Thursday, October 21, 2010

Junk Sex: Rape Culture, Take 1

Rape Culture is a feminist concept that describes a culture in which rape is common and in which prevalent attitudes, practices, norms, and products normalize, condone, encourage, and excuse sexualized violence against women. The media's role in condoning, excusing, and promoting a rape culture is also central to the premise. Shakesville has an excellent description of rape culture here.

An example of rape culture sadly presented itself last week, when DKE fraternity pledges on the Yale campus marched over to the women's dorms and stood outside chanting pro-rape sentiments:



In addition to the chant of "No means yes! Yes means anal!" captured in the above video, the young men apparently also chanted "Fucking sluts!" and "My name is Jack. I'm a necrophiliac. I fuck dead women." Will at RH Reality Check has a good write-up of the incident here. He notes that the real problem here is that this sentiment is no longer shocking- it is instead shockingly mainstream. He is quite right.

Sure, the frat has apologized and are now taking some 'awareness classes' in conjunction with the campus women's center. After which I'm sure these most elite of young American men will return to their lives of watching violent, misogynistic porn (where all women are cunts who want it all the time, preferably in the ass of course), video games, partying, drinking, and generally hating women**. Another generation of straight men disconnected from the power of a loving, honest, respectful and rewarding bond with a real woman; another generation of straight women forced to choose between being porn hot or invisible (never mind their prospects for any kind of healthy relationship). Will we ever learn that life in a rape culture is neither fun nor funny nor particularly good for women or men?


**Disclaimer: Yes, I know all young men aren't like this and I am painting with a broad brush, but enough of them are- see Michael Kimmel's Guyland for more on the Neverland of misogynistic porn, video games, and partying inhabited for so very long by so many of today's privileged young men. And no, there is nothing inherently wrong with partying, drinking, and video games- recreation is good, though I'd argue it's better in balance with work and learning.

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