A few days ago I got into a discussion with someone about rape culture. That’s a phrase used to describe the ways in which society blames victims of rape and sexual violence, and normalizes that violence (particularly male violence against women). It comes through reporting and discussion on rape cases, through jokes that perpetuate the idea that women should learn to expect violence, and through anything that sexualizes women to the point where they don’t exist as human beings, and that which makes coercion seem acceptable.
The person I was talking with (online) about rape culture denies that it exists, or at least not in the United States and other, in her words, developed countries. It might be, she conceded, a reality in the third world, or in places where women aren’t valued, and don’t have equality. (Again, all this person’s words, not mine.)
Eventually, tired of beating my head against a wall, I gave up trying to persuade this person that rape culture is real. I had more efficient ways to spend my time, like trying to persuade my kitten that she doesn’t need to knock everything off the dresser at night.
Meanwhile I offer you these two amazing spoken word poets on the question of rape culture & consent.
First, “I’m Sorry Poem” by FreeQuency
And then, “Word Choice” by Imani Cezanne
And if you would like to read more about the reality of rape culture you can start here:
What Is Rape Culture – Women Against Violence Against Women