Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Introduction to Rape Culture

Rape Culture

Emilie Buchwald, author of Transforming a Rape Culture, defines Rape Culture: 

“[...]a complex set of beliefs that encourage 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 . . . However . . . much of what we accept as inevitable is in fact the expression of values and attitudes that can change." (Women Against Violence Against Women, Accessed April 2,2014.

“ [Rape Culture is…] perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language
 the objectification of women’s bodies,
 and the glamorization of sexual violence,
 thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety." (Marshall University

What does it look like everyday? 

Sexualized Violence in all forms of pop culture 

Sexual Harassment on the street

Victim blaming for rape and sexual assault 

Acting like men are animals who cannot control themselves 

Hours spent teaching women to protect themselves against rape instead of teaching men not to rape 

Defining masculinity as sexually aggressive 

Music videos that treat women as disposable objects 

There's always more. Please check out these resources for more information on rape culture and we would love to know what you think:

25 Everyday Examples of Rape Culture

#rapecultureiswhen #aafvsa #joinvoices #notbuyingit


  1. You ignore male victims which is what happens when people are ignorance of the victimization and perpetration statistics of both sexes. If you wish to advance objectification as a cause you'd have to show how it drives women to sexually abuse men. Try reading the studies on the subject that include both sexes equally and doesn't narrow the definition of 'rape' or sexual violence to crimes of penetration and you'll start to see the big picture.

    1. Hi Edward,

      Thank you for responding and your willingness to engage in the topic. Our main goal is to start a conversation about this so we can all learn and grow together when it comes to the prevention and assistance to victims of sexual assault.
      I see your point about my post not mentioning male victims. I did not mention that they too are victimized by sexual assault and rape. I should have because all too often male victims are ignored and do not find the care they need. If you want to add more information regarding this, please do, we would love to hear what you can provide to inform us all.

      However, I must also mention that we emphasize the victimization of women, because statistics demonstrate that women are overwhelmingly victimized by sexual assault and rape in the United States. RAINN maintains 9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003 or 1 in 6 American women vs 1 in 33 American men have been victimized by attempted or complete rape- of which, most are perpetrated by men ( Also, that number DRAMATICALLY increases in places of conflict around the world (UN

      So, in our discussion about “Rape Culture,” we try and discuss the greater issues of the myths & glamorization of sexual assault and rape, and as indicated by the stats, the majority of victims are women victimized by men. There is very little data to suggest that men are ‘equal’ in scope and occurrence of both sexual assault and rape (in the US) or that women are common perpetrators.

      Men are certainly victims to a violent, limiting, narrow-minded mainstream culture. However, the power of Rape Culture exists in a skewed gender bias that often privileges the hetero male gaze. In other words, men possess the privilege of not having to be viewed as commonly as women as public property, hyper-sexualized, objectified, dehumanized, and normalized violence. It’s absolutely worth discussing that men are victimized too, but it would be fairly inaccurate to suggest that men are victimized in the same capacity as women in "Rape Culture."

      Outside of a discussion of who is being perpetrated more, we do want to focus on the big picture, which is disrupting our "normal" culture which includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, laws, language, common phrases & imagery, that make sexual violence seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable (or kind of normal). It's not and it shouldn't be for anyone regardless of sex, sexual preference, age and the like (

      Thank you again,