When the media talks about rape, what comes to mind for you? Do you think blame the rapist, or unknowingly blame the victim? Rape culture and victim blaming for women. It’s a huge part of our society, and is shyed away for being taboo. There are two parts to this unpopular topic. But before I discuss that, I want to tell you my own feelings for choosing this topic. My goal in learning about this topic is so I can inform others in my own life exactly what rape culture is, and what they can do to prevent it, as well as victim blaming. This topic matters to me because I see behavior of rape culture in my own community, and hear victim blaming on the news and in the media all the time. Also, I believe that it important for others to know about because it is a topic that people don’t really recognize that much.
Now most people don’t know what exactly rape culture. The true definition of rape culture is society normalizing or trivializing rape of sexual abuse. There are so many examples and instances of rape culture, but to cover all would take at least a week. However, to name a few, rape culture is when people trivialize rape, saying things like “boys will be boys,” defending manhood as dominant and sexually aggressive, as well as putting pressure on men to “score.” Furthermore, assuming that men that are raped are “weak,” teaching women how to not “get” raped, pop music promoted messages such as “she wanted it.” To go on, women being called liars if they report rape is another example of rape culture. Further examples of rape culture include asking a rape victim how short her outfit was, how much she was drinking, or if she was flirting. The list goes on and on. All of these examples are real instances of rape culture.
This image depicts an example of a woman that was told this when she came forward about being raped. This another example of victim blaming in society.
On to part two, victim blaming. In society, there are two types of victim blaming. The people that intentionally blame the victim for the cause of the rape, and the people that don’t fully believe it was the victim's fault, but normalize her actions for being raped. For instance, victim blaming would count as the victim being flirtatious, wearing revealing clothing, making eye contact, and drinking. Sayings that are often associated with victim blaming include “she asked for it,” and “she didn’t say no.”
This picture is yet another example of victim blaming. Words like this is how society puts blame on the victim of rape. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/powerful-pictures-show-how-rape-8310169
There are ways to prevent victim blaming and rape culture within your community. Some examples include avoiding comments that degrades or objectifies women, let survivors know it is not their fault, not putting pressure on men to “score” with women, as well as supporting survivors. From learning about the topic, I know that I want to further educate my peers and community on the matter so they can educate others. Society has problems facing hard topics like this, because we all want to admit we would never trivialize such a horrible thing, but we do. Lastly, there are ways to prevent victim blaming and rape culture, as long as we are educated about it.For more information, you can read all about rape culture and victim blaming here in my annotated bibliography!