Rape culture at its worst

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By Rikki Frohmader | Staff Writer

You might have heard the following phrases: “she was asking for it,” “look at the way she was dressed,” “it isn’t possible to rape a man,” “he probably liked it”.

The Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network Organization (RAINN) reports that every two minutes someone, regardless of their gender, race or sexual orientation is sexually assaulted in the United States. This common exploitation adds to the normality of rape and the tendency to blame and shun the victim.

“Americans bend over backwards to make excuses for male violence. This refusal to place responsibility with the perpetrator means we need to place it somewhere else—most often, with the victim. And while victim-blaming is nothing new, its pervasiveness serves as a stark reminder of women’s second class status—where we’re not actual people, just catalysts for men’s actions,” Jessica Valenti, author of Asking For It.

In our society it is necessary to teach a woman how to avoid being raped then to teach a man not to rape.

Sex and images of the female body are a constant in the media, yet we still shame the female for embracing her body simply because we must cater to the animalistic and egotistical ways of the male counterparts. A woman’s attire, attitude, reputation or lack thereof does not make her more susceptible to rape. It is the overt disrespect for women that makes women more likely to get raped.

“If guys were as mad about rape as they are the duck face, we wouldn’t have a rape culture problem,” comic and writer Jamie Kilstein said.

Lack of self-control is not a viable excuse for rape. There is no excuse to commit this heinous act nor to make rape a trivial matter.

Often times this belittling attitude towards women is often brushed off.

“Recently in my health science class, my professor said the following, followed by a fit of laughter: `I’m not saying that women should be raped, but if you are walking around in the ghetto wearing yoga pants, what do you think is going to happen?” Riverside City College student Caitlin Eliason, said.

“He basically insinuated that if women get raped, it is either because they were asking for it or deserved it in some way.

His misogynistic views are clearly indicative of the rape culture in our society. This man is a college professor, who is seemingly well educated, yet still holds outdated and sexist view regarding women,” Eliason continued.

According to the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network Organization (RAINN) an average of 207,754 victims, age 12 and older are sexually assaulted each year. There is a two out of three probability that the victim of the sex crime knows the perpetrator.

The One in Four Organization is a nonprofit group that works to eliminate sexual assault and rape in the collegiate and military realms.

Compiled statistics found that 28 women are sexually assaulted every hour. Of those 28 women raped, 41 percent were virgins at the time they become victims.

But does anyone really crave to deal with the repercussions, both mentally and emotionally that come with sexual assault and rape?

Consider that victims are 26 times more likely to abuse drugs and three times more likely to suffer from depression than someone who has not experienced sexual assault.

There is no loyalty, joy, and beauty in rape. Situations of sex call for respect and consent without the exclusion of either one. Take for instance the recent rape case in Ohio that occurred during the summer of 2012 involving two high school football players and a 16 year old girl. These boys used text messages, pictures, videos, social media and sex to humiliate the victim.

Fortunately they were recently convicted for their crimes and will serve time. This is especially significant considering 97 percent of rapists never actually do time for their crimes (RAINN.org).

Recently in India a 4 year old girl was raped by a 35 year old man. She passed away on April 30th from cardiac arrest steaming from the physical trauma caused by her victimization.

According to the Asian Center for Human Rights, the number of child rapes reported in 2011 in India was 7,112. This number is a drastic change from the 2,113 reported in 2001.

Scenes in New Delhi, India’s capital seemed quite reminiscent of civil rights movements in the United States, as the police sprayed protesters down physically with water.

Of course they could not break them down mentally, as they protested against the government’s inappropriate reaction towards the recent rape cases in India.

Still, much cannot be done to eliminate rape if laws allow it to thrive.

In many cases the victim is not taken into account.

Instead excuses for why the offender committed such a depraved act are the main focus.

Ariel Castro held three women captive in Cleveland, Ohio for over a decade. Not only did he kidnap and imprison the women, but he also raped and impregnated them numerous times.

He is labeled as a perpetual nice guy according to USA Today.

However, he is also being excused for much of his behavior.

Pleading not guilty to his crimes against Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry.

Go figure.

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