Supposedly, our culture is opposed to rape. We like to think that all good people are as offended by sexual assault as they are by, say, cannibalism. Yet, rape happens every day to people of all ages.
And the perpetrators aren’t all barbarous, dead-eyed monsters; they’re other humans, often close to those they abuse. Rapists can have loving families and respectable jobs; they are simply people who choose, for some reason, to disregard consent.
Pretending that rape only happens in specific communities or is a crime committed by certain types of people is a fairy tale that allows us to avoid looking at how our culture allows sexual assault to happen.
“Rape culture” is increasingly being used to talk about the ways we implicitly condone rape, make it easier for it to happen and harder to combat. It refers to the ways that we talk about sex, gender, relationships and power that inadvertently contribute to a climate where people are put at risk and disbelieved when they try to report. What are some examples?