Rape culture is a setting in which crimes like rapes, sexual assault and sexual abuse are normalized because of the attitude and reaction of the society towards gender and gender inequalities. Rape culture basically includes victim blaming, misogynistic remarks, slut shaming,objectification of genders,not supporting sexual assault victims and not considering the trauma of rape on anyone etc.
Rape culture not only affects the psyche of a victim but it also damages the concept of social cohesion.It is one of the reasons why rapes and sexual assaults are increasing at a faster rate all over the world. The term ‘Rape Culture’ was first used in the 1970s in the USA during the second wave of the feminist movement.
Rape culture gives birth to a lot of rape myths like women ask for it,women who were short dresses get raped more often etc. Society also uses the aggressiveness of men as an excuse of rape thus normalizing rape. In promoting rape culture sexual objectification of women also play a massive role and in objectifying women media plays the main role. The way women are portrayed in movies creates a worng perception in the minds of men that women are some toys and men have all right over them.
Another factor promoting rape culture is victim blaming. It is a phenomenon where a victim is partially or completely held liable for the crime that was committed against them. For example, saying that a women was raped because of the length of her dress and because she was drunk is victim blaming. It can happen among a victim’s peers or other people in the society. Victim blaming is one of the reasons why women are afraid to come out as rape or sexual assault victims,they are scared of being ostracized by the society. Victim blaming has serious consequences as it helps for the perpetuate a pervasive rape culture. Due to this phenomenon rape victims suffer from various mental illnesses like depression, anxiety etc,this also increases the suicide rate.
Slut shaming is another factor promoting rape culture. This phenomenon is very similar to the phenomenon of victim blaming. It is the practice of disparaging women for violating the “appropriate sexual behavior” norms. For instance,being criticized for wearing short clothes is a most common example of slut shaming.
Rape culture not only affects women but it also affect the psyche of men. It is linked with gender roles thus it deeply affects the psychological condition of all the genders. It has created a worng perspective in the minds of people, ie,if a women gets raped or sexually assaulted then she is supposed to be looked down upon and she becomes a disgraceful person. On the contrary,it is the men that need to learn the importance of controlling themselves. Women and men both are same,they have the right to decide what they want in their life,how should they dress up etc and no can hinder that. One of the most common rape myths is “she was asking for it” ,to be very clear and specific there is no gravity in this phrase. In moments like these,we need to use common sense and ask ourselves a question that why would a woman ever ask for mental as well as physical pain and discomfort.
Rape culture also hides away the importance of consent as it normalizes various inappropriate sexual behaviors like passing bad comments on a women’s body and clothes. After a sexual assault has taken place women find it difficult to come out and report the crime because they fear that the authorities might not trust their claims. Some victims don’t come out and hide the crimes because they think that they have lost all the respect,grace and honour in the society. It is not their fault because these futile norms and myths have been conditioned in them by the society.
To conclude,it can be said that the problem of rape culture is very deep rooted in our society and it is affecting each and every person with different gravity. It is a disease that is making us all ill. Victim blaming and slut shaming needs to be stopped before it’s too late. Put your common sense and empathy before your toxic masculinity. Stop anyone and everyone who jokes about sexual assault and rape and most importantly listen and support the survivors.