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Our Rape Culture
Transcript of Our Rape Culture
Defining Rape Culture
What is Sexual Consent?
Rape Culture Gets real
Rape culture is a term that was used and invented by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s. It was created to show the ways that society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence. This definition continues to be relevant into the 2010's, and appears to be growing in truth.
The crime and loss that sparked a movement
Growing up in a rape culture:
Saint Mary's University Scandal
A voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity
Yes on your own terms
Given in a clear state of mind
Given by someone who is of legal age
What is Rape and Sexual Assault?
We often think to ourselves
"Yeah, but that doesn't happen here."
when discussing topics like rape culture. But in the past three years, we have seen three major forms of rape culture right here in Nova Scotia. These issues have brought major attention to what our government, school, and legal systems are doing to prevent these major issues.
But what actually is rape culture?
It is us telling girls to not dress a certain way or they may get raped.
It is a culture where the word "no" can mean yes.
It is songs like
by Robin Thicke.
It is a culture where we blame the victim, not the rapist.
Rape culture is all around us. It can be defined in hundreds of ways.
Dalhousie Dentistry School Students
The influence of Social Media
The role of Advertising
Behaviors that support Rape Culture
Rape culture exists because we engage in behaviors that allow it to exist. These can include:
Double-standards of genders (i.e. men who have lots of sex are studs, but women are frowned at and called derogatory terms)
Objectification of women
Hypermasculinity is the exaggeration of the "ideal male" and his behaviors, such as aggression, toughness, sexuality, and strength.
These ideas are displayed in pop culture, social media, and especially advertising.
It has not been discussed in the past on a regular basis because the focus has always been on women, and the pressures we as a society put on them (
We have recently realized the two go hand-in-hand and help support rape culture.
The Effects of Hypermasculinity
Hypermasculinity affects everyone, but especially young males in minority groups. Because of a hypermasculine influence, males may feel pressure to:
What you need to know
In April of 2013, Rehtaeh Parsons of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia attempted suicide in her home.
Her death shook her family, but it did not come as a complete surprise.
For months, Rehtaeh had been bullied and forced to switch schools.
The bullying began after Rehtaeh had been raped at a social gathering she attended with a friend.
One of the young males who assaulted her took a graphic photo of the incident, and posted it on social media.
This graphic photo became her life. It followed her everywhere she went, giving her no escape. Rehtaeh was bullied for nearly 2 years before she committed suicide.
Though the four boys who assaulted her were taken to court, they were tried as youth, and got very little punishment.
Rape is defined as sexual contact or penetration (sex) without consent.
In Canada, you can not be charged with rape, because rape implies that it would have to be between a male and a female, but anyone can be raped by anyone else.
Instead, you are charged with penetrative sexual assault.
Rape is also possible if someone is too young to give consent.
In Canada, the age of consent is 12, with a 2 year age difference limit up until the age of 18.
Fact or Fiction:
A man can't be raped:
Fiction- Anyone can be sexually assaulted or raped
people only get rape by strangers:
Fiction- up to 90% of all rapes that are reported are carried out by people the victim knew
The victim "asked for it":
Fiction- No one asks to be assaulted, just like no one asks to be robbed. The person to blame is never the victim
Given under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Given out of fear or pressure
Given when asleep or unconscious
Still unclear? Let Laci Green from Sex+ explain!
Hypersexualization is the act of hypersexualizing, or to make something extremely sexual
It is seen in our media, popular culture, and advertising.
Hypersexualization can be anything from
Toddlers and Tiaras
, to a lipstick advertisement for
Hypersexualization has a major effect on how young people- especially girls- view themselves, and contributes to the pressure to grow up and become sexually active before they may be physically or psychologically ready.
We are more than just our anatomy
Gender socialization begins at birth when the doctor tells your parent(s) that they have a
From this point on, our parents, schooling, friends, and the media shape the way we feel our gender must behave.
However, up until the age of 3, most children have no concept of gender.
Gender socialization creates the idea that women must be gentle and passive, and men must be tough and strong.
Decades of these ideas being taught contribute a great deal to the rape culture we live in today.
It's not just in the movies
At the SMU Frosh Week in September of 2013, a chant depicting underage and non-consensual sex was taught by student leaders to incoming freshmen.
It was videotaped, and then posted on social media for the world to see.
The university received large amounts of backlash from the public and their student and alumni, and forced them to restructure orientation week, and fund all of the sensitivity training that all students involved would go through.
The SMu Chant
*** This video contains profane and triggering language. Please watch at your own discretion.
In this presentation, we will be discussing violence, sexual assault, discrimination, and suicide, and profane language may come up. This may be triggering or upsetting for some individuals. Please take the time you need to absorb the information.
Display their dominance in a relationship
Only participate in heterosexual (straight) relationships
Exert their power over others
Act or appear sexually available (promiscuous)
Act the opposite way of how women are supposed to act
Most recently, the Dalhousie Dentistry student scandal has been in the spotlight.
In 2011, the first year male students formed a "Gentlemen's Club" on Facebook.
At first, the posts were more or less harmless, but they quickly escalated to posts, pictures, and polls that depicted violence against women, homophobic, and misogynistic views. It also included multiple rape jokes.
The group remained private until brought to the attention of the Dalhousie administration.
Despite the severity of this incident, the university has taken little action, and many are quick to defend the young, supposedly professional men.
Dalhousie Dentistry Scandal
These are real screenshots taken from the "Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen" page. View with discretion.
Pop Culture and Rape culture
Popular culture is the common ideas we see in our society.
It is films, music, television, internet, and any "memes" we see in our day to day life.
In popular culture, it has become normal for women to be displayed in sexual manners, and for men to be dominating and agressive. This can be easily observed in rap and pop music lyrics and videos.
Many films do not depict healthy relationships or asking for consent, which creates the idea that it is normal and okay to not follow the law.
Social media's role in supporting rape culture spans throughout the three events we have examined.
Pornographic images are easily shared via Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. They can be intentionally sent, or spread as a form of bullying or revenge.
Social Media also exposes the hypersexualized and hypermasculinized ideas we have drilled into the minds of young boys and girls in the photos they post and share.
A Rape Culture Visual
When we discuss rape culture, it is best to visualize an inverted triangle:
Flawed Legal Process
A triangle standing on its tip would normally topple over.
But because of all of these factors, it remains standing.
The idea that sex sells in nothing new, however, nowadays, most advertising depicts violence against women, hypersexualization, and hypermasculinity to add shock value, and to attract viewers.
Because we see up to 3000 avertisements every day, we eventually see these harmful images as normal, and translate them over to our own lives.
Without advertisements, we wouldn't know which products to buy, nor would we know these detrimental behaviors.
What can You Do?
Moving forward, remember these key points, know the laws, and become media literate. One person can alter the way the world looks at rape culture, and can spark a movement of change.
By: Claire Haliburton