So here is a PSA I made for an organization on campus. I went a very blunt, almost satirical route. DEFINITE trigger warning. I wanted to make a point that most sexual assault awareness campaigns are aimed at women, and how they can fight against it. But there is very little out there targeting the men, and how they can stop these things from happening. So.
I am going to touch on this video specifically towards the end of this post, but I think first I have to elaborate on something else. Rape Culture. Does it exist?
No, Rapists are abhorred by society is the short answer.
The long answer, though, is much more substantiated. In order to get a better understanding of rape culture from a feminist perspective I went to look at this:
Now, I’m not saying that this is every Feminists definition of rape culture (it would be a massively sweeping generalisation to do so) however I will say that based on the discussions I’ve had with Feminists concerning the subject this does seem to accurately fit all of their definitions. Melissa McEwan describes rape culture as -
A rape culture is a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm.
In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable as death or taxes. This violence, however, is neither biologically nor divinely ordained. Much of what we accept as inevitable is in fact the expression of values and attitudes that can change
This is, as she puts it, the most basic definition of rape culture. She then goes on to elaborate on this but her elaborations or so completely ridiculous that they would require a separate post to cover, and I don’t to write an entire essay on the subject of one Feminists crazy views on rape culture when they don’t seem to represent the majority Feminist view, as this would be incredibly counter productive. Straight away I see some problems with the rape culture theory based on this definition. Firstly, by claiming (as the Feminist movement does) that Western society is a rape culture they are also claiming that Western society encourages men to rape women. This, clearly, is a fallacy. Having lived in Western society for the 20 years I have existed I can claim without hesitation that I have never been encouraged, nor have seen anyone be encouraged, to rape anyone. But this evidence is anecdotal. To truly see Western cultures view on rape we need look to perhaps it’s greatest achievement- the media. Let’s look at these examples from the mainstream media of how Western Society treats rapists-
Those are just three prominent examples of how Western society abhors rape and despises rapists. This is a far cry from the supposed ‘Rape Culture’ that Feminism paints western society to encourage. Even the Prime Minister of Great Britain, who is the leader of a centre-right wing party, views Rapists as subhuman and I completely agree with him as everybody other than Rapists and an infinitesimally small group of apologists do. A small group of Irish citizens kidnapped and have quite possibly killed a convicted rapist, leaving his arm on a beach as a warning to other rapists or potential rapists in the area. I completely agree with this treatment (I support capital punishment) but that is besides the point. This is clear evidence that at all levels of western society, amongst the leader and the led, rape is abhorred and definitely not encouraged or seen as the norm. Rapists move against the flow of society, they do not adhere to its views or requirements about consensual intercourse.
This brings me quite comfortably onto the video. The reason that Rapists rape is because they are ill. Society does teach young men not to rape. I can recall many times that I have been told in education, even when I was too small to really understand sex, that rape was wrong. Teaching young men not to rape is pointless, because every man know that rape is wrong. Even rapists know this. The thing is that rapists simply do not care, if they were ignorant to the fact rape was wrong they wouldn’t do it covertly or try to hide their actions. They would always plead guilty in court and would not try to excuse there actions with excuses like alcohol consumption or lack of self control. I appreciate the sentiment of this video and the good will behind its creation but really it is a waste of valuable resources which could be better used to help women protect themselves from rape. The reason society teaches women to protect themselves from rape is not because it see’s rape as acceptable, but because it acknowledges that there are unfortunately some very sick and twisted individuals out there and there always will be. No amount of education is going to stop some people from being rapists, however if you educate women how to defend themselves effectively you will see more attempted rapes than successful ones. Yes, it is terrible that there will always be attempted rapes, but it is not something that will ever go away because there are always going to be people out there who, for whatever reason, are driven to rape. If it is a choice between educating men not to rape and still seeing women getting raped or teaching women self defence and seeing potential rapists being just that- potential rapists I know which I would choose