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Male Predators And Female Prey: Gender Roles And Rape Culture

2567 words - 10 pages

In American society, there are so many cult-like obsessions. The culture of social justice is one of them, and unfortunately the most prominent. A facet of social justice is rape culture, which was coined as a culture during the second wave of feminism during the early 1970’s and was, according to the encyclopedia of rape, “often used by feminists to describe contemporary American culture as a whole.” (1) Rape culture, by definition though, is “a culture in which rape and other sexual violence (usually against women and gender diverse peoples ) are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or encourage sexualized violence." (2) At its earliest beginnings, rape culture was more viable. However, today, in 21st century America, one must wonder, why is this even still an issue? Furthermore, one must deliberately consider just why rape culture only applies to women as victims of sexual violence instead of people of sexual violence. Men, for example, are not regarded as victims, ever. Apparently, men cannot be sexually assaulted. Rape culture allows for “gender diverse peoples” but they’re certainly not talking about men. Unless of course, those men just happen to dress as women and are raped because they are mistaken for women. But you see, therein another can of worms is opened, because it specifically relates to women and people who look like women. Sounds a bit ridiculous to me. I can’t remember a time when rape was ever a parlor joke. In America? In the 21st century? No damn way.
In all actuality, rape culture is the perpetuated myth that all men have the potentiality to become rapists. This in turn, makes every woman a victim of their rapist’s potential. In fact, it is one of the most sickening displays of sexism that exists in American society today in which a few popularized internet cases gain fame because of their unique situations. For instance, back in August of 2011, there was a case out of Steubenville, Ohio in which a sixteen-year old girl got drunk and was violated by her peers. The boys took pictures of the attacks and posted them on social media, sent them to friends, etc. Why did this rape case make headlines? Because it, in its essence, showed rape at its most unbelievable form. All the stereotypes were there ready for the media to have a field day over. And when we have media cases like this, who is going to argue that rape culture doesn’t exist? I will. Because it’s bullshit. I don’t claim to be a news know-it-all but I will say that in my twenty-one years of life I have never seen a case where a male victim’s case was as heavily popularized. This is excluding the case of Mary-Kay Letourneau, a Washington school teacher who engaged in a sexual relationship with a 12 year-old male student, which is the only one I can even remotely recall. But that’s the real problem. Male victims, who total over 300,000 incarcerated males and innumerable amounts more who do not report...

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