This post is going to be a different kind of review. I won’t be critiquing a podcast, documentary or a book. I’m going to be sharing my views of a very important aspect in our society; the rape culture in the United States.
Did You Know...
According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)...
- 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime
- 17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape
- About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime
- 43% of rapes occur between 6:00pm and midnight
- Every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted.
As of 2014, 31 states in the US allowed a male rapist to sue his victim for custody if the assault lead to a pregnancy.
The older I become, the more our rape culture reveals itself to me. As a young girl and still today, I was whistled at or cat-called just walking down the street. I would feel uncomfortable and vulnerable in my own skin when construction workers, roofers and random men would give me unwanted attention. I always wondered what I had done to deserve it, and the answer is nothing at all.
I also notice more and more victims being blamed for their attacks. I hear or read things such as, “Oh, she was dressed like a slut,” or, “Her outfit was too revealing, what did she expect?” Well, let me drop a major truth bomb … No matter what a woman wears, whether her true intention is to impress a man, another woman, or simply dressing for herself, that is NOT a green light for non-consensual sexual advances. A woman’s wardrobe is in no way an excuse for an assailant to force himself upon her or him.
As a society, we need to stop letting these sexual predators get away with this behavior. Whether they are an up-and-coming college athlete such as Jameis Winston, an established athlete like Ben Roethlisberger, a celebrity like Bill Cosby, or even a Joe Schmoe, we need to hold these people accountable. The victim should never, ever be to blame.
Despite all the advances women have made in the last hundred years, we still do not have all the same rights as men or are treated the same.
Emma Watson said, “I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.”
I do not hate men, nor would I even go as far to say I am a feminist, but I believe in equal rights and treatment for all races, religions, genders, etc.
Due to the unbalanced gender standards in society, some people probably still view women as property, which can in turn fuel the mindset that we are just here for men’s entertainment and sexual pleasure. This is not true, and anyone maintaining this view should be ashamed of themselves.
Also, people need to stop saying the victim just wants attention or is lying about an attack (which is illegal in of itself). I've been fortunate enough to never have experienced any physical sexual harassment or abuse, but I can guarantee you, most women would NOT want the negative attention if it wasn't true. Even some women who have actually been assaulted don’t want that kind of attention. Just look at the stat I posted previously regarding how many rapists get away with their crimes. Why would any woman in her right mind want the world to know they were violated if they weren't, especially when the chances of their assailant getting away with the crime anyways are so incredibly high? If true victims can’t always get justice, then certainly a “faker” wouldn't either. Therefore, a woman (in their right mind) most likely wouldn't bother investing time and money in pursuing a false claim.
If a woman decides to meet up with a man she met online and is sexually assaulted, it IS the man’s fault. Even if her original intention was to “hook up”, the moment she decided she didn't want to, that should have been the end of any physical contact. Only yes, means yes.
Females especially need to stick together and look out for each other.
I strongly encourage all females AND males to always, always be aware of your surroundings. If you have a bad feeling about something or someone, you NEED to listen to it because we have instincts for a reason. If you’re dating online, there is nothing wrong with being cautious and putting a potential date’s name into a Google search. These simple, yet important measures could save your life.
If you see something, say something.
Resources or publications to look into if you’re interested in this subject…
#1- The Rape Culture episode of the Generation Why podcast
#2- “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town” by Jon Krakauer
#3- “Finding Me”, by Michelle Knight
#4- “Hope”, by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus
#5- The Invisible War documentary
#6- “Transforming a Rape Culture”, by Emilie Buchwald
#7- “Rape Is Rape”, by Jody Raphael
#8- Killing Us Softly documentary series