Rape, it seems to be an uncomfortable word for most people to hear or talk about. Whether it’s just embarrassing or a sore subject most people just don’t like to talk about it. There is a certain stigma that surrounds rape and that is the main source of the problem. There is rape culture in this country that leads men and women in this country to believe that in certain situations rape is okay. Whether she was “dressed like she was asking for it” or was passed out drunk, these are not excuses for rape. I believe that if people were more educated about rape and there were harsher punishments for rapists that this would become less of a problem in the United States and worldwide. There is a long history of rape culture and movements to end it.
How is Rape Defined and What is the Issue
Just recently as of January 2013 the definition of rape was changed on a national level. The old definition went as, “The carnal knowledge of female forcibly and against her will.” (fbi.gov) .This definition was recently changed because it was too broad and different jurisdictions interpreted it differently to disenfranchise certain victims. The new definition goes as follows, “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” (fbi.gov)
Some people do not understand the definition of rape. Recently a photo went viral on the internet asking high school students when they thought rape was acceptable. The students were asked and the answers were alarming. According to the photo obtained from thescooping.com, 54% of the male students thought it was okay to rape a female if she starts to have sex with him and then changes her mind or if she leads him on. Then another 39% thought it was okay to rape if he spent a lot of money on her or she was passed out drunk or stoned. These statistics are part of what make up the rape culture.
Other studies show similar beliefs about the rape culture and victim blaming. “…would not directly blame the victim for her assault but expressed the belief that women put themselves in bad situations by dressing a certain way, drinking alcohol, or demonstrating other behaviors such as flirting” (McMahon,2011). These perceptions mean that men think that it is partly the victims fault when she is sexually assaulted. This thought process needs to change. Rape started before the mini skirt was invented.
“Rape is called the most underreported violent crime in America. In a large national survey of American women, only 16% of the rapes, approximately one out of every six, had ever been reported to the police.” (aardvarc.org) Another issue that goes along with rape culture is the fact that it is not reported very often. This is usually, from my knowledge of volunteering at a rape crisis center, because the victim is embarrassed, is scared of retaliation from the rapist, or is...