Rape Culture: What Is It And How Can We Stop It?

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Rape culture refers to the tendency of seeing violence and misogyny as an expression or a part of the culture. It normalizes sexual violence, promotes sexist behavior and hold women accountable for their rape. So, how the rape culture propagates and what we as a society should do to end it?
Rape Culture- Delik House
Illustration Credit: Sabba Khan/Abrams Books

“While an act of Murder annihilates the physical frame of the victim, a Rapist demeans the soul of the women!”

Source: Infographic: What Is Rape Culture?

What is Rape culture?

Rape culture refers to the tendency of seeing violence and misogyny as an expression or a part of the culture. It begins with our everyday use of sexist language and prominence of sexual violence in popular culture in society. It is pervasive in nature.

The term Rape Culture was first coined in the 1970s which refers to the ways in which society blames victims of getting raped or any sexual assaults. It also normalizes sexual violence and starts accepting it as a part of culture or tradition.

Rape is a very powerful tool of oppression to hold women, limit their growth and subordinate them to the male population. The act of Rape is a mere excuse use to control women’s action and behavior in society. This culture of violence is a social aspect of Rape.

Even though not all men are rapist but it is easy to trap an individual in the fear of rape or sexual assaults and claim dominance on them. It is a vicious cycle of fear which that constitutes Rape culture. It is deep-rooted in patriarchal beliefs, power and control.

It teaches the society the notions of ‘Don’t get raped’ rather than ‘Don’t Rape’.

Some of the relevant examples of Rape Culture are

  • Objectification of women’s bodies!
  • A woman says NO, it means YES!
  • Rape Jokes
  • Toxic Masculinity
  • She was Drunk!
  • She came home late at night!
  • ‘Men will be men!’
  • Placing Honour in a women’s vagina.
  • Victim Blaming

Unfortunately, we live in a society which normalized rape with a rapid increase in number rather than raising awareness and taking effective steps to stop such barbaric phenomena.

Events such as eve-teasing, groping, flashing, revenge porn, staking, etc. are mere consequences of sexist behavior which also normalizes the context of rape. All types of violence against women are a major part of systematic Rape culture.

Rape culture is 1 in 6 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.

Rape culture is not even talking about the reality that many women are sexually assaulted multiple times in their lives.

Rape culture is how the constant threat of sexual assault affects women’s daily movements. Rape culture is victim-blaming.

Rape culture is a judge blaming a woman for her own rape.

Rape culture is a minister blaming his child victims.

Rape culture is accusing a child of enjoying being held hostage, raped, and tortured.

Rape culture is spending enormous amounts of time finding any reason at all that a victim can be blamed for their own rape.

The Concept of Rape Culture is Becoming Mainstream

Source:  Number of times the terms ‘Rape’ or ‘Gang Rape’ appears in The Times of IndiaHindustan TimesThe Hindu and The Indian Express, 2009-2016.

India has become one of the dangerous places for women where a six-year child is raped and killed, a sixty years old women are raped, a six months newborn is raped or a daughter is raped by her own father and many others.

According to the government’s data every hour, nearly four to five women are raped and many are not even reported. These situations possess a direct threat to every single woman’s life and also restrict their pattern of growth.

There is also another major problem contributing to the growth of such tradition is a culture of misogyny, aggressiveness and normalizing violence against women. 

Rape culture is rooted in sexism, hetero-sexist, and other interlocking systems of oppression, which we see reflected in attitudes, inequities, and everyday realities. 
Source: Rape Culture Pyramid

Few Ways In Which We As A Part of The Society Can Bring About Change And Stop This Culture of Violence:-

  • Let’s redefine the concept masculinity and understand the difference between masculinity and toxic masculinity and the harmful effects of it in the lives of men, women and transgender.
  • Sex education should be made mandatory for everyone; access should be given to every section of people.
  • Have zero tolerance towards any sort of violence, sexual assaults, eve-teasing or comments.
  • Society should start listening to the Victims and accept them. Victims should not be treated as someone different or face embarrassment in public. We should remember they need cooperation than sympathy.
  • More investment in women. Self-programme should be introduced from the school level. The more empowering and more self-resilient attitude should be induced in them by parents and society. Judiciary body needs to be more efficient, seven years to give justice is very unfortunate for our country.
  • End impunity.
  • Rape is a serious issue in society; it is not a joke material.
  • Stop Victim Blaming. Teach our sons not to rape rather than teaching our daughter don’t get raped!
  • Let’s understand what rape culture is and understand its root causes.

Let’s join hands together and stop the toxic culture which questions one’s dignity and limits individuals’ growth. Stay aware. Spread awareness.

References and Citations

  1. RAPE CULTURE- Marshall
  2. Top 11 Organizations in India that Help in Cases of Molestation, Sexual Abuse & Violence [in 2020]
  3. Rape culture isn’t a myth. It’s real, and it’s dangerous- Vox
  4. Rape Culture- The University of New Hampshire
  5. 16 ways you can stand against rape culture- UN Women
  6. Rape Culture-  Saint Benedict & Saint John
  7. Rape Culture- Brandon University
  8. Infographic: What Is Rape Culture?- Feminism in India
  9. Rape Culture Pyramid- 11th Principal Consent
  10. Revealing the Cultural Patterns of Rape Culture- heart-head-hands.com
  11. Rape culture in India- Times Of India
  12. Sexual Violence: India’s Serious Problem, Its Men- The Economics Times
  13. Redefining the Rape laws in India: a constructive and comparative approach
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Ayushi Dwivedi
Ayushi Dwivedi
3 years ago

Something that we really need to read everyday!!!!

Jyoti Singh
Jyoti Singh
3 years ago

Rape Culture develop when the society lets a sexist exists… Slowly, his actions are forgiven and then the rape culture develops.

Sarbajit das
Sarbajit das
3 years ago

Nicely said

Trisha Barik
Trisha Barik
3 years ago

This is a brilliant piece of writing to begin with. The eloquence will have a great hold upon the masses! This writing isn’t just about information but an impeccable portrayal of the contemporary society.

Mark Loewen
Mark Loewen
3 years ago

“Males are also getting raped…why not anyone talking about it?”
I hear this a lot and to whoever this concerns, I am telling on behalf of all of us that rapists rape the victims not the gender and patriarchy plays a huge role in instilling a sense of superiority and courage in them.
BTW great article and I loved the points that were associated with them.

Sanjit Ghose
Sanjit Ghose
3 years ago

Very Nice and to the point article emphasizing on the culture. The very thought process of Gender Inequality comes from education at home. This shapes your thought and build your culture. Then it comes to society. Then society provides education, makes stricter rules to maintain this culture. Those rules becomes law and keep the society in order. If any steps of this chain gets loosen the problem reappears. So far not a single country followed this route So the rape and assault increases every year inspite of Only stricter rules and punishments even in developed countries. Keep on writing like… Read more »

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