I asked some friends what rape culture is to them. Here are some responses:
“Victim blaming. The fact that people stand behind the rapist more so than the victim. The fact that it is always the victims fault, and that there’s an idea that the clothes a victim is wearing is due to their rape. People don’t question the mal intent of the rapist, just the fact that somehow, some way, the victim brought it upon their self”
“When people ask what the victim was wearing or doing and use it as justification for rape before they ask if the victim is okay (clearly not but still) or when the victims are ridiculed but the criminal is praised or not given punishment equal to or worse than what the victim had to go through. The fact that the victims are afraid to say something about what happened to them because chances are everyone will take the side of the criminal from the beginning or because even when victims speak out nothing happens to the criminals.”
“Rape culture is the personal belief among some members of society that there is a disproportionate likelihood of females being sexually assaulted because society condones it through movies, video games, etc. This is by no means true, and has been shown false many many times, but people keep talking about it as if it’s a reality. It’s a way for people to justify their internal biases, by pretending they have a basis in fact when in reality there is hardly any correlation statistically between a person’s gender and there likelihood of being sexually assaulted during their lifetime.”
“Rape culture is something that has been blown out of proportion with feminists and the media… It is something that they use to put the blame on others and avoid the bigger problem of rape..
I believe rape is terrible but the way that some women speak of it makes rape culture seem like it’s only a problem women face and not something that is a problem in society”
“To me rape is a desensitized word. People are more grossed out or disgusted by hearing words like moist or pussy but the word rape has no effect or reaction. It seems more of a statistic or number rather than an actual problem. to me rape is not seen as big of an issue as it should be. If someone talked about periods and pads and tampons everyone gets uncomfortable and grossed out but talking about rape? It’s usually not the same physical repulsion. I saw this post on tumblr one time that had a pad taped onto a traffic pole in public that read something like “what if people were as disgusted by rape as they are by this pad?” I think people understand the basis that: rape is bad. but a lot of people don’t understand the different kinds of sexual assault and rape and what consent is (aka if you are drunk or unconscious they are not giving consent, they don’t have the ability to) and they don’t understand it can happen to everyone : boys and girls. and it’s being desensitized and being seen as a joking mechanism by saying things like “this test is gonna brutally rape me” (I’ve heard this so many times) and it’s not something that should be jokes around at all. Because it’s not funny and it shouldn’t be made into a joke. Also, it doesn’t matter if a girl is flirty and wears low cut shirt or tight dress or short skirt. that isn’t giving another person permission and it doesn’t mean “she’s asking for it” just because she feels confident in what she wears and her body doesn’t mean she has to be subjugated and treated and talked to like an animal or an object. And just because a guy is weak or submissive doesn’t mean he can be taken advantage of. NO MEANS NO AND IF THEY ARE DRUNK OR UNCONSCIOUS THEN THAT EQUALS TO NO CONSENT. I don’t get how people could force themselves onto another person like that it boggles my mind. It makes me mad that rape isn’t taken seriously and it’s seen that women are being too sensitive or too provocative and women are the ones at fault somehow like don’t get raped!! don’t do this!! don’t wear that!! don’t go anywhere alone at night!! Why can’t people have the decency and ability to NOT RAPE, why aren’t people being told DON’T F*CKING RAPE and also why aren’t rape cases treated as harshly as they should be!!!!?”
While asking many of my peers for their opinions, I find it very interesting that while the females would mainly focus on the victim himself/herself and the way society views them, the males focus more on how men are equally victimized and call for the need for the focus to shift to men more.