While there are many problems in the world, like poverty, famine, cancer, and an abundance of carbon emissions into the planet, there is one that has been in the back of my mind for quite some time: rape culture. This issue is vastly popular in the world of bloggers and social networking site, tumblr. It’s slowly progressing into an important issue that the public is acknowledging. Reviewing the issue’s historical, social, political, cultural and economic perspectives will entail rape culture’s controversy.
Rape culture is an issue that has gained moment through the feminist movement within the last couple of decades. Rape itself has been around since the beginning of time and its definition has changed over the years. In the United States before 1993, a woman could not charge her husband for rape. The definition of rape varies by state and each state has it’s own set of rape laws. According to Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), rape culture “is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s. It was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence.”1 Rape culture existed in the 1970’s and still exists today.
The biggest issue with rape culture is that there’s a split decision on whether it exists or doesn’t exist. Any girl (or woman, to be politically correct) experiences rape culture without knowing that, in fact, it is rape culture. Tumblr user vonmoire describes rape culture as:
“[Living] my life with the ever burning anxiety that someone is going to put their hands on me regardless of my feelings on the matter, and I’m not going to be able to stop them. I live with the knowledge that statistically one in three women have experienced a sexual assault, but even a number like that can’t be trusted when we are harassed into silence. I live with the learned instinct, the ingrained compulsion to keep my mouth shut to jeers and catcalls, to swallow my anger at lewd suggestions and crude gestures, to put up my walls against insults and threats. I live in an environment that necessitates armoring myself against it just to get through a day peacefully, and I now view that as normal. I have adapted to extreme circumstances and am told to treat it as baseline. I carry this fear close to my heart, rooted into my bones, and I do so to keep myself unharmed.2”
Girls and women are taught that cat calls on the street are normal and to just brush it off. Women have to deal with rape culture every day. Women can’t be out and about at three in the morning in fear of being raped. When I went to Sear’s Driving School, the instructor told every single girl in the class to lock the doors as soon as we get in their car in case anyone tries to attack us or rapes us. Women are told to be mindful of what they’re wearing because if they are raped, someone is going to blame their outfit for being raped. Society has taught women that it’s normal to be seen as sex objects and...