Asking For It
It is understood, although somewhat reluctantly, that celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus have a heavy influence on popular culture. It is understood that professionalism and moderation define the standards of corporate culture. It is understood that the customs and traditions of 195 countries make up foreign culture. Culture is an important part of our daily lives: the many various cultures not only diversify, but also integrate American society as a whole. These cultures are something to be respected and honored. However, a lesser acknowledged culture is rapidly growing around the world: rape culture.
The rape of one single woman becomes a horror, a degradation, and a limitation to all women. Most women limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of being raped; men, in general, do not. The female population as a whole is held in an inferior position to the male population as a whole — even though many men do not rape, and many women are never victims of rape: that’s how rape functions as a powerful cycle of constant terror.
Rape culture is sustained through the objectification of women’s bodies, the use of misogynistic language, and the glamorization of sexual violence — creating a society that seemingly disregards the rights and safety of women. Sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media, comedically mentioned in popular television shows such as “South Park” and “Modern Family” and disturbingly used in advertisement campaigns for major companies including Dolce and Gabbana and Pepsi: all to be seen and soaked in by the greater amount of the ignorant, uninformed general population.
Radio hits continuously objectify and sexualize women as things that can be domesticated and liberated. A catchy beat can easily mask the fact that the blurred lines of consent are completely dismissed: in the wise words of lyrical genius Robin Thicke, “You know you want it.”
Because college students that have built up every ounce of courage to report their rape are called liars; because rape jokes are considered a laughing matter; because sexual assault prevention education programs focus on women taking measures to prevent rape, rather than men being told not to rape in the first place; because women don’t feel safe walking home alone at night (but don’t worry ladies, there’s a new app for this one — download the app “Companion” and, voila, all of your rape fears will disappear); because girls are blamed for exposing themselves in ways that are “asking for it,” a society of thriving rape culture is created.
Count to 120. Yes, you may have just wasted 120 seconds mentally processing numbers, but you also just counted up to the rape of another woman somewhere in the United States, as all of the TV shows you watch, advertisements you flip through, media you trust, and music you listen to breed a desensitized country that accepts and endorses an emerging new culture where taking advantage of women is all the rage.