Rape culture is a thing.

Apparently – according to @DD1958, rape culture does not exist:

@DD1958 “rape culture ” is a meaningless term thought up by feminists to pursue a ideologically corrupt agenda.


@DD1958 “Rape culture ” It’s a meaningless label which detracts from real problems regarding rape and abuse.

And in reply to my

Rape culture is a label for a set of cultural beliefs and behaviours which DO exist, and DO support/encourage rapists


@DD1958 Prove it

OK, well here are some things which DO exist (I will continue to add examples to this list as they come up):

Rape culture is more than the acts of rape and assault, it is all the aspects of our culture that implicitly support and permit behaviour that leads to rape.

It starts at the bottom end with the large proportion of films where the hero meets resistance at the first kiss but persists and she gives in.

It goes on through hit songs about “blurred lines” which use the actual words that rapists use.

It includes the normalisation of sexual violence: “I was groped at the club” – “What do you expect – it’s what men do”

It includes the acceptance of random stranger sexual harassment on the street.

For numerous (far too numerous) examples of the previous two, just follow @everydaysexism

It includes people not believing how many students are assaulted on campus – out of hand – without even checking facts for themselves

It includes the concept of “token” or “Last minute resistance” which must be just “pushed on through”

It includes the routine disbelief of rape victims when they report rape, (For the most recent and horrific example, see Rotherham sex abuse scandal)  and the related widespread belief that women routinely report rape against the famous in order to extract money.

It includes the routine victim blaming of rape victims (what were you wearing? How much did you drink? Why did you go there? With him? and so on ad infinitum)

It includes the fact that, in part due to the to elements above, that only around 10 to 20% of rape victims make a report to the police.

And it includes the resulting horrific statistic, that if that is taken into account, then only 1 or 2% of rapists are convicted. The other 98% free to rape again. And many do.

And it includes the fact that someone reading this will say I am making that up.

It includes rape jokes – which rapists see as validating their actions (See, everyone thinks like I do)

It includes cases (albeit in USA) where school athletes rape a school girl, carry her unconscious from party to party as a sort of sex toy, then urinate on her. When it comes out, the local community rally round the rapists, protecting them by destroying evidence, and vilifying the victim, driving her and her family from the town. Then when they are finally convicted (at least 2 of them are) the press concerns itself with their ruined futures rather than the victims lifetime mental scars.

And then the same thing happens again – at another town, just a few months later.

It includes our very own athlete – who AFTER he was CONVICTED, his supporters continued to vilify the victim, sending her death threats, and driving her out of her home.

It includes the sense of entitlement some men have view the pictures of celebrities bodies which brings them to hack cloud accounts to steal and share photographs taken in the privacy of the bedroom – and the subsequent entitlement of the thousands of men and boys (and some women) who think it is OK to share them, or just view them, around the net.

I could go on… and on. But if the above is not enough for you, nothing will be.

You might not like the phrase “rape culture” but the examples described above exist, and the phrase is just a useful way of describing them.

Update – 25th May 2015

I recently found the following comments, written by @NikkiSwarm in a comment thread in which she took on the neanderthals on the ROK website (A pile of misogynistic bullcrap that I will not link to here – but for a hilarious takedown of this and other similar sites see: We Hunted the Mammoth) They provide additional perspective on the nature of our rape culture (Included here with permission of the author).

Rape Culture refers to the ‘yes until you say no’ method of attaining consent that is so frequently the default setting in the US. It also refers to the attitudes of institutions that place blame on victims of rape, defend perpetrators of rape, or perpetuate the acceptability of violating behavior in public spaces. As a teenager, for example, my public school sex ed class was taught that if a man gets too aroused, he cannot stop himself from having sex, so, if you lead someone on and get raped, it’s your fault. I was 13. I was in the 8th grade. Rape was already my fault. That’s rape culture. Rape culture asks what you were wearing if you claim you were assaulted. Rape culture asks if you’d been drinking if you were assaulted. Rape culture accepts that men will yell at women on the street, and touch women without asking in public spaces. Rape culture also tells men that they can’t be raped. Rape culture stops men from reporting rape. Rape culture shames men into accepting sexual assault rather than speak up. Rape culture is real. You live in it and so do I. It is bad for everyone. It is not a gendered issue. It is a human issue.


OK, so the issue you’re having is in distinction of terms. “Rape Culture” refers to a culture that allows or encourages non consensual behavior and/or discourages speaking out about such behavior, or making reports when such behavior goes too far. Rape Culture does not mean that every one the streets is about to go rape someone, it means that the culture has all the wrong nutrients that allow those behaviors to grow and develop. This applies to everyone, male and female. Pointing out Rape Culture, is a prevention strategy, that helps those of us who were raised within it to identify ideas or behaviors that are not conducive to establishing a consent culture. The goal of the feminist movement that has defined rape culture is to establish a culture of consent. Any other purpose that the term Rape Culture has been used for is a misappropriation, and should not be used as a means of ignoring an obvious problem. The 1 in 4 statistic is not made up, despite claims on this website that it is. In fact, in my experience getting to know survivors over the years I have found a much higher number to be true. And even if it were half that (which it isn’t), even if it were 1/8, is that not an unacceptable epidemic? How many people need to be raped before we consider this a four alarm fire? This is an issue that requires an active investigation into how our culture develops these behaviors. Everyone should take part in the discussion, not stand on either side calling each other liars.

2 thoughts on “Rape culture is a thing.

  1. Political expediency? What on earth for? All the examples above are actual culture (films, music) or are informed by our shared cultural perception of women (believability) abuse and rape (entitlement, victim blaming etc) Together, they form a part of rape culture. There are many many other aspects of rape culture.

  2. All of the above examples are generally abusive behaviour or sexism. How you define “rape culture ” is unclear. The very real fact of sexual abuse and sexual harassment? Are they now “rape culture “?
    No I am afraid that you cannot make such sweeping generalisations and lump them all together under a shock banner for political expediencey. It doesn’t work.
    Thank you for taking the time to express your opinion.
    Loving -kindness

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