The Rape Culture Epidemic-Thoughts From An Actual Rape Victim

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Photo credit: Kristen Althoff

Rape Culture is a term that is now widely used among many bloggers and media personalities. In light of the Steubenville case, there have been many posts by female bloggers in regards to “changing” this aspect of our society. What is Rape Culture? Rape Culture is a term that is used to describe a culture that shows acceptance and even support of rape. According to many feminist groups, this is the culture that we are currently living in. What? Really? So let me get this straight…we are currently living in a culture where people support rape. Interesting. I’m pretty sure that the majority of people don’t think that rape is cool and to call our society a Rape Culture is a little extreme. I haven’t really seen too many articles coming out from actual rape victims, so I wanted to give my perspective on it to maybe help shed a little light. I was fifteen years old when I was drugged and raped, which was now over ten years ago. After a few years of intensive therapy and an EMDR session, I feel that I have recovered completely and can openly talk about my experience with sexual assault.

I read over flaglerlive’s blog post about Rape Culture today and was skeptical of some of the things the author was saying. There is a specific paragraph in Alana Baum’s post that I find silly.

“Why is it the responsibility of women and girls to avoid being raped? I’m sick of being told to walk with friends at night, keep an eye on my drink, and say “no” loudly and clearly if my boundaries are threatened or violated. Yes, I do all of these things. But the point is that I shouldn’t have to. Society has yet to hold men accountable for their responsibilities in preventing this all-too-frequent atrocity. Although two of the perpetrators in Ohio were convicted, their football coach covered up his players’ actions, the school administration has yet to fire this coach for his compliance, and CNN correspondents lamented the impact these boys’ sentences will have on their futures. Why, in the aftermath of tragedies like these, is it up to women to raise a red flag? When will men start talking about their role in ending this epidemic?”   

What. The. Fuck. This chick is basically attacking men as a gender, saying that it is their responsibility to end the raping. What an absurd statement. A very small percentage of men are actually rapists. She is also so bold as to say that she “shouldn’t have to” be aware of her surroundings and take measures to protect herself from creepy dudes. I’m sorry that there are rapists out there, but yes…it is the responsibility of women to avoid being raped. Why? Because some men are just sick, perverted assholes and there is nothing that anyone can do about that. Saying it is the responsibility of men to end this “epidemic” is like saying that people who aren’t murderers should make murders stop. What the hell is anyone supposed to do? That’s like me asking my boyfriend to go for a walk and tell every man he sees outside not to rape anyone. It’s stupid. If the average man overheard someone talking about how they were going to rape someone, I’m fairly sure he wouldn’t support them in their venture. Obviously, he is not the only one who shares this viewpoint. It is a pretty generalized feeling among most men that rape isn’t cool.

stop rape

Photo credit: Shira Golding

The Steubenville rape case is disgusting, I will fully acknowledge that. Especially the now widely popular media footage of a high school boy making several jokes about the sixteen year old girl being raped. I think that this video is an example of how horrible individuals can be. I do not think it is a reflection of the entire male gender. If you listen carefully, there is a boy who protests Michael Nodianos’s comments repeatedly. I do think it’s gross how people in the town and some reporters were sympathizing with the boys and worrying about them ruining their “promising futures.” But those are the thoughts of a small group of individuals, not society as a whole.

Warning: this video may be graphic to some viewers.

What I really don’t agree with is the fact that these feminist groups are stating that “jokes and media images about rape are contributing to rape culture.” Seriously? It’s not like a comedian makes a joke about rape and people in the audience say to themselves “Rape, huh? That sounds like a good idea!” and then go out and rape someone. If you’re a rapist, you’re going to be a rapist regardless of any jokes that are made about it or any media that is displayed regarding rape.

Speaking of comedians making jokes about rape…let’s talk about Daniel Tosh. Even though this whole “incident” happened daaaayyyys ago, it still comes up in articles and blog posts. Basically Daniel Tosh was doing a show at the Laugh Factory and he asked the audience “what should I talk about next?”, inviting improv into his set. A lot of comedians do this. Someone in the audience yells out rape. Daniel Tosh then goes on to sarcastically list all the things that are NOT funny about rape. So then a woman in the audience decides to stand up and say “Actually, there’s nothing funny about rape!” No shit, it’s called sarcasm you moron. Daniel Tosh then says to the audience “wouldn’t it be funny if she got raped by like five guys right now?” Even I laughed. He was defending himself against a heckler, the same as any other comedian would do except that he happened to be talking about rape and had to make a joke about it. That’s what he does, people. He’s a comedian. They tell jokes. You’re a fucking idiot anyway if you pay money to go to a comedy club, expect the comedians to talk nicely and then stand up and obnoxiously talk shit to them when they don’t. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of in my life. I will never understand heckling. So the woman posts on her blog about it and everyone is, of course, outraged. Even poor Louis C.K. gets caught in the crossfire.

English: Daniel Tosh at Boston University

Daniel Tosh Photo credit: Wikipedia

I think the controversial postings that I like the most have been about Joe Rogan’s podcast with Jamie Kilstein. Jamie Kilstein stated that rape is worse than murder and Joe Rogan disagreed, and apparently a bunch of feminist groups think that he was being “insensitive to rape.” Sigh. Use your brains. Murder is definitely worse than rape, people. I would rather be raped again than murdered any day. If someone jumped me late one night and I had the option to be raped or be murdered, you better believe I would pick rape. Every time. There is nothing insensitive about his statement. It’s also pretty annoying for me that people are treating rape victims (women in general, really) like they are weak. Women are not the fragile creatures society is making us out to be. There is absolutely nothing weak or fragile about me. I hate that Jamie Kilstein says “reading or hearing about rape could cause a PTSD flashback.” Most rape triggers come from something physical. Like a smell, sex soon after rape or the act of giving birth. A rape victim is not going to hear the word rape and immediately have a full-blown PTSD black-out. I can say the word rape, I can read descriptions of rape and I can even use the word casually. For example: Dude, you just got seriously raped by my deagle. Most importantly, I can laugh at a JOKE. It no longer has any effect on me. That’s what healing is for.

Jamie Kilstein 2

Jamie Kilstein Photo credit: matthewfilipowicz

Jamie Kilstein also says that women are afraid to go outside because they are afraid of getting raped. I know many women, myself included, that are not afraid they are going to get raped when they go outside. Maybe if I woke up every morning and a rapist was crouched by my door, waiting for me to open it so he could pounce…maybe then I would be afraid to go outside.  There have been a lot of people complaining on forums and blogs saying things like “well if you had been raped, that word is offensive” or “well if you knew someone who had been raped, you would be offended by that word”. I don’t think I will ever understand how words can be offensive to people. Weird. Anyway…here’s the podcast. I 100% agree with Joe Rogan.


17 thoughts on “The Rape Culture Epidemic-Thoughts From An Actual Rape Victim

  1. Ginny says:

    I appreciate the fact that you are trying to take an alternative approach and attempting to broaden the discussion of how rape is viewed in our society, especially since you are a victim of rape yourself. Unfortunately, many victims of rape and their families who hurt with them have not been able to complete the healing process as you have, so I completely understand that in instances like that, which could easily include a large portion of victims, they find themselves disturbed by such casual or even comical attempts at conversations about rape. I support this by your statement: “Most importantly, I can laugh at a JOKE. It no longer has any effect on me. That’s what healing is for.” You are very fortunate for something to no longer have that affect on you, but your statement suggests that it once did. Because of that, you can’t really blame people for taking offense, can you? I feel that actually joking about rape in a lighthearted way is not humorous and should rightfully be seen as offensive, but thats simply a matter of taste and opinion. It seems you actually back this claim up, as well, since you posted the Michael Nodianos video, stating that it shows just how horrible individuals can be. Is he not doing the same thing that the comedians you support did? Laugh and talk about a girl getting raped? Just some thoughts 🙂

    • therockabillybutterfly says:

      I think there is indeed a very big difference. Michael Nodianos was joking about an ACTUAL rape, that was happening as he was speaking. I’m pretty sure comedians don’t joke about a rape while one is happening in the next room. They joke about a fictional rape that will, in fact, never happen because it is fake. You are correct in your statement “You are very fortunate for something to no longer have that affect on you, but your statement suggests that it once did.” It did once bother me, yes. However, I believe fully that the discomfort I felt on the topic of rape was what led to my recovery. Society’s “Rape Culture” view is what forced me to face my rape and eventually let it go. Was it painful? Yes. Was it hard? Yes. More importantly, am I grateful that I was able to heal? Absolutely.

  2. golfnow promo code says:

    There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well

  3. Mae says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post. One of my biggest concerns with the whole notion of rape culture is the demonizing of men. It also seemingly fails to acknowledge the vast number of men who do work to make this world a better place for women. I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of ‘rape culture’, Even the term makes me uncomfortable (yes, this goes to your last point about words being offensive ;). I couldn’t quite articulate why it made me so uncomfortable, but your perspective was very enlightening. Thanks for the post!

  4. .female not feminist. says:

    As a fellow survivor, I really appreciated this post. You articulated better than I could how much this “rape culture” nonsense is insulting to men and really actually trivializes rape. Unfortunately, I have learned over the past few years that feminists don’t really care about rape. They like getting attention for talking about rape, and they enjoy being “experts” on it, but they don’t typically actually like real rape victims.

    Why? Because rape victims have those pesky things called “independent thought”. I get heavily attacked by so-called anti-rape feminists when I criticize their use of the term rape culture, or complain that they are making money on their feminist outrage blogs by standing on the backs of rape victims. I’ve found most modern internet and academic feminists to be vicious bullies who hate people that disagree with them and who have no problem acting bitchy or insulting when criticized – even when the person speaking the criticism has been raped when the feminist herself has NOT. Feminists only want to hear things that reinforce their belief system. They would rather NOT hear from rape victims if they aren’t parroting feminist talking points and fawning over their ideology.

    Feminists need to realize that rape victims come from many different backgrounds and viewpoints. Just because someone is a rape victim doesn’t mean that they are on board with modern feminism. It’s weird because I’m not a conservative, but I really don’t like feminism because they just don’t ever take responsibility for being obnoxious or wrong, they always blame someone else and act like they are the perfect saviors and champions of rape victims. THEY AREN’T. Feminists don’t speak for me as a survivor and I’m sick of feminists exploiting rape for attention.

    • therockabillybutterfly says:

      It’s always nice to hear from a fellow survivor who has the same viewpoint as I do. I don’t think we are as rare as society would like us to believe. Thank you for your bravery in responding to this post. I agree with you 100% about feminism. It used to be about equal rights and that has developed into something far beyond equality.

  5. Thomas Henry Francis says:

    I found myself nodding throughout reading this, and honestly, all I can do is appreciate your candor, and openness. I recently read a similar article, and was directed here by a friend on facebook, and to be honest, I hope more people are able to take such thoughts to heart. But, that’s an optimist view. realistically, you’ll be targetted by the groups you’re trying to point out, but know you at least have this silly little a**hole’s support!

  6. calumdarroch says:

    As a guy, I come at this with a different perspective, but I am also a victim of rape. Your article is well written, honest, and more importantly states a lot of truths that I feel everyone as a collective should address. I can’t speak highly enough of it, congrats 🙂

    • therockabillybutterfly says:

      Thank you so much, I’m glad you connected with it. It means a lot to me. And thank you for your honesty and your bravery. I’m sorry about what happened to you, but I’m glad you were able to heal and put it behind you. It’s not an easy thing to do.

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