What is Rape Culture?
In light of the recent headlines over the Jian Ghomeshi incident and the conversation it has started on Rape Culture, specifically the question of why women do not come forward, we felt it was important that before we can begin to have an opinion or more importantly make change, we need to know and understand what Rape Culture is.
Rape culture is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s to describe the way in which society blames victims of sexual assault and normalizes sexual violence. In the words of Jane Kirby, Rape Culture is “ anything that normalizes unwanted, nonconsensual sex. In other words, rape culture is anything that makes rape seem like it’s not really rape.”
Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, or refusing to acknowledge the harm of certain forms of sexual violence that do not conform to certain stereotypes of stranger or violent rape.
These two articles published by the Star, have interesting viewpoints on rape culture in relation to the Jian Ghomeshi situation and the myths surrounding rape culture.
The Star – written by Catherine Porter
Cultivating Alternatives – Nick Montgomery