Rape Culture Explained

“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 a–” (Freshman Week chant caught on social media at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada.)

“Grab ’em by the (female genital). You can do anything.” (United States of America’s president-elect Donald Trump).

In today’s world and society, things like this are said and done all too often.

According to the Women’s Center at Marshall University, rape culture is defined as an environment in which rape is prevalent, and in which sexual violence against women (or men) is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.

Everyday in our world, millions of women and men are raped, sexually assaulted and violated.

To anyone who doesn’t think that the normalization and allowing of rape, or any other form of sexual violence happens, look at college campuses. Heck, you can even just turn on the news.

Take the Brock Turner case, for example.

Turner, a 20-year-old male attending Stanford University, assaulted an unconscious girl by a dumpster following a night of partying. To boast, there were even multiple witnesses. Based off of the evidence, one would assume his punishment would be a couple years in jail at least, right?

Well, if you guessed anything more than six months, you’re completely wrong.

Because Turner was a talented athlete (swimmer) at a prestigious school (Stanford), the ruling judge in the case didn’t think he was a threat to society. Instead, he got six months in jail, and served only three months due to good behavior.

Take a minute and imagine how furious you’d be if that was your mother, sister, or daughter. Isn’t it nice to know that in this country, you can get more time for the possession of drugs than taking away another human being’s dignity, intimacy, and right to privacy?

If that sickening example of rape culture in our world today isn’t enough for you, then look at Florida State University. The school and administrators covered up sexual assault allegations against Jameis Winston — not once, but twice. And why would any person with at least a twinge of decency, or moral, do such a thing?

Because Winston was the star athlete in a town focused around football, not the girls he violated. So according to authority at Florida State, and around Tallahassee, those girls don’t mean anything.

Even in pop culture today, things like this happen. In 2014, popular singer Ke$ha was forced by a judge to continue working with her producer, Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald (Dr. Luke)  who also sexually abused her for an extensive amount of time.  

The culture of rape and sexual violence in this generation has gone too far.

The crimes don’t just happen against women, but they do happen more. One in five women in the United States will get raped at some point in their lifetime, while one in 71 men will face the same fate.

The most staggering number? Out of those crimes, more than 90-percent don’t report them. Yes, you could blame the victim for not reporting. But in this world, would you report the crime if it happened to you?

Whether it’s not being believed or being blamed, the victim has a lot of good reasons not to report.

And when it comes to college campus assaults, the numbers aren’t getting any better. Even prestigious colleges like Harvard and Notre Dame have been investigated by the U.S Department of Education for the failure to investigate sexual violence.

Rape culture isn’t only the act of rape or assault, but it is also the derogatory terms thrown at females. You can hear those explicit words hundreds of times in the hallway of a high school.

The double standards make it seems as if when a woman has multiple partners, she is one of these words. But when a man has more than one girl, he’s praised by his buddies for it.

You may not know it, but that is all rape culture too.

Let me preach this one thing to any man (or even woman) that has been angered over rejection: you are not, ever, entitled to another human being’s body. Ever.

I took the time to ask a victim of rape (a student at JHS) how she felt afterwards: “I didn’t know what I felt at first. Then I started feeling ashamed and embarrassed, like you don’t want anyone to know.”

For more information and awareness on sexual violence go to http://www.nsvrc.org/. For more information and awareness on college campus sexual violence, watch the documentary “The Hunting Ground” on Netflix.

The feeling of shame, and as if the assault was the victim’s fault, is common. As a society based on prejudice and mostly negativity, it is our responsibility to end this culture of sexual violence.

If not for you, then for your mothers, sisters, or even daughters.

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