The following includes descriptions, photos, and video that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence.
Please be advised.
Someone asked me today, “What is ‘rape culture’ anyway? I’m tired of hearing about it.”
Yeah, I hear ya. I’m tired of talking about it. But I’m going to keep talking about it because people like you keep asking that question.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, no one says, “Stop.”
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, they can’t get anyone to come forward.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and adults are informed of it, but no consequences are doled out because the boys “said nothing happened.”
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and we later find out that their coaches were “joking about it” and “took care of it.”
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and even though there is documentation of the coaching staff sweeping it under the rug, they get to keep their jobs.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and one of the coaches involved in the cover-up threatens a reporter - saying, “You’re going to get yours. And if you don’t get yours, somebody close to you will.” – but the town is more worried about keeping their coaching talent than his integrity.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, take pictures of the process, and it becomes a source of ridicule along social networks, whitewashing the crime with hashtags.
[Note: Initially, there was an image of two young men holding up an unconscious young girl by the arms and legs. The image has been widely circulated, and its inclusion here was an attempt to find a silver lining in this survivor's tragedy by prompting aversion and self-reflection in the reader, as well as to demonstrate the egregious nature of the crime. However, after measured conversations in the comments section and via email, I have chosen to take it down. It's not my choice to make.]
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and then joke about it on video – saying, ““She is so raped,” “They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!”, “They raped her more than the Duke lacrosse team!”, and she was “deader than Trayvon Martin.” – while everyone else laughs. (Warning: this video will make you sick to your stomach.)
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and the town is more concerned with preserving their football program than the fact that their children are attacking others without remorse.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and the mainstream media laments the fact that their “promising futures” have been dashed by their crimes – as though THEY are the victims.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and even though she’s been through enough, the 16 year old victim’s name is shared on national television.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, but because it happens at a party where both sexes were drinking, complete strangers on the internet argue ferociously that she is to blame for being attacked.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and members of the community issue death threats against the victim.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and it is documented across social media channels, and the media informs us that the takeaway is to be more careful about what we post to social media.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and when a cover-up is exposed by a group of hackers, we call them “terrorists” and the culpable “victims.”
Yeah, I’m talking about Steubenville. Tired of hearing about it? Ok, let’s talk about something else.
Rape culture is when the Steubenville is far from the first instance of athletic clubs covering up sexual violence allegations. See: Sandusky, Michigan State 2010, Arizona State 2008, University of Colarado 2006, University of Iowa 2008, Lincoln High School 2012, University of Montana 2012, Marquette 2011, plus this research (and there’s more to find if you dig)
Rape culture is when universities across the country do not report rape to the police, but handle the matter via “honor boards” - ultimately shielding perpetrators from criminal consequences.
Rape culture is when universities threaten to expel a student for speaking out about her rape (without ever identifying her attacker) because it’s harassment to talk about her suffering.
Rape culture is when a comedian has a long history of making jokes about rape and sexual assault, is defended from backlash by the comic community, and doesn’t lose his fan base.
Rape culture is when a journalist says this ….
I think that the entire conversation is wrong. I don’t want anybody to be telling women anything. I don’t want men to be telling me what to wear and how to act, not to drink. And I don’t, honestly, want you to tell me that I needed a gun in order to prevent my rape. In my case, don’t tell me if I’d only had a gun, I wouldn’t have been raped. Don’t put it on me to prevent the rape.
… and the public responds with this….
Rape culture is when politicians don’t understand how requiring a transvaginal ultrasound of a rape victim seeking an abortion is like raping her all over again.
Rape culture is when political candidates say that God sometimes intends rape, and that some girls just “rape easy,” and that “legitimate rape” does not result in pregnancy… and do not lose the backing of their party or party leaders.
Rape culture is when a speaker at a political convention makes a rape joke about a sexual violence victim advocate, and he brings the house down with laughter.
Rape culture is when we spend all our time telling women to avoid being raped by modifying their behavior, inferring blame back onto the victim.
Rape culture is when stunning displays of privilege and willful ignorance combine to create this.
BECAUSE THIS HAS BEEN A POINT OF CONFUSION – NO, ALL MEN ARE NOT RAPISTS.
THE FOLLOWING AD IS A REPREHENSIBLE ATTEMPT BY AN MRA GROUP TO UNDERMINE PRODUCTIVE DIALOGUE ON RAPE CULTURE BY FALSELY ASSOCIATING IT WITH INFLAMMATORY STATEMENTS.
WE GOOD? GOOD.
Rape culture is when a woman speaks out about rape culture, and gets subjected to this.
Rape culture is when we see ads like these on a far too frequent basis:
Rape culture is when you’re tired of hearing about “rape culture” because it makes you uncomfortable, as your attempt to silence discourse on the subject means we never raise enough awareness to combat it – and that’s part of why it sticks around.
So yeah, I’m sorry you’re tired of hearing about it. But I wouldn’t expect us to shut up anytime soon. Nor should we.
UPDATE: I will no longer be publishing comments which caveat the discussion of rape culture with false rape accusation concerns. There is a reason for this, which you can read here.