Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Rape Culture: Why is it still being put on the back burner?

Lately, Rape Culture, especially on college campuses, seems to be a much more prominent issue than ever before. From the sexual assault case this Fall of former Stanford diver, Brock Turner, to fraternity houses on Greek Row in Lincoln-Nebraska yelling “No means yes” to protesters in the Women’s March, to the most recent scandal at Baylor concerning an alleged 52 rapes in four years by college football players, it is clear that more than ever this issue can no longer be put on the back burner.

Cases like these three mentioned are just a handful of the enormous number of allegations and cases that occur all over the country regularly, but in most cases are not reported. Why do the majority of cases of something as prominent and inexcusable as rape stay under the radar and not get reported? That’s because, in many cases, they are viewed as just that, “alleged” cases; fake, disprovable, illegitimate stories. Victims sometimes are seen as liars who are just seeking attention. Why come forth about it in the name of justice when it rarely comes?

So I begin to question, as this matter of Rape Culture continues to be a problem all over the country, especially on college campuses, how will we as a society ever activate social change? Well to start off, Rape Culture hasn’t changed in many cases because people don’t identify it as an issue and don’t necessarily want to change it. This is visible through the actions of college Fraternity boys yelling “no means yes” at the women marchers rather than walking by their sides as allies. This is visible by justify Donald Trump’s quote (“when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy”) as just locker room talk and brushing it off.

In many cases, the emotional suffering and hardship the rape victims face is not enough to convince other’s of the severity of this matter, because of that, victims can no longer be the only ones taking a stance on this issue, it will take something more. It will take men standing up to men. It will take constant checks and balances, holding each other accountable for the way we talk about females, their sexuality, or assault in general. Until we as a society are able to successfully persuade and convince all people that Rape Culture is real, that it is inexcusable, and that it needs to be put to an end, it will continue to be an issue that is brushed under the rug.


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