Tuesday, November 10, 2015

You Can't Deny Rape Culture


Yes, in the year of our lord Jesus fuckface Christ 2015, I still deal with people trying to tell me that rape culture doesn't exist, or that it doesn't exist in the "Western world" and only in places like India and South Africa. You know, places not dominated by white people. Those OTHER counties full of people of color. No racism here, no sir.

Anyway, what these people do is essentially try to redefine rape culture in a way that suits them. They claim that rape culture can't possibly exist in a country where people generally, outwardly view rape as a bad thing. As though rape culture is defined as a culture where rape is explicitly accepted. As though rape culture = "rape is good," said everyone. And the U.S. = "rape is bad," says everyone.

That is the definition of a false dichotomy. Black and white thinking applied to a subject right before they turn around and say that it's hard to convict rapists because it's not a black and white crime, aka "blurred lines," etc. But if you've even tried to read up on feminist examinations of rape culture, a term created to describe a complex situation already in existence, you know that it's a whole lot more complicated and involved.

Just because we may all act like it’s horrible at face value doesn’t mean it’s not rape culture. You can go “rape is bad” and then go “oh but if you dress a certain way you asked for it and if you were drinking you deserved it and if you’re a man you can’t be raped and if you don’t follow this specific formula of how every rape victim should act then you’re lying and if 30+ women accuse a famous man of rape then they just all must want money and the women and girls in these high profile rape cases probably just wanted attention even though they were ostracized and harassed and had their entire lives ruined and killed themselves after” etc. etc. etc. until the end of time.

They're pushing a false, nearly impossible to achieve definition of rape culture which is apparently everyone going “rape is cool” (which we actually do have plenty of people like that in the U.S., see fraternities and college campus chants), but that is not what rape culture means.

Rape culture is people making excuses for and defending rapists, even if they’re convicted, even if the assault was filmed and passed around social media, even if they admitted it. Rape culture is mainstream news media lamenting about how rape charges are going to ruin the rapists’ lives after they were convicted. Rape culture is convicted rapists going on to appear on TV shows and being let right back onto football teams after getting out of jail. Rape culture is the vast majority of teenage boys using the word “rape” to describe beating someone in a video game. Rape culture is 1 in 3 men saying they would rape if they could get away with it when you don’t explicitly use the word “rape.” Rape culture is women getting inundated with rape threats for criticizing video games. Rape culture is men saying that fat women can’t be raped because no one would ever want to have sex with them, and that black women can’t be raped because they always want it. Rape culture is 90% of disabled women enduring sexual abuse at some point in their lives and no one giving a fuck because caring for them must be so hard on their abusive caretakers. And on. And on. And on.

There are so many examples and so many specific examples within those examples. And the fact that people are trying to distort rape culture in order to try and prove it doesn't exist only supports the idea of rape culture, because that is an attempt to stop discussion which is necessary to put a stop to rape. And people who say we can't stop all rape because "there will always be bad people" are evidence of rape culture, because that kind of casual dismissal with such a poor excuse to do nothing, I mean, are you kidding me?

If you think there's not a rape culture in the U.S., then you're working with the wrong definition of rape culture, or, more likely, you're trying to manipulate the definition for your own purposes. And that's fucked up.

Don't fucking tell me what rape culture is. I live in it.

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