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What is Rape Culture?

Gender and Sexuality in America

Rachel Davis

on 4 September 2013

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Transcript of What is Rape Culture?

What is Rape Culture?
Social Injustice
Our societal structure is a patriarchy, meaning that power largely lies in the hands of men--particularly white men.

What Can We Do?
The Cycle of Sexual Violence in this Country Does Not Have to Continue. We can help stop it.
Sexual assault occurs about every 2 minutes.
Approximately 56 women are victimized by an intimate partner every hour.
1 in 3 women experience sexual assault in their lifetimes.
3 out of 4 sexual assaults are committed by a family member, intimate partner, friend, or acquaintance.
Effects of Rape
Victims of Sexual Assault are:
3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
Good News
Sexual assault has fallen by more than 60% in recent years. Had the 1993 rate held steady, 6.8 million Americans would have been assaulted in the last 13 years.

But, thanks to the decline, the actual number of victims was about 4.2 million. In other words, if not for the historic gains we've made in the last decade, an additional 2,546,420 Americans would have become victims of sexual violence.
Out of Every 100 Rapes:
46 will be reported to police.
12 will lead to an arrest.
9 will be prosecuted.
5 will lead to a felony conviction.
3 will serve time in prison.
97 of every 100 rapists will walk free.
In Tennessee, rape is defined as "unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant accompanied by any of the following circumstances: (1) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act; (2) The sexual penetration is accomplished without the consent of the victim and the defendant knows or has reason to know at the time of the penetration that the victim did not consent; (3) The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; or (4) The sexual penetration is accomplished by fraud.
*These rules do not apply to stubborn, closed-minded, sexist assholes.
What is Feminism?
Feminism is a conversation, a process,
not a rulebook.

It is not inherently hostile*.
It is meant to educate, not to alienate.
It should empower us, not tear us down*.
It should bring people together, not pit
them against each other*.

Masculinity in America is defined by control, independence, strength, and by a rejection of all things associated with the feminine.
Gender Expression
We tend to think of gender in binary terms: either you're masculine or you're feminine. But this just isn't the way humans work.
Rape is forced sexual intercourse; force being physical or psychological coercion.

Sexual assault is any sexual contact without consent and/or that involves the use of force.
What is Rape?
What is Rape Culture?
Rape culture is a term used to describe a culture in which rape and other sexual violence (usually against women) are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or encourage sexual violence.
Gender and Sexuality in America
Frat Culture
Frat Culture revolves around exaggerated displays of masculinity.

How Men and Women Think About Themselves
Men tend to believe they have a set of rules to follow in order to "earn" their manhood.

Women, on the other hand, when asked, believe they define for themselves what being a woman means.
Femininity in America is defined by passivity, dependency, and emotional sensitivity and is considered inferior to masculinity.
What Does This Have to Do With Rape Culture?
Male victims of rape tend to not report their rape.
Male rape victims are less likely to seek help than female victims.
Male victims are more likely to become rapists.
Rape on College Campuses
1 in 4 college women will be the victim of sexual assault within her academic career, making female college students 11 times more likely to be raped than other women.
Among college women, less than 5 percent of completed or attempted rapes were reported to law enforcement officials and about one-third of victims did not tell anyone.
Nearly 50% of college women whose attacks meet the definiton of rape do not consider what happened to them rape.
70-80 percent of campus rapes involve alcohol or other drugs.
What is Consent?
Consent is a freely made choice that is clearly communicated.

Someone who is asleep, passed out, or incapacitated by alcohol or drugs cannot give consent.
Silence or lack of continued resistance is not consent.
Consent is not giving in to pressure or intimidation.
Know Your Rights
You have the right to be informed of proceedings and events in the criminal justice process.
You have the right to protection from intimidation and harassment.
You have the right to privacy.
Conversations and information exchanged by you and a rape counselor are confidential by law unless you authorize a release.
Sex offenders are required by law to undergo HIV/AIDS testing within 48 hours of the presentment of information or indictment.

Important Laws
Campus Security Act (1990) requires colleges participating in federal student aid programs to complete and distribute security reports on campus practices and crime statistics.
Includes Campus Sexual Assault Victim's Bill of Rights to provide policies and statistics and to ensure basic rights to survivors of sexual assault.
Violence Against Women Act (1994)
Take Care of Yourself
It is helpful to take steps to protect yourself and those around you.

Do not leave a drink unattended.
Use a buddy system at parties.
Trust your instincts.
Make your safety your priority.
Watch out for your friends.
Step in when you see someone in trouble.

Most importantly: DON'T RAPE.
Know Your Resources
Women's Center on Campus
Counseling and Personal Development Center on Campus
Safety and Risk Management Services on Campus
Campus Security
Chattanooga Rape Crisis Center
Planned Parenthood
What Does This Have to do With Rape Culture?
These characteristics to which women are encouraged to conform result in low self-esteem and encourage them to always put the needs and wants of men before their own, making them less likely to fight against injustice, less likely to be physically or mentally healthy, and less likely to leave an abusive partner, ultimately making them easy prey for rapists.
State Legislation
Tennessee does not require hospitals to provide care for rape victims.
Tennessee does not require hospitals to provide rape victims with emergency contraceptives, and if an employee disapproves of the use of emergency contraceptives, he or she can refuse to provide them to the patient.
Although there are federal guidelines for medical care of rape victims, Tennessee does not require that facilities adhere to them.
Sexual Scripts
Sexual Scripts are rules and behaviors we are taught to adhere to in adolescence.

Women are encouraged to passively accept sex and to depend on men for sexual pleasure and information.

Men are encouraged to actively seek out sex and to "conquer" as many women as possible.
Support One Another
Find support.
Support others.
Be accepting.
Form a helpful and safe community.
You do not have to suffer alone or in silence.
What Does This Have to Do With Rape Culture?
Men are encouraged to be sexually aggressive.
Rape is seen as a natural result of men's "uncontrollable" sex drive, relieving them of blame or responsibility.
Men are taught that women all secretly want to have sex with them.
Women are encouraged to appeal and submit to men (or to save themselves for their future husband).
Their refusals often aren't taken seriously, and their silence is believed to be consent.
Socioeconomic Inequality
Poverty increases people's vulnerabilities to sexual exploitation in the workplace, schools, and in prostitution, sex trafficking, and the drug trade.
Racial Inequality
Rates of rape are higher for women of color than for white women.
Rates for Native American women are are twice the national average
Next highest rates are for mixed race women, about 50% higher than the national average.
Rates of rape among Black women are only about 1% higher than the national average.
Sexual Harassment
62% of female college students and 61% of male college students report having been sexually harassed at their university, with 80% of harassment being peer-to-peer.
Less than 10% of student sexual harassment victims attempt to report their experiences to a university employee.
Over 1/3 of college students who experience sexual harassment do not tell anyone about their experiences.
51% of male college students admit to sexually harassing someone in college, with 22% admitting to harassing someone often or occasionally.
31% of female college students admit to harassing someone in college.
More than ⅓ of college students experience sexual harassment within their first year.
Male and female students are nearly equally likely to be sexually harassed on campus.
Street Harassment
Street Harassment is extremely pervasive in the lives of American women, particularly in large cities.
Fraternity members and student athletes are more likely than any other men on campus to commit a sexual assault. One study found that more than 10 percent of college rape occurred in a fraternity house.
Research suggests that students who live in sorority houses or belong to sororities have an increased risk for sexual victimization
Education is key in combating sexism and sexual violence.
Educate Yourself
Take a Women's Studies Class
Attend a program sponsored by the Women's Center on campus.
Find information online.
Volunteer at a shelter.
Talk to others to gain perspective on important issues.
Speak Out
Share your story.

If you see or experience an injustice, take action and speak out against it.

Whatever you do, don't sit in silence.
Full transcript