What is Rape Culture, anyway?
These stories discuss sexual violence and may contain graphic information that may be upsetting for some readers. Please be aware and practice self-care.
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Rape Culture in the Media
Rape culture is a term that means they ways in which rape and sexual violence are minimized, condoned and supported by common behaviors and attitudes in our culture. For example, the ways in which the media cover rape stories (when they do cover them) in which they often blame the victims and make excuses for the rapists. Or the commonly held belief that "No means yes," and the multitude of media representations of women and sexuality in film, advertising and music that promote the idea that men are sexual aggressors and women are only valued as objects of male desire (and are denigrated as sluts and worse if they should dare to embrace their own sexuality, thus deserving any vitriol or violence they might experience). Because of the overwhelming prevalence of these messages in society, these attitudes and behaviors are normalized and accepted as the norm, which, in turn, increases the prevalence. Below are a few examples, starting with the impetus for this organization.
Steubenville. So many things on Steubenville. Here's another. I could go on, and on (and on). The video below is awful, truly horrible. It's so terrifying to think that this kid actually thinks this is acceptable, much less funny. And the thing that was most terrifying was that this was not one boy, one isolated incident, this continues to be reproduced in our society, over and over again. And this is not so much a failing of one boy, or even a group of kids, but a failing that went far beyond this one small community in Ohio. A failure that reaches throughout our whole society. Here are more examples: this one from Canada, and this one from Michigan, and this one from Disneyworld (yes, Disneyworld). Parents, educators, politicians and the media contribute to this failure in a multitude of ways. We are failing to create a society of young people who understand how to respect one another, how to have healthy relationships, how to stand up for people in trouble, how to be ethically sexual human beings. This is what we seek to change through PARC.
Rape Culture in Music
How 'bout some song lyrics to illustrate rape culture? Here's a Rick Ross song from this spring. And in case you were on a media fast, here's info on Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," which was called rape-y from the get-go, inspired angry responses, and is now being banned from many college campuses.
Oh, right, and we can't forget about the VMAs, since that's where we learned that the issue was all about Miley, because, seriously.
Rape Culture Affects Men, too
And girls aren't the only ones affected by rape culture; it affects boys too. And then there's the military. Both men and women are victims there, too. Rape culture is bad for society - for all of us. And it needs to change. That's why we're here. And part of our vision is to also show you the good work that is being done to change rape culture already. Check out our Progress tab for all the positives we've come across recently. We can make a difference. Like ripples spreading out from a single drop of water, we create widespread change.