Rape culture is the collection of social narratives and norms that a culture uses to trivialize and rationalize rape. In “western culture,” some key aspects are assuming male aggression and the sexual objectification of women is the norm. The assumptions that men always want sex and “silence is consent” are also part of rape culture. The assumption that men can’t be raped is a part of rape culture. The use of alcohol or a short skirt as an excuse to rape is part of rape culture. Assuming “acquaintance rape,” isn’t really rape is part of rape culture. Doubting rape survivors because it’s easier to think of rapists as evil monsters is part of rape culture. Toxic masculinity is part of rape culture.
The U.N. is in the midst of its 57th Commission on the Status of Women, this year focusing on gendered violence, a global pandemic made all the more urgent by growing evidence that social change leads to increased violence against women. Why? Because destabilizing established social order—even in the interest of what we might agree is progress—can leave people feeling vulnerable. And when men feel vulnerable, toxic masculinity teaches them the way to reassert their power is by dominating women. There’s a pall hanging over the proceedings, a real risk that this year’s commission may wind up like last year’s, failing to come to any policy agreements thanks to the obstructionism of a handful of patriarchal countries who claim that their traditional and religious customs would be infringed upon if they had to take action to end gendered violence in their countries.
via Toxic Masculinity.
“Telling every woman to get a gun is not rape prevention,” she explains. “The reality is that we need to be changing how we train and teach young men. We need to teach them to see women as human beings and respect their bodily autonomy. We need to teach them about consent and to hold themselves accountable.” And when we do, things change. After Canada launched a “Don’t be that guy” consent awareness campaign in 2011, the sexual assault rate dropped for the first time in years — by 10 percent.