Rape Culture

My heart is heavy tonight as I write this. I haven’t written in awhile, but I thought this is something I couldn’t ignore. Today, well yesterday was November 8th–election day. It is currently 2:30 in the morning and it looks as if Donald Trump will be our next president. A very shocking outcome. I’m not upset that Trump will be our next president. I’m upset that I see people using what he said about grabbing women by the pussy as a joke, a punch line if you will. As if joking about sexual assault is funny. My heart hurts America, because it isn’t okay. Yet so many people think it is and they don’t understand what rape culture is.

Let me first say that I saw a male tweet, “As soon as Trump hits 270 electoral votes I am grabbing the first girl I see by the pussy” Like I said above I’m not upset about Trump becoming president, but I am upset about people thinking that “grabbing someone by the pussy” without their consent is a joke. You know what? I am actually sick and tired of people thinking it’s okay to grab someone without their consent. It might seen like a joke to you, but it’s not a joke to the person who is being “grabbed” without their consent. To the person who is being raped. To the person who is sexually assaulted. It is not a joke to them.

I expressed how upset I was by this tweet I saw on FB and people automatically attacked me. Someone wrote, “How to prevent rape: self defence defense classes a gun a tazer or even mace. My wife knows how to fire and handle a gun and can defend herself my best friends wife carries a tazer.” This is unbelievably shocking to me. Instead of saying that we should prevent rape by teaching men not to rape woman I instead should carry a weapon with me. As if I can pause and pull out a gun if I was attacked. What about when guys “grab” me at a bar? I’m supposed to pull out  gun or tazer on him?

It is because of these uneducated people that rape culture exist.

WAVAW defines rape culture as, “Rape culture is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s. It was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence.”

And Emilie Buchwald defines it as, “a complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm . . . In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable . . . However . . . much of what we accept as inevitable is in fact the expression of values and attitudes that can change.”

The tweet I saw normalized sexual assault. Even if he was just “joking”. Even if he is a great guy. Even if he didn’t mean it. Even if he was just trying to get a rise out of people. Sexual assault never will be a joke. Turning “grabbing woman by the pussy” without their consent into a joke makes it normal to say and do. When it isn’t. Would you talk to your mom like that? You sister? Your wife/girlfriend? What about your grandma?

In rape culture both men and woman see sexual violence as a fact of life. Someone also commented on my FB status, “Agreed but the same can be said about murder and robberies but they happen. It’s like this, you can either accept the situation and defend yourself and actively fight it or you can let it scare you and make you live in fear… I understand these are terrible things” He is basically saying I should accept the situation that I might get raped and that if I don’t defend myself then it’s my fault that I made myself the victim.

He also wrote, “No matter how big this rape culture is there’s ways to prevent it so instead of being so sad that it’s out there learn how to make sure you’re not the victim our country isnt even that bad compared to the countries I’ve been to.”

This makes me sick to my stomach. It doesn’t matter how many self defense classes I take or if carry a gun with me. It shouldn’t be this way and it doesn’t sit right with me. That we live in world where I am told to not make myself the victim.

RAINN states that, “Every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted and 1 and 6 woman has been the victim of attempted or completed rape.”

I just wish the people who think it’s funny to joke about sexual assault could be in a woman’s shoes for 48 hours and maybe then they wouldn’t find it funny. I just wish I could make people understand that sexual assault isn’t okay. The next time you see someone make light of sexual assault please stop them and let them know it isn’t okay.

And as I said before I’m not upset that Trump is President. I’m upset that we live in a world where rape culture exists. Where I am told to not make myself a victim. Where I am told I should buy a gun if I want to prevent getting raped. That I live in a world where I can’t go into a bar without someone sexually assaulting me. Where joking about “grabbing a woman by the pussy” without their consent isn’t wrong. Where I am wrong because I want to make a stand. I want people to know that isn’t okay to joke about sexual assault.

 

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