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What is Rape Culture?

Rape-culture-defintion

In a rape culture, people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate rape.

Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

This is what it means when people say that sexism and violence against women are “naturalized.” It means that people in our current society believe these attitudes and actions always have been, and always will be. For more about how rape is engrained in our consciousness, read Lynn Higgins and Brenda Silver’s important collection of essays, entitled Rape and Representation. 

For a quick reference, read Wikipedia's article on the definition of rape culture.

 

Based on 'What is Rape Culture' by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture

 

 

 

Need more concrete examples? Check out Everyday Feminism's '25 Everyday Examples of Rape Culture'.

This resource developed with the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
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