Photo by: Noah Holt
Editorial; Putting an end to Rape Culture
December 5, 2019
Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
And every 9 minutes, that victim is a child.
Meanwhile, only 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.
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Conditioned by fear
In a world consumed by self-image, it can be detrimental to a person’s health to only be able to focus on what other people are thinking about them. This is something that everyone may experience, but women, in particular, are constantly being bombarded with these thoughts.
When planning for a fun night with their friends, women have to go over absolutely everything, from what they are wearing, to what route they will take to get to their car in the dark.
Society has conditioned women to think about how to defend themselves from male antagonists instead of teaching the men not to antagonize women.
The generalization of men being dominant and aggressive is one example of hyper-masculinity, which cultivates the perfect environment in which rape culture is perpetuated.
A lot of men feel pressure to act as masculine as possible. Stereotypical masculinity includes acting aggressive, liking women, being strong, muscular and dominant. Many times, men feel as though it is not “manly” to show emotions because they fear they will be viewed as weak by their other male peers.
Blaming the victim
Society also leans toward victim-blaming. Phrases like, “She was asking for it,” or, “What was she wearing?” invalidates women and other people who have experienced rape or sexual harassment.
Many people do not take rape claims seriously, or worse, they think that rape is just something that is inevitable; it’s bound to happen to everyone eventually. This sort of attitude validates the rapist in any given situation.
Another thing that validates the rapist’s actions is the legal language associated with this crime. Many cases cite “Sexual misconduct” or “Inappropriate behavior” as the event that happened between two people.