It’s an uncomfortable and difficult topic: Rape is the most prevalent sex crime in American culture. Many feminists are accused of misandry when it comes to pointing fingers toward men about rape – but the truth is much more complicated and depressing when it comes to this horrific sex crime.
Rape Culture: It’s not one gender’s fault, and it’s not one gender’s responsibility to change it, either. Men and women can work together to spread awareness, educate, and even lobbying for stricter penalties and stronger prosecution of rapists.
Men and women fall victim to sexual assault. The stigma and aftereffects of trauma follow all rape survivors throughout their lives. Men are not taught to be rapists, but 1/17 men commit the crime of rape. In this group of men, only 6% are considered serial offenders. It’s quite possible that the non-serial rapists are “date rapists” similar to what happened in the Steubenville rape case. The young men involved in the Steubenville case didn’t really seem to understand that their actions constituted the definition of rape.
Jerry Sandusky’s trial led to a new awareness of male sexual assault victims and led to a change in rape laws, updating archaic 80 year old legislation to broaden prosecution of rapists, irrespective of the gender of the victims.
In December 2011, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, approved revisions to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s 80-year-old definition of rape. As approved, the UCR Program’s definition of rape is “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
Prosecuting and truly criminalizing rape, making sure rape is punished via inprisonment, is just one step in killing rape culture. Education about what rape is (and isn’t) could be a powerful tool in combatting rape culture for future generations of men and women.
- Rape Culture and the No More Page 3 Campaign (jessicashenton.wordpress.com)
- Annals of Victim Blaming: First Serena, Then Whoopie (skydancingblog.com)
- Serena Williams On Steubenville Rape: ‘Boys Did Something Stupid, But…Maybe She Wasn’t A Virgin’ (myhoustonmajic.com)
- How Even an Article on Not Blaming Rape Victims Can Blame Rape Victims (womenshealthnews.wordpress.com)