Mercer Cluster

Rape culture: get sober consent

Amanda Barrentine

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In today’s society, it seems that more and more problems are arising that weren’t as popular or as newsworthy as they might have been several years ago. One such problem is rape, and the perpetuation of rape culture in our very own society. We live in a world that finds it entirely too easy to blame the victim of rape for even daring to mention his/her assault and to sympathize with the rapist who suddenly finds themselves with their lives ruined due to jail time or the like. Most people, of course, don’t even see this as a problem; they generally try to find every excuse to say that the rapee brought the assault on themselves, and that it’s really not the rapist’s fault.

However, before I go into what’s inherently wrong with the previous assumption, I should define what is considered rape culture. According to Force: Upsetting Rape Culture, rape culture is where “people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate rape.” This can include such things as jokes, musical lyrics, TV and words that make such violence seem so normal that people believe it is inevitable. An example of rape culture would be the way that society teaches women not to get raped instead of men not to rape. Because clearly it’s women’s fault that these men cannot control their desires.

How disturbing is it that women should have to learn how to defend themselves against attackers that could come from anywhere? Should we not be teaching our young people NOT to rape? Instead of having the example that was set by the Georgia Tech Phi Kappa Tau email of “Luring Your Rapebait,” should we not be teaching those young men to take care of others without thinking of their sexual desires first? With this perpetuation, we are only continuing to say that such violence will go unpunished, and that is not the kind of world that anyone should want to live in.

What is so disgustingly wrong with the assumption that a man or woman “brought the rape on themselves” comes in two parts. One is that someone could even be accused of having such a crude and violent action brought upon them, as if they asked for it. Because, let’s face it, who asks for that kind of thing to happen to them? Who wakes up and thinks that they feel like being raped that day? The answer to that, ladies and gentlemen, is absolutely nobody.

To go into a general situation (which is typically the norm, though there are exceptions) of a man-on-woman rape crime, the culprit is obviously the woman. For whatever reason, she decided that she wanted to look nice that day, and clearly (insert heavy sarcasm here) she did it just to get the attention of the men around her. Not at all because she felt like dressing up, which is an urge that women have every now and then, just so you know. Now, say said woman decides to go to the club, because she’s had a hard day and she wants to unwind. A man sees her there and thinks she’s pretty hot and he wants to go home with her that night. He starts buying her drink after drink and gets her drunk enough that she’ll stumble away with him, or he will possibly even drug her drink to get into her pants that much faster. Let’s stop here to cover a few things.

One: Unless there is a sober “yes” then I would consider it taking advantage. Two: A drunk “yes” does not count. Because seriously, nobody is making good decisions when they’re drunk. Three: Just because a “no” is not uttered does NOT mean that it is okay. Learn from this lesson, boys and girls, and it’ll make the world a better place in some singular way: Always ask first, and only go forward if the answer is a sober yes.

Going back to the story, the woman might be blamed if she tried to come out and tell about her assault. The stupidest argument for this is “If you put a piece of meat in front of a shark/dog/other animal, you wouldn’t expect them to hold back.” Well of course I wouldn’t, because they happen to be animals, and according to our incredibly messed up society, animals are a class lower than us. So I would EXPECT for these men and even women to exhibit self control and learn to keep it in their pants unless they have a specified “yes” from the other person.

Ladies and gentlemen, I encourage you to report your attackers. If it happens here at Mercer, there are policies for that, which can be found on the Judicial Education webpage. Under Title IX, you have the right to “prompt resolution of [your] complaint, to have the University conduct a thorough investigation, and to have interim steps taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of individuals involved and the University community.” Don’t let your attacker win. Don’t let them destroy your life. Report them.

 

http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/bozemandailychronicle.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/f3/df35ba3a-20a5-11e3-ad42-0019bb2963f4/523a154e075ca.preview-300.jpg (this would be cool to put in, if we can)

 

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Rape culture: get sober consent