In western society, a woman has so many beauty ideals forced on her, and if she doesn’t comply with them she is deemed undesirable. Social cues also dictate how males and females should interact with one another. I recently watched a video that discussed dating dynamics between males and females in the United States. The video discussed how most men take women on dates with the belief that he is entitled to sex at the end of it, and most women who feel uncomfortable doing so give in for the same reason. The video basically labeled these men as a form of a sexual predator; however, I have not fully resolved my feelings about this. After watching this video, I experienced an influx of thoughts about sexual assaults, its victims, and perpetrators.
There is currently an intense discussion about rape culture in our society,where the victim frequently gets blamed for the sexual assault occurring. This is especially a big deal on college campuses where the element of alcohol is involved, and proper consent is removed. Society bombards young women with all of these ideals of beauty involving tight-fitting revealing clothing, and them blames them when they are sexual assaulted as a result.
I just wanted to take this time to provide a little information about who rapes. It’s also needed because SVU has placed a half- truth to what rape actually looks like. Society says that certain people don’t need to rape, which I find to be ridiculous because who needs to rape? Most victims of sexual assault is actually familiar with his/her attacker. In fact, according to RAINN, 73% of rapes were committed by non-strangers. You could be handsome successful family man and still rape. You could be someone’s best friend or boyfriend and still rape. When a woman is unable to or does not provide consent it is rape. If you buy a woman a drink at a bar in order to lower her inhibitions to the point where she is unable to consent, that is rape.
Have you ever wondered why rape culture is prevalent in the United States? Have you ever wondered why male privilege dictates that the crime is the victims fault? How about how women engage in just as much victim blaming as men? I remember a time in undergrad when a male friend, female friend and I were heading out to a friend’s party. A guy on the bus, in response to seeing my male friend was with two visibly drunk girls (or so he thought), handed him a date rape drug to use on us. I can recall another situation in which a female friend of mine became so intoxicated she passed out and was well on her way to being sexually assaulted until we stepped in and rescued her from the guys carrying her upstairs. When things like this occur, people view it as reprehensible but place the blame on the girl for not knowing her limits rather than the guy who takes advantage of a bad situation. One of the biggest issues I have with rape culture on college campuses is that campus police frequently urge victims not press charges. College is one of the hardest times in our lives for many reasons; the most important being-we are trying to discover who we are and who we want to be as people. I cannot fathom why anyone with a working moral compass would force a young woman to ignore such a clear violation of herself, especially when it leads to bigger problems in the future. Victims of sexual assault are more likely to struggle with depression, substance abuse, PTSD, and even suicide. Yet society acts as though being raped is not a big deal.
I will end this by saying, 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail…