What is Rape Culture?

Rape culture can be seen as a “a culture in which dominant cultural ideologies, media images, social practices, and societal institutions support and condone sexual abuse by normalizing, trivializing and eroticizing male violence against women and blaming victims for their own abuse” (Huffington Post).

Essentially, rape culture is when violence against women is justified and encouraged.

With that being said, it is a growing trend in modern society to make sexually derogatory and explicit jokes toward females. Yes, comedy is based on making light of tragic situations, but rape jokes and puns that trivialize sexual assault only further demonstrate our inability to deal with these complex topics. Rape culture is also perpetuated through victim blaming – when the victim of a sexually violent act is questioned about their outfit, actions, and alcohol consumption.

In the United States alone, 17.7 million mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and granddaughters have experienced attempted or completed rape (RAINN). Yet when people joke about such terrible situations or question the validity of a woman’s claims, these victims are made to feel insignificant or that the assault is a result of their actions.

**It is important to note that while sexual assaults and rape happen to men, rape culture directly applies to women. The concept in itself describes a culture in which sexual violence against women is normalized. With that being said, a majority of this project focuses on rape culture and how it affects women in general and on college and university campuses.**


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