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My First post on Rape Culture dealt with this definition.

a set of socially accepted beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes which contribute to the trivialization of a survivor’s experience, make light of sexually violent behavior, and perpetuate the negative effects suffered by both individuals and communities as a result. [1]

 

This is a fair and reasonable definition that accurately describes an aspect of what really is. It’s not hateful. It’s not bigoted. It’s not even fully incorrect. It is useless. It incorrectly identifies the root problem, and provides no tools for attempting to correct the problem. This was an idea worth discussion. While ultimately useless, it was close enough to the truth to move the conversation forward.

In this conversation, one commenter noted that the definition is worthless because it’s a bad definition. She linked me the one I’m addressing today. The first definition had no value in solving problems. This new definition is raw sewage marinated in hate and bigotry.

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.

This definition is man hating sexist bigotry on such a level that it’s hard to dissect. I’m going to need to break this down into sentence fragments because there is so much filth hate and bigotry in each sentence that I can’t even tackle this one sentence at a time.

Sentence fragment one “A rape culture is a complex of beliefs”. Well the first third of the first sentence isn’t hateful or bigoted. This is a complex topic, I fully agree.

Second fragment “that encourages male sexual aggression”. Hate and bigotry in full force and on public display. While this does not come out and directly say that all men are rapists, it comes close. It labels male sexuality as aggressive and problematic. So, not all men are rapists, only potential rapists. While it does not directly say that all men are rapists, it does say that ONLY men are rapists. The problem is male sexual aggression, not sexual aggression or just aggression. I guess that it’s not bad or harmful when women are rapists.

Sentence fragment three “and supports violence against women.” More hate and bigotry, and this is against women your damn misogynists. Just as the second fragment does not come out and directly say that all men are rapists, this doesn’t directly say that all women are victims. Well they are not all victims, but they are all victims waiting for the attacker. Women are helpless objects. Women are damsels in distress needing a White Knight to ride in and save the day. There has been plenty of work done on the damage that the “damsel in distress” trope does to women, I won’t redo all of that work.

I’m not done with the third fragment yet. Its double….what’s the opposite of minty fresh?….Stagnant bog water? It’s only women victims that matter. Rape culture isn’t about rapists or victims. It’s about male rapists and women victims. I guess the men that are raped don’t matter. They don’t count. They must of wanted it or something else very victim-blaming.

Now the first sentence taken as a whole. I don’t dispute it’s complex, so I’ll leave that part off for clarity. We have “Male sexual aggression supporting violence against women”. This makes rape culture, by definition not practice, gendered and sexually directional. While I dispute that rape in practice is gendered or sexually directional (on aggregate not individual cases), there is support for the claim that it is. There is no need to define the problem as gendered and directional unless it’s not or the person writing the definition want’s to push and ideology of hatred and bigotry.

Lets look at a definition of racism that’s radicalized and directional. “Blacks creating laws that support blacks at the expense of whites.” This is laughably wrong, but it is indisputable that it happens. Equal opportunity laws insure that less qualified candidates get positions over more qualified candidates on the basis of race. The voting rights laws increased the number of voters dramatically, reducing the effectiveness of existing voters, whites. I support these laws, but they where not without cost (I will delete comments about race). A good definition is neither group specific or directional. A good definition of racism would be “Targeting and discriminating against an individual on the basis of race” Black can and do target and discriminate against whites. Whites can and do target and discriminate against blacks. While there is more directionality in practice, it’s the practice, not the definition that is directional.

One sentence in and we have raw sewage marinated in hate and bigotry. Men and only men are rapists, women rapists apparently don’t cause harm. Women are helpless objects to be acted upon, and men that are raped [insert victim-blaming of your choice]. Rape culture is also, by definition not practice, directional so that it can never change or even really be improved.

If I haven’t convinced you that the first definition is much better than the second, I’m not sure there is any hope for you. The first definition is a good gender neutral non-directional description of what is. It is not hateful or bigoted. It allows for the recognition of all rapists and all victims and does not impose either perpetrator or victim on anybody.

The second sentence can be taken as a whole. “It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent.” In isolation that isn’t bad, but it’s not in isolation. I came directly after the sentence defining men as perpetrators and women as victims. What its really saying is “Rape Culture is a society where male violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent against women.” If you don’t see what’s wrong with that, re-read the first part.

I’ve already exceeded 1,000 words. I want these posts to be short enough that they are readable in a single sitting. Over 1,000 words and I’m not even 1/3 done. Looks like I’m going to need to break this into 3 or 4 posts over time.

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