a number of different aspects, one officio is body image.Society’s ‘ideal’ body images for men and women make it clear that sexism is deeply embedded within our social institutions. These ideal images re built upon sexist ideas, Which in turn reinforce sexism-?and around and around we go.
The ideal body image for men is generally described as strong and muscular-? characteristics encouraged through the promotion of aggression and domination in males. This image causes us to scoff at the notion Of men being submissive, docile, and vulnerable (characteristics usually associated with women). Due to this mindset, many people deny the possibility of male rape victims.
The truth? Men can get raped. “They are raped for the same reasons women and children are raped, and most often by other men” (Utah State university). CELLI also states: “Men are less likely than women to report rape. ” The ideal body image of a powerful, untouchable man stops people from believing that men can get raped, and keeps male victims from speaking out for fear of persecution.
On the other end tooth gender spectrum, women are pressured by nearly every media outlet to pursue bodies that exemplify feminine qualities: beautiful, thin, sere, and seductive.In fact, there are whole industries powered by this idea of body image, including dieting, exercise, cosmetics, fashion, and plastic surgery. Just look at the most popular women in music, acting, athletics, and modeling.
Girls and young women grow up around influences that encourage this pursuit of marketed health and beauty, believing that the famous, attractive stars they see on TV are the embodiments of the ;perfect bowman_’ As these girls grow older, they begin to associate these perfect women with sexuality.Due to societies instilled sexism, qualities of the ‘ideal woman’ are often attributed to sex appeal and objectification, to the idea that women are nothing but property to be owned. It is a sad truth that whenever we encourage girls to pursue the culturally ideal body image, we inadvertently put them in danger of being sexualities and Objectified by Others. This is not to say that women should not pursue the ‘ideal’ body image. In fact, women should be free to pursue any and all kinds of beauty and health interests, as it is their right to express individual identity.In truth, it’s not just the pretty ones that get raped; its all of them. Young, old, smart, dumb, beautiful, ugly-?so long as rape culture is a part of our society, no one is safe from rape.
The exploitation of body image for the purpose of promoting sexism, misogyny, and objectification needs to stop, or else the balance of power between males and females will forever remain heavily unequal. According to the article Experiencing Sexism and Young Women’s Body Esteem, published by the Journal tot Social and Clinical Psychology, “…
Ultra body ideals serve as a weapon tot oppression against women” (Oswald, r-random, and Frost II 16).Marketing and media use our body ideals to oppress women by associating the ‘perfect body’ with sex appeal and objectification, This association is aggravatingly absurd for two simple reasons: 1) women should be allowed to look and wear whatever they like oviduct fear of being raped or sexually assaulted, and 2) the issue should not be “don’t get raped,” but instead: “don’t rape. “Victim Blaming Victim blaming occurs when the blame is partially or completely attributed to the victim. It shifts the spotlight-?the burden Of prevention and punishment Of the crime-?to the victim instead of the rapist. Typical victim blaming phrases include: “She shouldn’t hue been wearing that,” ‘She was asking for it,” “She was drunk,” and “She shouldn’t have been there nanny.
” In her article on the CNN website, Indian reporter Archaic Guppy shared how, While testifying in court, lawyers asked her questions that implied she was responsible for her own attack.One of these questions was ‘What kind of clothes were you wearing? According to Septa’s article, rape incidents in India have increased by 873% in the past 60 years alone, and the conviction rate for rape cases is 25% as of 2011 (Guppy, Victims blamed in Indian’s rape culture”), Rapists have actually been known to avoid prosecution just because the defense can point to the victim’s skirt. Advocates of victim blaming believe in two ideas: 1) rape is the result of provocative clothing and/or behavior, and 2) women should know better.These finger-pointers often accuse victims of instigating their own rape, even going so tar as to say that women who wear short skirts and revealing attire deserve to get aped, To these misguided people, it should be noted that the Utah State University has filled that victims range in age-?from infants to elderly. Most of these toddlers, children, and senior citizens are hardly provocative. SIS also reports that 60% of rapes occur in the victims own home, and that 2/3 of rapists are individuals the victim knew and trusted (Utah State University).
Further statistics reflect the fact that rapes occur much closer to home than people realize. According to a number Of sexual violence statistics compiled by Hawaii’s SAT (Sexual Abuse Treatment Center), the eroticism idea of all rapes occurring n dark alleys by strangers is exceptionally inaccurate. Granted, yes, some rapes occur in unfamiliar places in the darkest of hours. But the SAT reports that, in actuality, about 1/3 Of rapes and sexual assaults take place during the day (6 a. M. To 6 p. M.
).The SAT also reports that 40% of sexual assaults occur in the victim’s home and 20% occur in the home of a friend, relative, or neighbor. 91.
1% of female victims have been raped by an intimate partner or acquaintance, and of the 90% of female juvenile victims who were raped by someone they knew, only 7% have reported being raped by a strangers (The Sex Abuse Treatment Center; Black, et 201 1). People who blame the victim seem to not realize the basic fundamental concept that there is no excuse for rape. No excuse. Rape is a non-consensual sexual activity, and neither smile nor skirt is justification for anyone to take advantage.
Victim blaming not only lets the rapist go tree, but also instills self- blame in the victim. Accusing a girl of causing her own rape, even going so far as to say she deserved it, pushes her into an endless downward spiral of depression and despair, The fear of being prosecuted themselves keeps rape victims from speaking out against their attacker. The few brave souls that do speak out run the risk of not only losing their court case, but also being bullied by peers for being “sluts” and “liars. ” Shockingly, they also risk being punished by their schools, workplaces, and other institutions.
This is especially true for rising name Daisy Coleman in Marseille, Missouri. According to an online article from Ethnographers, Colleen’s rape case was dropped in two months despite evidence supporting her recount of the rape (Cull-Resellers). “Even before the case was dropped, Daisy and her older brother were subject to intense harassment and online threats. As the result of online bullying, LOW Other classmates (Who Daisy suspected Of being attacked by the same football players that had attacked her) committed suicide.
Daisy herself has attempted suicide twice.The Coleman have since been forced to move out Of town and transfer to a different school. Rape culture is further enforced as we teach our daughters “don’t get raped” instead of teaching our sons “don’t rape. ” Men had no problem violating women who wore petticoats, corsets, army uniforms, hajjis, and bursas; women who were teens, infants, middle-aged, and elderly; women who fought back or were realized, who didn’t ask to be sexually defiled. Clothes and appearances have nothing to do with rape.
People need to stop pointing fingers at the victim and start looking at the obvious problem: rapists.Integration of Rape Culture through Media Rape culture has been influencing our lives for a disturbingly extensive length of time. We see evidence of this in our music, films, TV shows, books, magazines, video games, advertisements, rape jokes, sexist jokes, and cartoons-?just to name a few. Songs and music videos about going to the club and getting lucky with women are novo commonly regarded as hip-hop norm, and we as a society eave come to accept the image of men looking to getting off with women as typical.This normalization of sexual assault is due to the underlying sexism and encouragement of objectification in our every day lives. For example, Robin Thicket’s popular song Blurred Lines is just oozing in the equalization and objectification of women.
The article From the Mouths of Rapists analyzes the correlation between the lyrics Of Blurred Lines and quotes from actual rapists (Koehler). Near word-for-word similarities between the two include: I know you want it You’re a good girl Do it like it hurt, do it like it hurt, what you don’t like work?I’ll give you something to tear your ass in two (Don’t even get me started on the music video. ) How is it that this song-?a song that is putrid with misogyny and sexism-?is regarded as the summer hit tot 2013? People often listen to and buy popular songs Without understanding or bothering to find out what the artist is actually singing Tot course, the point isn’t that tree speech and creativity should be restricted; the point is that rape culture is 50 integrated within media and entertainment that society has allowed a song like Blurred Lines to become one of the highest grossing songs in the world,Advertising is another type of media that clearly conforms to rape culture. Advertisements have objectified women by socializing them to the point of disturbance, attempting to advertise their product by also ‘selling’ the female body.
At Ala Moan Shopping Mall, we walk past giant images half-naked women holding up designer bags to cover their breasts, making out with men, and lying in positions that have less to do with the product they’re selling and more to do with sex appeal.We have become so accustomed to the image of a sexualities woman that nowadays, we hardly blink Whenever we see big, glowing sexy women’ advertisements at the mall or at home during TV commercials. This normalized Objectification furthers the rift between men and women, facilitating the framework pattern of female submission and the degradation of female authority.
Not to mention, it encourages us to see women as submissive possessions-?as ‘items’ to use, to take advantage of, and to discard as we see fit.This type of advertising promotes sexism and exploitation, a mindset embraced by rapists as they attempt to assert dominance over their victims through rape and sexual assault. Rape culture is also integrated due to trending Internet “mess” (ideas or styles that spread through electronic means). People who create mess and/or allow them to be spread on a viral scale make it easier for others to continue the trend.
An example of this is the popular ‘Rape Sloth’ meme, which is a series tot images of a sloth, and captions for each image expressing explicit rape implications as humor.One such image says, “I’ve got a knife and a penis. 1 of them is going inside These images are highly inappropriate and downright obscene-?and yet, somehow this series of images is still regarded as a mere Internet joke. Conclusion Rape culture is the normalization of rape and its ideologies in society. It is when we condone sexual assault, objectification, and victim blaming through generated social norms and media/entertainment.
The regulating of rape is dangerous, as it results in the authorization Of women, men, and children all over the world. Rape victims do not simply go away or forget their attacks.This trauma Stays With victims for life. Sexual assaults have been known to cause an increase in alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence, depression, suicide, and teen pregnancy. According to an article by Lynn H.
Schaffer, victims of rape are 3 times more likely to have a major depressive episode, 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide, and 13 times more likely to attempt suicide than someone who has not been a victim of rape (Schaffer 16), When victims of rape call themselves ‘survivors: they mean it. Analyzing the elements and effects of rape culture is vital to brainstorm-inning possible solutions.Since rape culture normalizes power and dominance by men over women, the key to dissolving it is through the empowerment of women and the dilution tot sexism in our daily lives. We may achieve this by getting rid tot the “miscommunication between sexes” mentioned in Mills and Grandsons article, Date and Acquaintance Rape among a Sample of College Students (Mills and Granola)_ We ought to develop an educational program that would raise awareness of sexual assault, dispel rape myths, assist people in identifying potentially abusive situations, promote healthy relationships, and offer services to victims in need of help.This education should also be provided to younger generations; in order to achieve a rape-free culture, is vital to teach society from an early age about he importance of consent in a relationship, that all human beings deserve to be treated with respect, and that there is no excuse for rape. We may do this by slowly changing the way we use the media to influence, inform, and entertain society.
This can be achieved by filtering out themes that promote misogyny, sexism, and Objectification from films, TV shows, advertisements, and music. As with all major human rights issues, society will never realistically be free from rape culture.However, this not an excuse to act like anything Other than a decent human being. As viable members of society, we must resist rape culture y monitoring our own actions: declining to condone rape jokes, refusing to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others, and teaching future generations “don’t rape,” instead of “don’t get raped. ” Rape culture has already taken the lives of thousands of humans around the world-?of every age, every race and ethnicity, every gender, and every environment.
Dissolving rape culture calls for reaching out as a group of decent human beings. We must be willing to help victims of rape seek justice and comfort.