Rape culture is EVERYWHERE for a woman and it is a continuous bombardment of how to protect yourself from being raped and what litany of ‘offences’ you are likely to commit in a lifetime that would be paramount to asking to be raped, it is the rampant systematic victim blaming of women who have experienced great trauma and the validation of a justice system that blames the victims for the crimes committed against them, resulting in 97% rapists never spending a day in jail*.
This culture has far more insidious roots than just the expectation and vocalization of women bearing the onus for sexual assaults and rape. It starts in the very real and very surreptitious and habituated idea that women and their bodies are public property; owned and governed by the patriarchy. The overt sexualisation of women in nearly all forms of pop culture, printed media, the internet, music and film is that our cultural psyche starts to erase the existence of WOMEN AS HUMANS and reduces and replaces our existence to merely a body type or even more reductively merely one exaggerated physical feature i.e ‘big tits’ or a ‘big ass’. The degradation and dehumanising of women as a summation of body parts is then thrown into the public sphere for dissection, judgement and criticism. There are countless ways this manifests itself in our social interactions, some of the most obvious being the public discussion and judgement of how women choose to groom their body hair (none of your fucking business), to wear our clothes (so what if I want to wear track pants or a miniskirt), how long our hair is or how big our thighs are (who cares), even our basic human right to contraception and health care is a publicly debated and controlled issue.
A woman is NOT merely a sum of her parts; to be defined by a body type or viewed as a walking ideation of men’s desires. Nor is a woman’s identity solely shaped by the outright rejection of patriarchal values. We are allowed to exist on our own terms; to wear as little or as much hair / clothes / makeup / body fat as we wish, because that is OUR decision and without any of it being a direct relation to how men want us to behave and appear. This criticism of women’s behaviour and appearance also contains within it the added dichotomy and contradiction of being assigned ‘femaleness’ and the dual expectation to be innocent and sexy, but too sexy and you are a slut, to be intelligent but never intimidating, to be ladylike but never ‘girly’, to be strong but never butch, to be independent but never self sufficient. Should a woman err too far on either side she is likely to be swiftly judged and ostracized with complete disregard for her ability and RIGHT to exist on the terms she chooses. When you dismiss a woman’s right to participate in society and make a meaningful contribution and reduce her role to that of her sexuality and the skin that holds her together you dismiss her as a human, as a friend and as someone to be loved and respected. As a publicly owned and governed sexualized object a woman becomes merely a commodity at the mercy of men’s desires.
The most common plea to men’s sensibilities that i hear is ‘what if it was your mother / daughter / sister’ as if the only real way for a man to empathise with a woman’s plight is to understand it in terms of how it affects him. Of course, because women are the property of the men in their life and their actions and appearance is a direct reflection on the men to whom they are supposed to appease and impress. The very notion that RAPE IS WRONG is rarely broached from an angle that women as their own autonomous entity deserve to exist without constant fear of being drugged or violently beaten and held down and raped or assaulted, without being leered at on the street or without being pressured in the workplace to act demure and coy when sexually harassed, without predatory advances from their peers or older men as a teenager, without being made to feel simply as a hole to be entered and conquered only to then be discarded by society as tainted or dirty. Most Rape culture starts from a very young age when little girls are taught to fear men and that all males they encounter in life only want one thing. In the sexually formative years of a girls life it is heartbreakingly common that most girls will find themselves situations where they do not consent to sexually predatory behaviour or where they are coerced or plied with drugs and alcohol. Most of these cases are never reported or considered rape/assault because consent is never explicitly denied. Young girls are taught to internalize these situations as normative and are the building blocks and foundations for most women’s views on sex and consent throughout their life.
This issue is far more epidemic than just affecting a friend of a friend or a story you might have heard second hand – sexual assault is something that effects EVERY woman in the world whether directly or insidiously in the constant bombardment of how to act, what to wear, how much to drink, who to socialise with, where to live, how and with whom to travel… the list goes on. Painfully common is the passing on of this mindset from our matriarchal role models whom have lived through the same painful experiences wishing to spare us from the same horrors. I was violently and traumatically raped. I have been forcefully sexually assaulted more times than i care to recount. Women in my family have been raped. Too many of my friends have been raped or sexually assaulted. Co-workers have been raped or sexually assaulted. The perpetrators have been people they love and trust just as commonly, if not more commonly as they have been strangers. And in nearly every incidence the women have been blamed, dismissed or shamed.
I have never reported any of this to the police; neither have any of the countless women i know with similar experiences. Our justice system does nothing to help victims of rape or sexual assault – women are systematically blamed and their actions or character questioned with little or no reflection or analysis upon the role of men to control their own actions and the simple idea that MEN SHOULD NOT RAPE. Women deserve the RIGHT to be able to live safely and devoid of constant fear of men in their lives and of any situation where they might be taken advantage of or how their actions might be misconstrued to have contributed to being assaulted. This includes the space to have open and honest public discourse on the prevalence of sexual assault and rape to replace the secretive hushed shameful whispers that are shared amongst women to recount the similar horrors we all endure in some way. Please think twice before telling your unfunny and painful rape-jokes or passing judgement on women and continuing rape culture, talk to the men in your life why rape is not ok and STOP BLAMING WOMEN.
- acrazykindofsane likes this
- genesis12a likes this
- prettylittlelife reblogged this from louieknuxxdtd
- tracieewestcoast reblogged this from lookinforastronauts
- louieknuxxdtd reblogged this from lookinforastronauts
- anemonenarcissus likes this
- hndrk likes this
- smallmansyndrome likes this
- lookinforastronauts posted this