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What Is Rape Culture?

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

Image of text describing the definition of rape culture

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 Wikipedias 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’.