Rape Culture

This is my experience, my life.

As a girl growing up in a patriarchal society, you learn a lot of things. Namely, that you have to always be on guard because the world is not safe for you. As a kid my parents never let me go out with friends or have sleep overs at their houses because they thought there was the possibility of their fathers, brothers, or relatives being there and “doing something to me”. Code for: they thought I would get raped. I remember overhearing my dad tell my mom about a horrific dream he had in which I (his only daughter) got brutally raped, his worst fear had manifested itself into a dream. I would cry and protest this because I still hadn’t absorbed The Fear. It was a much more innocent time for me.

Now, as a 20 something year old woman I have had countless experiences with men that have left me weary and on guard. From unwanted sexual advances and comments to creepy probing eyes and straight up sexual and physical assault. And I know I’m not alone, I’ve experienced these things even in groups of women. So much for safety in numbers. And whenever I get frustrated and talk about it with other women they can all relate. Every woman has a story.

I want to run away. I try to shake my head and make it all go away but I can’t. It’s a constant thing. I got my car towed yesterday, and when I went to the towing place they were closed. So I went again today, and I had to take a taxi. The man who picked me up was much older than me, and I could feel his creepy eyes on my breasts and thighs. I tried not to talk too much for fear that he would misinterpret it for something else. He missed our turn twice, and just kept driving and talking to me about how he was a professional driver and “trained”. He said he would keep me safe as he drove erratically down the street. All I could do was fix my eyes on the GPS and pray we arrive safely. I was terrified that he would try to do something to me. I’ve heard so many horror stories about men who kidnap, rape, abuse women in their cabs. Just recently an Uber driver in Florida sexually assaulted a woman passenger. This was the service I was using, too.

I really wish I didn’t have to be afraid. For people who have never experienced these kinds of things, you’re lucky. You also might not understand. People like to victim blame- your clothes, lipstick, chattiness were to blame. You asked for it. I never asked for any of this. For those people who have experienced this fear, you know. The problem is this culture that puts the blame on the person who got hurt. They have countless campaigns to “teach” women how to avoid getting raped: use the buddy system, never travel at night, don’t dress like you’re asking for it. And what does this do? It creates a culture where women are constantly looking over their shoulders. But the silent menace never gets confronted directly. We don’t tell men, hey- don’t rape! Don’t make catcalls, don’t harass women and feel entitled to their bodies. Nope, it’s the elephant in the room.

I’m not really sure what we can do to stop it besides all becoming super karate ninjas.

When I find the solution I promise you’ll be the first one to know.

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About spreadamor

I want to spread love far and wide

12 responses to “Rape Culture

  1. What patriarchal society have you grown up in? What is your definition of a patriarchal society?

    • A society that gives preferential treatment/privilege to men. I have grown up in the US

      • How specifically does the us give preferential treatment or privilege to men?

      • The privilege can be seen in the workforce (women still make 77 cents to a man’s dollar), in the media (women are depicted as sexual objects and decoration while men are always shown as strong and in control), it can be seen in everyday life. How many times has a woman had to stop talking because ‘men are talking’. Or in the home, when the men are served first at the dinner table. These are just a few examples, but the privilege is all around. There is some great literature and documentaries if you’d like to explore the topic further, one good one is ‘Tough Guise 2″

      • I don’t think your wage differential is accurate. You have somewhat of a point about women being depicted as sexual objects however there is an element of consent, I don’t know what you mean by a woman having to stop talking or when men are served first at the dinner table.

      • As far as the element of consent, it is a complicated issue. Yes, it is assumed that those women agreed to do it, but a tough financial situation may indeed put you in a position where you would agree to do many things that you may not normally do. Here is a great link on pay differences separated by race and gender http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/10/09/high-tech-pay-gap-hispanics-asians-african-americans/16606121/ . And as for those everyday examples, there are others, from fear of being attacked from simply walking to your car alone at night to having to worry about getting roofies in your drink at a bar, unwanted sexual advances, and many more things. Just ask a woman in your life about her experiences with these types of things. It is not uncommon at all and actually considered “normal” which is terrible

      • Well I dont see a whole lot of actresses who make millions off their sexuality (unless they dont have control over it). And I’ve asked this but how would you alleviate the fear of walking to your car?

      • How would I alleviate the fear? I have pepper spray and my key in between my fingers as a weapon and I’m still afraid. That’s what I’m getting at, this is a constant state for women. It’s not just some erratic fear. We constantly get shown images and stories of women being raped, kidnapped and abused. We see how the victims are treated afterwards, how they’re blamed, how they’re shamed and ridiculed and accused of asking for it. We are told to use the buddy system and not go out alone at night and to cover up and to live in fear. This is life for us. It’s in the media- in the scary movies the women always die or get raped/sexually assaulted, it happens on the streets and on the bus when men feel that they have the right to talk to us any which way and ask for our personal information because they feel that they have a right to us and our bodies

      • There is no way to alleviate the fear because it’s so pervasive in our society.

      • No rational man feels that they have the right to your body or person. Im just curious what your utopia looks like and how as a man will I be tagged as a potential rapist?

      • This isn’t an individual fear. I do believe that most people are inherently good. This is a societal fear. Because women are taught from a very early age to fear for their safety from men it is the potential that is the fear. I’m sure you or many others are great people. But if I don’t know you and you are walking by me on the street at night you’re damn right I will be afraid. The physical difference alone is enough to instill fear. As for my ‘utopia’, I would say a place where every human is equal and had worth and was safe and had good and shelter. That’s a radical thought though apparently

      • I think you hit on what no one wants to admit people are not inherently good.

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