Put an end to rape culture
Why is it that we live in a world where sexual violence is the norm?
Instead of punishing criminals, we punish the victims. Instead of teaching people why rape is wrong, we teach people how not to get raped.
Rape culture is a society in which rape or other forms of sexual violence are considered to be normal, according to Marshall University. Rather than focusing on the real issue at hand, rape culture objectifies victims and focuses on what they should be doing to prevent being raped.
When you think about it, this sounds completely illogical. However, we see examples of rape culture almost everyday.
Think about it: how many times have you heard a news story or seen a Tumblr post about a rape case where someone suggested the victim was wearing skimpy clothes? Probably too many times to count on both hands.
According to TIME, rape culture often suggests that the victim is “asking for it” or maybe even had too much to drink.
Last month I went on a first date with a guy who said his roommate (from a different college) was expelled their freshman year for raping a girl at a party. He said his roommate didn’t deserve to serve jail time and get kicked out of school, though, because the girl was “asking for it.” Needless to say, I haven’t spoken to him since.
Even though many people have heard stories like this where the victim is “at fault,” they still deny that rape culture is real. I think the fact that someone brought such a story up on a first date says it all about the society we live in.
I experienced yet another example of rape culture just a few days ago. I was working my second shift at my new job when a coworker made sexually explicit comments to me. The next day I called my manager and asked her not to schedule me with this man again.
Since this incident, people have been telling me to calm down and that I’m making too big of a deal out of it. Rape culture has made it so that I look “crazy” for feeling uncomfortable after hearing vulgar comments.
From inappropriate remarks to rape, fault is almost always placed on the victim rather than the attackers. According to The Wire, rapists can legally sue for child custody in 31 states if a woman becomes pregnant from rape.
So when will it end?
Though I can’t change the entire country’s thoughts on rape and sexual violence, I hope to change a few here at Quinnipiac. If you hear people making jokes about rape, take a stand. Rape is a serious crime–not a joke.
No one can change the rape culture we live in overnight, but it is time to take a stand and defy the norm.