If it’s one thing I am sick of in this world (there’s actually a lot of things I’m sick of), it’s rape culture.
How many times have I been told my skirt is too short when it is just above my knee? How many time have I been told to cover up by shoulders because my spaghetti straps are too revealing? How many times have I been told that backless dresses are scandalous? It’s a back for goodness sake, not my boobs!
In case you don’t know what rape culture is – it is a society where sexual assault, rape and violence are normalized. Examples of this is when:
- A women is asked what she wore and if she was drinking when she comes forward about being raped or assaulted.
- People say that the victim was ‘asking for it.’
- Mainstream music repeatedly say “I know you want it.”
- Sexual assault and possible rape is a given when you enter college/university.
- Young girls are encouraged to dress modestly when young boys should be encouraged to respect women.
- Advertising like this exists:
She looks like she’s about to be gang-raped.
- When 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have experienced rape or sexual assault but only about 50% report it due to fear of stigmatization.
- Rape jokes are tossed around like they don’t mean anything.
It’s not a female problem. It’s a cultural problem where both men and women are harmed in the process. So far, I’ve read articles that state that rape culture doesn’t exist because it’s just a ‘fancy title where women blame men.’ Well, no. Men are raped as well. It just cannot be denied that women are mainly at the brunt of rape culture.
The genital mutilation chapter of ‘The War on Women & The Brave Women Who Fight Back’ is a perfect example of how rape culture exists everywhere. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is rape. Young girls as young as 6 months in Africa, Europe and the Middle East experience the excruciating pain of having their clitorises removed and their labia sewn up. All to control their sexuality. The labia will be loosen for menstruation and when they are married and then further loosed during child-birth. I don’t any of us can properly imagine the pain they experience. I don’t why the culture of controlling female sexuality has existed so long. It’s simply illogical. Members of the Group of the Abolition of FGM has dedicated their lives to eradicating such a brutal practice. It’s practice that is part of a culture and whilst we must be respectful to different cultures, I don’t think we can tolerate such a practice.
I love how so far the book is so realistic with no beating about the bush or sugar coating. But despite this, there is still that sliver of hope and inspiration when you read about the women who dedicate their lives to fight against this sort of thing. I’m in the middle of the chapter about the Argentinian Dirty Wars which is so fascinating because it’s a part of history I’ve never heard of. Well, we can see that the history we learn in school is also biased.
There’s today’s rant.
3 more days till the release of ‘War on Women & The Brave Women who Fight Back’