Rape Culture and Victim Blaming

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Harvey Weinstein and the Bill Cosby scandals are examples of how rape culture has become so normalized and how sexual violence have been excused by the media and pop culture. Acceding to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), women through the ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely to being victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. The significance of the statistics is how society made sexual violence socially acceptable and managed to desensitize the public. People react negatively to women who were harmed and put the blame on them for not distancing themselves from the situation and not fighting back.

Rape culture does exist but, the public has become accustomed to it because it has become institutionalized in society. One of the ways rape culture manifest itself is by how society turns a blind eye towards it and makes people numb towards it. Such as, bombarding us with gratuitous amounts of gendered violence.in movies and television. Telling women how to avoid getting raped or harassed because if they do not, their accusations will not be taken seriously. Defining manhood as dominant and sexually aggressive or assuming only promiscuous women get raped. (Marshall University). Attitudes further normalizing rape culture is the normalization of hyper masculine behaviors in young growing boys. Men who grow up with these attitudes grow up believing it is alright to tell sexually explicit jokes, pressure their male counterparts to score, and to trivialize sexual assault (Rape Culture, Victim Blaming, and The Facts).

Another way rape culture is portrayed through victim blaming. According to the Psychology Benefits Society, Because of our culture's relentless focus on appearance, women are constantly turned into objects (3 Components of Rape Culture and What You Can Do to Fight Back). Meaning that people will put the blame on victims because women have become so sexualized that many believe that the victim must have provoked the attacker in some type of way and that it is the victims fault for not protecting themselves from the undesirable experience. Victims are also being publicly scrutinized over how they were dressed or acted and if they were not raped then they should just tolerate being sexual harassed. The victim-blaming attitudes make it harder for future victims feel uncomfortable to come forward and report the abuse (Rape Culture, Victim Blaming, and The Facts). But what many critics are saying is that it is not only women getting sexually assaulted, it can also be men.

According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network(RAINN), About 3% of American men's or 1 in 33' have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (Rape Culture, Victim Blaming, and The Facts). Sexual assault of men is thought to be greatly under-reported since only weak men get assaulted. (Rape Culture, Victim Blaming, and The Facts). Plus, not all men are rapists and are harassing anyone they see fit. There have been cases that women have falsely accused a man of rape such as the Duke lacrosse case which was a 2006 criminal case in which three members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team were falsely accused of rape (How The Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Became A Stain On The Legal System). However, reported sexual assaults are mostly true, with very few exceptions. According to Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence (CONNSACS), only 2% of reported rapes are false. This is the same rate of false reporting as other major crime reports. (Rape Culture, Victim Blaming, and The Facts). But, in general women between the ages 18-24 are more likely to experience sexual violence than men (Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics | RAINN).

To conclude, rape culture does exist, but we have just become so numb to the sexual violence we see every day. Society has made it socially acceptable to accept the sexual violence and blame the victim for something they did not wish for. Men and women of all ages, races, religions, and economic status can become potential victims of assault. Imagine it happening to a close family member or friend. It could be your sister or brother. Are we committed to help victims who have been assaulted and used, or are we going to let them live in horror? If we help people to become aware of rape culture and change the way we think, it can help fight against sexual violence.

Works Cited

Rape Culture, Victim Blaming, and The Facts. 26 October 2017. .

Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics | RAINN. .26 October 2017. . "3 Components of Rape Culture and What You Can Do to Fight Back." 18 February 2014.

Psychology Benefits Society. 26 October 2017. . "How The Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Became A Stain On The Legal System." 29 December 2016. The Huffington Post. 29 October 2017. . "Marshall University." n.d. Womens Center. 26 October 2017.

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Rape Culture and Victim Blaming. (2019, Dec 12). Retrieved November 29, 2023 , from

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