Yes, we are okay with rape in America

THIS ARTICLE MAY BE TRIGGERING.  FREQUENT DISCUSSION OF RAPE/SEXUAL ASSAULT.

[Ahem, this is technically a response to a Facebook post on a friend’s feed.  You’re coming in at the middle.  Apologies.]

First, let me say I 100000% agree on the power/wealth aspect of our justice system – this is how I understand that our system is inherently racist.  Note that Brock Turner is a young white male, and many exonerees are often black.

However, what you seem to fail to realize is the media has instructed us to believe that rape is not as bad as we make it out to be.  Yes, it has.  I just wrote a paper on how the media has taught us everything we feel/believe about fat people; it would be naïve to believe that it hasn’t done the same with rape.  The thing is, the media doesn’t come outright and say “rape is okay” – it simply makes you believe things about rape that aren’t true.

Let’s start with fictionalized accounts.  How often have you seen/read a “love” scene that started out with the woman protesting and saying “no” but halfway through the assault she suddenly changes her mind and surrenders to her passion?  That’s a pretty common scenario yeah?  I’m way into pop culture media – that kind of thing comes up pretty frequently.  Don’t they make you uncomfortable?  Doesn’t it say something about how we perceive sex/rape?  That a woman who says “no” doesn’t really mean it, she’s just fighting herself?  These scenes effectively teach us to confuse sexual violence with passion.  This is reinforced by parents – how often were you told that a boy only hit you because he liked you?  Very early on girls especially learn to equate violence & attraction.

Not to mention that rape has been shown enough in fiction that we’ve become desensitized to it – shows like Oz or Game of Thrones use it enough that we no longer feel for the characters it’s happening to because we’re desensitized/normalized to the sight.  Even a show like SVU can contribute to that – 17 seasons of rape/molestation/abuse desensitizes us, period. Not to mention that portrayals of rape – things clearly meant to be rape – in film especially doesn’t really paint a whole picture of what rape is.  Rape is always one of two things on film: a stranger in the bushes or a drugged date rape (usually by some rich guy).  It doesn’t show you the boyfriend pressuring you.  It doesn’t show you the family friend grabbing you inappropriately.  It’s what contributes to society believing that only certain kinds of rape count as “real rape.”  This is a prevailing notion in our society – that only some rapes are “real” and others somehow aren’t.  We will refer back to this.

Our music contributes as well.  How many songs can you think of that refer to a woman as a man’s property?  My first thoughts were of Nick Jonas’ “Jealous” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” [Fair Warning: that is the Unrated nude version of the song.  I feel like one needs to see that to get it] – both songs made me uncomfortable with the way they referenced women, and yet both have been top-of-the-charts hits.  There might have been a lot of blowback, but it didn’t stop a famous rapper from releasing a song as a single that was literally about date rape (like, how he was gonna do it)

This is aside from all the different forms of fictionalized sex that portray it as some out-of-control animalistic force.  Think of all the memes on social media about how awesome rough, scratching, animal-like sex is.  Then think about all the ways people excuse a rapist.  There are people out there that really, truly believe that a sex drive (especially for men) is uncontrollable.  They use this to explain why men cheat too.

The real-life media is no better.  Think about all of the articles about rape that you read.  How many of them talk about the victim more than factually about the details of the crime?  Do you ever hear about how she was such a promising law student before a bunch of frat thugs gang raped her?  Or do you hear about how such star-athlete lives are going to be ruined by this charge?  The media starts by presuming the victim isn’t telling the truth.  They focus on what’s going to happen to the rapist, not the victim.  Notice how we don’t do this with murder?  You never hear about how this murder charge is going to ruin a man’s life.  No, then we have all the sympathy in the world for the victim.  The Steubenville OH rape case is a prime example of this type of reporting [Linked is the original report so you can see the type of reporting I mean.  This is a good article talking about the type of biased reporting I’m mentioning. ]

This is partly what scares women off from reporting sexual assaults of any kind.  That and the fact that we hear numerous women talk of the trouble they’ve had reporting.  Our cops are just as biased against rape victims as they are against young black men.  They do exactly what the news reports do – they focus on victim’s dress/substance use/sexual history and sometimes even political views & social media posts to discredit their accusations.  Some women have even been denied the ability to have a rape kit even done!!  Women in the sex trade are automatically assumed to consent even if consent hasn’t been given – “it’s the nature of the work” right??

This is partly why the affirmative consent idea is so so so important.  We’ve taught “no means no” for so long but never mentioned that other things mean no too.  We haven’t told boys that “I don’t know” means no.  That pulling away means no.  That being unsure means no.  Now, if you don’t actually say no then it’s an implied yes – which is not what that should mean.  But it’s why you hear people say things like “well she didn’t say no” because maybe she didn’t.  Maybe she was too scared to.  It doesn’t make it not rape – but people believe that it does.  Again, referring back to what media has told us “real rape” looks like in the first place.  My quote from before was direct – Brock Turner’s father literally thought he shouldn’t be punished because it was “just 20 minutes of action.”  The woman was unconscious so she wasn’t saying no right?

This is pervasive.  Very very pervasive.  Because we still see women as sex objects.  Because even though Trump was caught talking about sexually assaulting women (and he could do it just because he was rich) he is still allowed to dismiss it as locker room talk and people buy it/back it up.  Because Dylan Farrow talks openly about being raped by her father and we haven’t done shit to Woody Allen for it.  Because more women have accused Donald Trump of sexual inappropriateness – from groping to rape – than have ever accused Bill and yet somehow that should disqualify his wife from running for Presidency.  May I remind you: Hillary has never raped anyone.  Because it took 50 women coming forward for people to believe Bill Cosby was a rapist – and he’s still not in jail for it.

Are you beginning to understand how permissive we are of this???

Let me go deeper.  Let me remind you of the myriad of times a judge or politician has said very, very stupid things about rape.  Like “If it’s a real rape, a woman’s body has ways to shut that whole thing down.”  Remember him?  Referring to pregnancy by rape?  According to him, that can’t happen if it’s a “real rape.”  I can come up with like 4+ different men prominent in the public eye saying the same damn thing. (1 2 3 4 – #4 is like a compilation of stupid men.)  Also got one of a prominent politician talking about how “some women rape so easily.”  Like, I got a whole saved document on my computer of the myriad of times some jerk politician has been recorded taking rape less than seriously.  Yet you wanna sit there and tell me that we’re not permissive of rape in this country; we don’t look at is as an okay thing, as acceptable under some circumstances.  Shit.

I haven’t even gotten to the part where we use the word “rape” out of context in so very many ways.  From Ann Coulter claiming a “media rape” of Donald Trump to every little 13 year old shit on X-Box Live who cries out “Yeah you just got raped!!”  Which still doesn’t cover the fact that rape threats are entirely too prevalent on any sort of social media, from the aforementioned X-Box Live chats to Twitter & Tumblr.  Women everywhere are receiving threats of rape at an alarming rate – and even though these threats violate many Terms of Service for these sites, the administrators are slow as fuck at creating any sort of punishment for this type of behavior.  They claim they don’t want to restrict freedom of speech despite the fact that even in a court of law this kind of speech isn’t protected in the first place (and the aforementioned violation of the ToS) Leslie Jones was bullied off of Twitter and among the crap she received was rape threats.  I may not care one iota about the GamerGate shit but I don’t think those women deserved rape threats for their opinions.  Even women brave enough to come out with their sexual assault stories get rape threats as a response.  Read this article too.

Every rape prevention tip you’ve ever seen is directed toward women.  How often do those come out that simply tell men not to do the stuff described above?  Ones that are aimed at teaching men how to give women space/go slow/read body language, etc.?

Remember: rape is all about power/control – media neglects this aspect, makes us feel like it’s about sex.  Again, recurring theme of confusing sex and violence.  I’ve made this simple and talked about men raping women – and I haven’t even gone into the permissiveness of spousal/marital rape – but we’re missing a whole lot of rape that never gets mentioned.  Media never mentions rape intended to “correct” a homosexual/transgendered individual.  We don’t talk about how easily and frequently disabled people are rapedThe biggest neglected group is men especially men who are raped by women.  To many people, this simply doesn’t happen.  To radical feminists this is a literal impossibility (considering all heterosexual sex is rape in the first place.)  My stepfather just had some post on Facebook about how “where were all the hot teachers fucking teenagers when I was a kid, and why can’t these bastards keep their mouths shut about it?”  Like, that’s really, super rapey and I felt entitled to tell him because ew.  But that’s a very common idea – SNL even did a skit about it with Ronda Rousey once (okay, I found it funny, but it’s problematic af.)

But we treat rape like a real crime right? Right?? Right?!?

Fuck that – we are permissive as fuck about rape.  Rape is okay when it’s not “real” rape.  When she’s not saying no.  When celebrities are doing it.

THIS IS WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY OUR CULTURE ALLOWS RAPE.

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~ by ladyruby07 on October 23, 2016.

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