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Rape culture

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Information icon.svg This article deals with the feminists sociological construct "rape culture". For the 1975, Cambridge Documentary Films production "Rape Culture", see Rape Culture (film).
How "Social Justice" works
Heterosexual white men: "I think all black men are rapists."
  - Answer: "Boo!" - "Racist!" - "Nazi!" - "Bigot!"
Black Feminists: "I think all men are rapists."
  - Reaction: "This is female empowerment." - "Saying otherwise is derailing." - "Bravo!"
Main PageViolenceSexual violenceRape → Rape culture
Main PageSocietyCulture → Rape culture

Rape culture is a set of the feminist rhetoric, of the feminist worldview summarized succinctly in a very aptly:

  • Women are victims, and that collectively, as only they can be raped
  • Men are perpetrators, and that collectively, as only they can rape and who has raped a woman, but is a "potential rapist"
  • In addition the society and the state are accused to form part of a wrong culture that supports rape of women to obtain culturally and culturally upright and also protect male offender from punishment.
Quote: «We are living in a rape culture.»[1]
Quote: «Men are treated as potential rapists, and women as their helpless victims[2]
Quote: «Men accused of sexual assault are deemed guilty until proven innocent.»[2]
Quote: «The manufacture of "rape culture" is a triumph of ideology over substance.»[2]


In a longer form, the feminist definition reads as follows:

Quote: «The term "rape culture" [...] describes more than just the offense. He describes a society in which there is general consensus on a blame rape rather the victims to give as the perpetrators are the perpetrators rarely indicated and punished even more rarely, in the boast of musicians and artists with rape gestures in the "fight-fucking" a romanticized way is to approach a woman and in the minds of many haunts the assumption that a "no" is actually a "yes".» - Mira Sigel[3]

In another version:

Quote: «A "rape culture" is a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. 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 as death or taxes. This violence, however, is neither biologically nor divinely ordained. Much of what we accept as inevitable is in fact the expression of values and attitudes that can change.» - Melissa McEwan[4]

Quote: «"Rape culture" creates and maintains a hostile environment for survivors. It creates victim blaming and rape myths, which together encourage rapists to rape and discourage survivors from getting help. Rape culture affects all of us, even those who are not directly victimized by sexual violence, by causing all women (and many men) to live in fear of sexual violence. Rape culture affects all of us - men and women - by making it difficult to live outside of strict gender roles that, among other things, perpetually cast men as aggressive perpetrators and women as passive victims.»[5]

From this ideological worldview was in the Case Kachelmann the conviction of Jörg Kachelmanns was required as a rapist, because it from a feminist perspective, no female commits false accusation (all women are victims), but male offenders who are protected from punishment by a supposed rape culture.

Rape culture as a non-word, as an empty word:

Quote: «Rape culture is a concept of unknown origin and of uncertain definition; yet it has made its way into everyday vocabulary and is assumed to be commonly understood. The award-winning documentary film Rape Culture made by Margaret Lazarus in 1975 takes credit for first defining the concept.» - Prof Joyce E Williams, Texas Women's University - Blackwell Encyclopedia Of Sociology (2007)[6]


Quote: «"If one believes the figures most frequently quoted 'one in seven women now in college have been raped. These figures are cited in the introduction of the Safe Campuses for Women section of the Violence Against Women bill currently before the senate judiciary committee. The bill proposes 80 million dollars over the next four years to make campuses safer for women. But where does the figure of one in seven, actually 15%, come from and what does it mean? This estimate of rape on college campuses is derived from a 1985 survey conducted under the auspices of Ms. Magazine. If we accept the number of students raped in just one year, according to Ms. survey researcher Mary Koss' definition, then over a four year period about 25% of female students will be raped and half of these women will be victimized twice. An additional 40% of female students will be victims of attempted rape, and over half of this group will be victimized twice. All together, over four years almost two thirds of female college students will suffer an incident of rape or attempted rape, and most of these women will be victimized more than once.The figures are rarely reported this way because advocates recognize that there is a limit to which Congress and the public will suspend disbelief.» - The Wall St Journal, Jun 27 1991, Dr Neil Gilbert[7]
Quote: «If the one-in-four statistic is correct - it is sometimes modified to "one-in-five to one-in-four" - campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions. No crime, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent, even over many years. The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in America, was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants - a rate of 2.4 percent. The one-in-four statistic would mean that every year, millions of young women graduate who have suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience. Such a crime wave would require nothing less than a state of emergency - Take Back the Night rallies and 24-hour hotlines would hardly be adequate to counter this tsunami of sexual violence. Admissions policies letting in tens of thousands of vicious criminals would require a complete revision, perhaps banning boys entirely. The nation’s nearly 10 million female undergrads would need to take the most stringent safety precautions. Certainly, they would have to alter their sexual behavior radically to avoid falling prey to the rape epidemic.» - HEATHER MAC DONALD, The Campus Rape Myth, 2008[8]
Quote: «Chadwick and the members of f*ckrapeculture aren't the only student sexual violence activists that are demanding attention. Since last spring, an expansive network of student activists has emerged to fight "rape culture" and change the way universities respond to cases of sexual misconduct. However, as universities reexamine their sexual assault policies, administrators should be wary of the demands of these "rape culture" activists. Not only is their movement built on a foundation of dubious statistics and a distorted view of masculinity, but it has already led to policies that have proved devastating to those who have been falsely accused.

Activists claim that reform is urgent because one in five women will be raped during her time at college. I have yet to see an article lamenting the campus rape culture that does not contain some iteration of this alarming statistic.

But is it accurate? Statistics surrounding sexual assault are notoriously unreliable and inconsistent, primarily because of vague and expansive definitions of what qualifies as sexual assault. Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute explains that the study often cited as the origin of the "one in five" factoid is an online survey conducted under a grant from the Justice Department. Surveyors employed such a broad definition that "forced kissing" and even "attempted forced kissing" qualified as sexual assault.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics' "Violent Victimization of College Students" report tells a different and more plausible story about campus culture. During the years surveyed, 1995-2002, the DOJ found that there were six rapes or sexual assaults per thousand per year. Across the nation's four million female college students, that comes to about one victim in forty students. Other DOJ statistics show that the overall rape rate is in sharp decline: since 1995, the estimated rate of female rape or sexual assault victimizations has decreased by about 60 percent.

Of course, there are still far too many college women who are victims of sexual assault. But there's little evidence to support the claim that campus rape is an "epidemic", as Yale student activist Alexandra Brodsky recently wrote in the Guardian.

Bolstered by inflated statistics and alarmist depictions of campus culture, advocates have been successful in initiating policy changes designed to better protect victims of sexual violence. Duke, Swarthmore, Amherst, Emerson and the University of North Carolina are among the many institutions that have recently reviewed and revised their policies. It is not clear that these policies have made campuses safer places for women, but they have certainly made them treacherous places for falsely accused men.

In January 2010, University of North Dakota student Caleb Warner was accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student. A UND tribunal determined that Warner was guilty of misconduct, and he was swiftly suspended from school and banned from setting foot on campus for three years. Yet the police - presented with the same evidence - were so unconvinced of Warner's guilt that they refused to bring criminal charges against him. Instead, they charged his accuser with filing a false report and issued a warrant for her arrest. Warner's accuser fled town and failed to appear to answer the charges.

Despite these developments, the university repeatedly rejected Warner's requests for a rehearing. Finally, a year and a half later, UND reexamined Warner's case and determined that their finding of guilt was "not substantiated" - but only after the civil liberties group FIRE intervened and launched a national campaign on Warner's behalf.

Unfortunately, Warner is not alone in his grievances. Across the country, students accused of sexual assault are regularly tried before inadequate and unjust campus judiciaries. At most schools, cases of sexual misconduct are decided by a committee of as few as three students, faculty members or administrators. At Swarthmore College, volunteers are now being solicited via email to serve on the Sexual Assault and Harassment Hearing Panel. Such a panel is far more likely to yield gender violence activists than impartial fact finders. In a court of law, we rely on procedural safeguards to ensure unbiased jury selection and due process. But on the college campus, these safeguards have vanished.»[9]

Quote: «Advocates for due process, rules of evidence, basic justice and true gender equality need to speak louder than the "f*ckrapeculture" alarmists.»[9]
Quote: «Then there was the more recent case at the Athens campus of Ohio University. During Homecoming Week this year, video was taken of two drunk students engaged in public sex acts near the campus. The woman charged the young man with rape the following day. Many outraged students spurned the police chief's admonition against a rush to judgment, insisting that if the young woman had reported what happened as rape, it was rape.

But the online video suggests the oral sex depicted in the video was entirely consensual. In the video, the woman, who appeared to egg her partner on when a gathering audience inhibited him, was seen smiling, flipping her hair back, showing signs of sexual enjoyment, and even grinning for the camera. Eventually, the two walked off together hand in hand. A grand jury investigation laid no charges because "a reasonable person would think that [the woman] was not intoxicated beyond the ability to consent".

But who are you going to believe? The myth or your lying eyes? Astonishingly, cognitively-dissonant activists continued to support the "survivor" in social media, letters to the editor and post-it notes at the scene ("This is not your fault", "We let you down, I am so sorry", "You are strong and brave"). As at Duke, a group of faculty members - some with a pedagogical stake in theories related to class, race or gender - stood by their original assumption of rape.» - Barbara Kay, National Post, Dec 2013[10]

Quote: «These cases illustrate why rational observers are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the idea that we are suffering a "rape culture" epidemic. The problem of sexual assault is already taken quite seriously, both on and off campus, in our society. We don't need more sensitivity training courses or women's centres to address this problem. On the other hand, a campus awareness centre that focused on responsible drinking, prudent sexual behaviour and the virtues of honesty and respect for due process: Now that would be money well spent.» - Barbara Kay, National Post, Dec 2013[10]
Quote: «Our obsession with rape and abuse has the feel of a moral panic. Let me qualify that this isn't to say women are not raped, or killed, just that every so often one event or an act becomes the prism through which we discuss the broader question of who we are, through which what we are really talking about is not this one tragic act, but how we see ordinary men and women: our husbands, wives, lovers, brothers, sons, daughters and friends.

We need to talk about rape, certainly, but not like this. The suggestion is that there is a culture of misogyny and that rape is endemic. But there isn't and it isn't. It is time to speak out. I can be silent no longer. Not all men are rapists and not all women are victims. Some of us get along together just fine.» - Tiffany Jenkins[11]


Quote: «"Rape culture" is just drunk college sluts lying.»
Quote: «"Rape culture" is nothing but flawed statistics and angry bitches who hate men.»
Sunshine Mary, "a concealed-carry kind of a girl", is taking a stand against colleges creating a "rape culture" - but not in the way you might think:
Sexual assault centers and programs have only increased in visibility and campus involvement in the years since I’ve been out of college. And oddly, according to them, campuses are even rapey-er than ever before. They say there is an entire rape culture on campus.
I don't believe it, though.

According to Mary there's not really that much rape happening on college campuses. Apparently it's mostly just drunk girls feeling bad about boozey sex, and being tricked into thinking they were raped by the aggressive anti-man campaigns of campus feminists:

... are the young women lying about it or are they just misled by campus sexual assault programs run by feminist professors who are also keeping one eye open for ways to advance their own careers?

Dismissing one woman's story of assault with the reductive declaration "The fact that he was only assigned a book report makes one wonder how serious the situation could really have been", Mary goes on to claim "We already know that women lie about sexual assault all the time."

Sunshine Mary Thinks Rape Culture Is Created By Paranoid Feminists, Get Off My Internets on June 23, 2013
Quote: «Are the young women lying about it or are they just misled by campus sexual assault programs run by feminist professors who are also keeping one eye open for ways to advance their own careers[12]


  1. Living In A Rape Culture, Her Authority on February 5, 2010
  2. Mira Sigel: Das hässliche Gesicht der Vergewaltigungskultur, Die Freiheitsliebe on 30 August 2013
  3. Melissa McEwan: Rape Culture 101, Shakesville on October 9, 2009
  4. Living in a Rape Culture: A Primer, Orange County Rape Crisis Center on August 27, 2013
  5. Prof. Joyce E Williams: The Blackwell Encyclopaedia Of Sociology, Wiley ISBN 978-1-4051-2433-1, p. 3791
  6. The Campus Rape Scare, The Wall St Journal, Jun 27 1991, Dr Neil Gilbert, Milton and Gertrude Chernin Professor of Social Welfare and Social Services
  7. Heather Mac Donald: Campus Rape Myth The reality, bogus statistics, feminist victimology, and university-approved sex toys City Journal, Winter 2008 (Archive Copy)
  8. 9.0 9.1 Caroline Kitchens: The Rape "Epidemic" Doesn't Actually Exist, US News - Economic-Intelligence on October 24, 2013
  9. 10.0 10.1 Barbara Kay: Don't exaggerate "rape culture" on campus, 04 Dec, 2013, National Post, Postmedia Network Inc - Archive Copy At WebCite
  10. Tiffany Jenkins: Obsession with rape "a moral panic", The Scotsman, 06 Aug 2013
  11. Do campus sexual assault centers and programs create the so-called "rape culture"?, Sunshine Mary on June 23, 2013

External links