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April 9, 2018 | by  | in Opinion VicUFO | [ssba]

Rape Culture: Society’s Self-Made Monster

No, New Zealand society is not one that outwardly promotes rape.

We don’t commonly engage in sexual violence together as a society. Unfortunately, despite common misconception, this does not mean that rape culture is absent from our society. Rape culture is far more implicit than that, and it isn’t about our collective engagement in, but rather about the way that we collectively think about rape.

And, unfortunately, what we think about rape is… worrying.

Rape culture is, and always has been, a monster of our own making; it is a beast that feeds off the inaction and silence we unwittingly encourage whenever we ask someone what they were wearing, or how much they drank.

It vigorously chows down on the widespread lack of knowledge regarding consent, and the belief that things like one’s fashion or alcohol consumption are acceptable substitutes for consent. It thrives on the ubiquity and acceptance of  street harassment. We go on feeding it with rape jokes, and the laughs that all too often follow. Journalists feed it with every replacing of the word “rape” with “sex” — as if they’re the same thing. It eagerly gobbles up “slut” and “whore” and “hoe”, following such snacks with a full-course meal of unsolicited dick pics, revenge porn, and “locker room talk”.

Needless to say, this particular self-made monster is very well fed.

Just a few weeks ago, we saw hundreds gathered outside parliament to protest the reality of rape culture. We watched people get unapologetically loud over a taboo subject that many of us, even now, feel more comfortable denying than trying to change. And it’s not just here. In the wake of #MeToo, rape culture is and has become a prevalent topic of conversation, turning the light on the dark underbelly of our society that we have long-since avoided acknowledging.

And it’s about time, too — this fucker should have been slayed a long time ago.


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