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Transcript of RAPE CULTURE
WHAT IS IT?
Table of Contents
1. What is it?
definition, history & origin
2. Potential causes and their effects
- sexual objectification
- male sexual entitlement
- victim blaming/ slut shaming
- male rape
sexism and misogyny
" A complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. It condones physical and emotional abuse against women as the norm." - Emilie Buchwald, author of "Transforming a Rape Culture".
" A culture in which dominant cultural ideologies, media images, social practices and societal institutions that support and condone abuse by normalizing, trivializing, tolerating, and eroticizing male violence against women and blaming victims for their abuse."-Huffington Post
While these defintions refer to cis-male against cis-female, sexual violence and rape culture affect transgender people and cis-men as well. Rape culture is everyone's issue regardless of gender or sexual orientation
HISTORY AND ORIGIN
Term "rape culture" was coined in the 1970's during the second wave of feminism. While the 1st wave (1950's-60's) mainly focused on legal problems such as voting and property rights, the second wave concentrated on sexuality, reproductive rights, domestic violence and marital rape.
During this time it was believed that rape and sexual violence rarely happened.
Feminist movement began to try and educate the public about rape and explain that it is a manifestation of sexism and extreme misogyny.
In 1975 the first movie focusing on this issue was the documentary "Rape Culture" by Cambridge Documentary Films. It showed a culture that normalizes both male and female rape and examined the idea that mass media and pop culture has influenced current ideologies and attitudes towards rape.
1 in 3 women in North America are victims of sexual violence and 1 in 77 men (WHO). - However, I have found conflicting stats on this and in general; most rape cases
1 in 3 men in USA say they'd rape if they could get away with it (1 in 4 USA).
Only 40% of sexual assault cases are reported (RAINN).
Only 27% of victims regard themselves as one.
Only 2% of reported rapes are false.
Media and Pop Culture
In the book
Gender and Pop Culture
it was found that sex is constantly in the media
The rationale behind this is that sex sells
However, women are the ones who are most often sexualized in media, thus sex is not what sells, but rather the legitimization of men's sexual desires through portraying women as sexual objects
This sexualization in media is linked to the normalization of rape in our North American culture; the media's objectification of women promotes the idea that they are objects for male sexual desire which can manifest into confusion over the necessity of consent and reinforces male entitlement.
Media and Pop Culture cont
Sexual objectification of women and rape is glamorized in pop culture
Lyrics such as "I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it" and "the way you grab me, must wanna get nasty" have received criticism for not only promoting rape ("blurred lines" of consent), but that women give mixed signals through the way they behave or dress, consequently reinforcing victim blaming/ slut shaming.
Rap music has also received criticism for its misogynistic and degrading lyrics as well as violence against women
"Put molly all in her champagne she ain't even know it. Took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain't even know it" Rick Ross, You Don't Even Know It
"make it easy for me don't run/.../and you call this shit rape but I think that rape's fun"- Tyler the Creator, Blow
Therefore, the media's promotion of women as sexual objects existing solely for male use and misogynistic and objectifying mass media material creates negative attitudes towards consent and women and normalizes the act of rape.
The characteristics that a society or culture defines as masculine or feminine. Traits and activities are specific to each gender.
The doctrine of two spheres
clean- "lady like"
sexually submissive/ passive
strong and self reliant- weakness associated with femininity
sexually active and dominant
Gender Roles cont.
Male Sexual Entitlement
When men believe they are owed sex on account of manliness
Instances such as porn where male gratification is overvalued and female gratification overlooked.
sex seen as more appropriate for men than women is shown through promiscuous men idolized while promiscuous women are seen as "sluts".
Instances in mass media where females are objectified for male consumption
Overall, it is an attitude that overvalues male sexuality and expects female sexuality to exist for male pleasure.
This can be dangerous ; creates the idea that males are entitled to female bodies which erodes the concept of consent. And that women's bodies are constantly sexual.
directing degrading or sexually suggestive comments at women- such people feel entitled to look at, comment on, and evaluate women's bodies.
Stopstreetharassment.org states that "a world where men feel comfortable giving unsolicited sexual advances to women they don’t know in public is the same world where men feel comfortable with rape."
"A man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well, if you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone."
Gender Roles cont.
Most people learn early that they do not always get what they want; however, men who do not know how to react to rejection can reinforce rape culture through male sexual entitlement actions such as blaming women for arousal and becoming angry if they do not have sex. Refer to women as a "tease"
Male Rape Victims
Gender roles dictate that men are supposed to be strong, sexually dominant, and the gender that seeks sex. As a result, men are less likely to voice what has happened or identify that they have been assaulted.
Difficult for them to convince others they have been sexually assaulted; they are supposed to be masculine and be capable of fighting someone off. However, this idea not only perpetrates rape culture through the ignorance of male rape, but also ignores the issue of consent- no one should have to fight anyone off.
"The belief that sex without consent is acceptable in certain situations."
Misogyny and Sexism
Sexism is the belief that someone is inferior based solely on their gender.
Misogyny is sexism and the hatred or dislike of females.
Misogyny can also manifest into sexual discrimination, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women. It also perpetrates victim blaming.
"Misogyny .... is a central part of sexist prejudice and ideology and, as such, is an important basis for the oppression of females in male-dominated societies. Misogyny is manifested in many different ways, from jokes to pornography to violence to the self-contempt women may be taught to feel toward their own bodies."- Sociologist Allan G. Johnson, "Misogyny is a cultural attitude of hatred for females because they are female."
misogyny is quite common online. - misogynistic sexualized imagery, centers on the women's physical appearance and threats of sexual violence
CAMPUS RAPE CULTURE?
universities and colleges have faced scrutiny over their students endorsing, committing, and joking about rape on campus.
Dalhousie University dentistry students created a Facebook page encouraging rapes of their classmates
North Carolina University fraternity members left a notebook in a restaurant joking about rape
In 2011, University of Vermont fraternity members created a survey posing the question "if you could rape anyone, who would it be?"
2012 members of Miami University in Ohio posted a flier titled "Top Ten Ways To Get Away With Rape,"
2013 pro-rape chants were sung at UBC and Saint Mary's University in Halifax to welcome new students during orientation week
masculinity- gender roles and media
interviewed University students on the subject of campus rape found that in environments where males are grouped together, it is normal for them to compete with one another in an effort to demonstrate one's power and masculinity. Since the media and gender norms portray masculinity as the sexual exploitation of and entitlement to females bodies this is "transmitted into sexual expressions to prove masculinity"
Peggy Reeves Sanday (1990) examined campus rape culture in her book
Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Priviledge
discovered that groups of males are often looking to have sex with as many women as possible in order to increase their standing in the social hierarchy of their group and that date rape drugs and alcohol are used to help the process
Michael Kimmel, professor of sociology at State University of New York at Stony Brook, examined a gang rape on a University campus. It was found that the sexual act itself was not about sex, but about demonstrating ones masculinity through dominance over a female.
Sanday also found through her study that acts like rape and gang rape on campus help make the transition into manhood based on the patriarchal principle of dominance over women which is seen in gender roles.
VICTIM BLAMING AND SLUT SHAMING
slut shaming: Insulting/ degrading a female based on her sexual activity (reinforces gender roles and victim blaming) >> gender roles dictate girls are supposed to be modest, and thus "deserves" to be assault if she does not obey these roles.
victim blaming: blaming the victim for the assault.
After releasing her identity, the girl received insults and hostility from people on the internet.
Many people focused on her being too drunk as the problem, instead of recognizing that a female cannot give consent when they are unconscious.
After the boys were found convicted, a CNN news reporter covering the case claimed it was "hard to watch two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, have their lives ruined."
two of the most common incidences of victim blaming is that females who wear revealing clothing are trying to seduce another person or instigate a sexual interaction and that women who drink too much are partially responsible for their assault whether they are aware the sexual encounter is happening or not. People see these actions as "asking for it". This is also an effect of male sexual entitlement; believe they are entitled to a women's body in certain circumstances.
victims of sexual assault are also judged based on their previous sexual activity.
until the creation of the rape shield law in 1992, defense attorneys could use a women's past sexual activities against her during a rape trial.
Actions portrayed in a rape culture include jokes and apathy towards the issue.
They have been controversial for awhile
The problem isn't that there are codes but what the reasons behind them such as it is "distracting". This promotes victim blaming and male entitlement by establishing the mentality that women's bodies are constantly sexual and distracting to males.
Rape jokes in conversation and on the internet are an example of the belittling of and normalization of rape that characterizes rape culture.
Promotes rape as humorous and belittles its significance.
Another example of this is prison rape jokes. there is a cultural attitude that prison is the one place where rape is okay and that it is appropriate to make jokes about it.
male entitlement and marital rape.
In West Virginia during 2012, a highschool girl was raped by two Steubenville Highschool football players while passed out drunk.
Lyrics and music may not turn people into rapists; however, they do normalize and even glamourize rape and violence against women.
Caroline Kitchens, in a 2014 article in Time Magazine stated that " lyrics may not exactly be pleasant to many women, but song lyrics don’t turn men into rapists"
blaming rape culture for rape deflects responsibility from the perpetrator to society.
blames all men for rape
Rape culture may not be the reason rapists are created, but its normalization of the act creates negative attitudes towards rape and women allowing an environment where rapists can feel justified and comfortable.
The idea of examining rape culture does not aim to explain why rape happens, but rather to point out the culture we live in where the act of rape itself it is often normalized and trivialized and the multiple ways that this normalization is perpetrated
These societal roles also apply to societies construct of sex. Within gender norms, sex is typically portrayed as between a cisgender man and woman (ignoring queer sex and genders that fall outside this binary) and normally features either an overly sexualized woman or a demure and submissive woman, dominated by a confident, and aggressive man, and portrays men as the ones who give sex and women as the ones taking it. This effectively erases any sense of female sexuality and depicts it as existing solely for male use.
When gender roles depict men as strong, confident and sexually dominant/aggressive and women as most, submissive, and sexy, this norm influences numerous experiences in life, including sexual assault by forming the idea that men are entitled to sex on account of their manliness and
An individual in the trans community is five times more likely to survive sexual assault than a cisgender woman and 21 times more likely than a cisgender man.
silences women’s experiences with sexual violence by creating attitudes around what constitutes consent. .
The protest takes the form of a march where some girls dress as "sluts" in revealing clothes while others dress in normal attire. One of its main goals is to dismantle the mentality that a man is entitled to a women's body if it is exposed.
It has received criticism for its use of the word slut. -Women need to find ways to express their own sexuality, outside of gender role terms like slut.
SlutWalk is an organization that formed in response to a public statement made by Toronto police officer who while addressing the issue of campus rape said that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."
3. Campus rape culture
As a result of gender roles women are frequently blamed for their assault. This is usually seen through the idea that a women was "asking for it" otherwise known as victim blaming. These ideas are a cause of the traditional understanding of femininity as being modest and submissive which rob women of their agency before, during, and after rape by always casting blame back onto them
According to an article by Huffington Post, "rape is not male vs. female. It is aggressor vs. victim and anyone can play either role; however, people tend to think male rape doesn't exist."
Less than 10% of rapists are ever incarcerated