12.16.16 |JR Thorpe
The phrase "rape culture," much like other phrases like "equal rights" or "no, stop catcalling me," can make some people very angry indeed. Yes, people rape, they argue, but is the idea of "rape culture" real? Aren't feminists just exaggerating a few poor experiences into a massive, over-complicated idea? #NotAllMen! It can be tricky coming up with sufficiently elegant arguments to fight against this, because you may understandably want to scream or foam at the mouth; but it does pay to at least try to engage. (Unless they're threatening or you just can't right now. Nope, right out of there.)
Looking for a handy definition of rape culture? Women Against Violence Against Women has a good one taken from Emilie Buchwald's Transforming A Rape Culture: "a complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent ... A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm. ... In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable."