Looking back about 50-100 years ago, it is easy for us to feel grateful for the rights and freedoms that we have today. Women can vote, gain an education, pursue a career of their dreams, own a house, buy their own things, debate and write and compete as an equal human being.
My goodness, things are much, much better than they used to be. Yet, with recent tragic events gaining some heavy exposure due to the media, the underlying viewpoint of women becomes evident. Despite the assumption that women are now considered to be equal in North America, one cannot deny that we live in a rape culture. Yes, we do.
CNN reporters sit there sympathizing with highschool football players for raping an unconscious teenage girl, many religions reduce the status of women to a “gift” to be echanged from father to husband, while music and books and porn will sometimes reduce women to sex symbols needing to be “punished”.
I am relatively new to the term “rape culture.” I’ve always been distressed whenever a girl or woman has been raped and the first instinct of most people is to justify why the man or men did it. Why would people assume that any human being who was passed out due to being drunk would be asking to be physcially violated? It doesn’t make sense to me. Sex without consent is not sex!!! It is rape.
A man was recently strangled to death by his friend in a tragic accident. Both of them were drunk. Yet, no one said that the deceased man was asking to be strangled to death just because he was drunk. I suspect that if one of those football player kids passed out after drinking too much at a party and some guy beat the shit out of him, no one would say, “That kid was asking for it.” Nope. And they would be correct. He would not have been asking to be physically attacked.
But put a girl into the scenario and suddenly people feel the need to defend her attackers. Why? This does not make sense to me. But when you live in a society that feeds rape culture, it really should not be all that surprising. As disturbing as it is to egilitarians and feminists, it is a harsh reality that many people still view women in this light.
I have even heard other women say that they can understand why a man would hit a woman if she wouldn’t stop nagging at him or if she kept “getting into his face.” My response to this is this : You always, always have the choice to walk away from someone who is pissing you off. Walk away. Leave the room. Run away if you need to. But don’t hit someone. Anyone. No one made you force youself on that girl who was lying in a snowbank half passed out. That girl wearing the short skirt that you decided to assault? She was having a bad day and wanted to feel pretty – and you just had to go and be a barbaric asshole. There is never an excuse to hit or abuse another human being.
Images, jokes, music, advertising, and laws perpetuate this further by excusing it and even sexualizing it. Look at Fifty Shades of Grey. I shake my head at the women who rant and rave about this piece of crap book that subjects an educated (Albeit insecure) young woman to abuse.
Take a look at Ohio. It was not that long ago that rape in marriage was not even considered rape. Actually, talk to a right wing or a religious guy about the concept of rape in marriage and many of them will say, “Is that even possible?”
One huge detriment of many religions is that they require young women to be virgins before marriage and this essentially demotes them to property. There is of course nothing wrong with someone waiting until marriage if it is their personal choice and belief, but this issue goes much further. This war on women is more subtle in modern religion that exists in developed countries. Most Christian, Mormon, and Muslim men are not tyrants, but at the core, they feel that they are the head of the household and that God has given them authority over their woman when the time calls for it. On a day to day basis, a woman may not feel threatened, but certain situations will rudely remind her of what her role is in the marriage.
I feel for this young girl from Ohio who has been exposed by the media, disowned by her friends, physically violated, etc. My God, she will likely want to change her name once all of this is finished. I hope she does and I hope she stays strong. She was a victim – passed out and then raped (among other horrible things) by two males that were much, much stronger than her.
I feel that you must be a borderline sociopath if you feel that someone consents to being force fucked simply because they have drank too much. Women do not drink with the intention of being snatched up by a violent animal.
If you have found yourself justifying what happened, consider something. That could have been any woman you know. Our sister, friend, girlfiend, cousin, aunt, mother, daughter. Think about it from your own perspective. Maybe you binge drink. Maybe you don’t drink at all. Maybe you drink occassionally and responsibly. Okay. But say one night, you just had a little too much fun. Your friends were too drunk to notice you leaving alone. You trip over something and fall. Feeling sick, you doze off. Then, you wake up in pain. Oh my God, someone kicked your ribs in and you can’t see out of one eye. Were you asking for that just because you were drunk? No, of course not!! Someone decided to take advantage of you because you were an easy target. Can you imagine then, your story is published on social media sites and your image and story is all over the news. Newscasters and the general public are justifying why you were assualted. They are sympathizing with your attacker because he’s only 17 and he has a promising football career.
I wish that this girl could have been protected from being part of a terrible media storm. Her identity should have been protected. She has suffered enough indignification and pain.
Until we can look at a tragedy such as this and think, “Those two young men need to serve time for what they did to an innocent human being. They need help to understand what being a responsible, ethical citizen is” then we still are very much part of rape culture.
I am disturbed.