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If one were asked to give examples various weapons, typically a list involving types of guns, knives, nuclear powers, and bombs would be recited; however, it is more than likely that one of the most populous weapons would be absent from one’s thoughts. The issue is, there is currently 3. 7 billion of a particular weapon in the world, and yet most fail to even view it as such. Like all weapons, this weapon can be used as a means to inflict emotion and physical pain and destruction. What sets this weapon apart is that the victim of this weapon is the weapon itself. This weapon has a heartbeat, independent thought, and emotion; this weapon is the female body. Ironically, while being used as a weapon, the female body is also the location of the battle ground(Hogan, 2013). Weapons are often used to commit crimes and the female body is no exception. The crime that is far too often inflicted onto the female body is rape and/or sexual assault. Due to societal norms, in today’s cultural climate, women continue to be blamed for being victimized, yet continue to be set up to be victims; this is rape culture.
The definition of rape culture, according to the oxford dictionary is,“a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse(Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2018). This culture is one in which women continue to be forced exist in. In western society, it is a formal norm and law that rape is an illegal/punishable act. The issue with this law is that it continues to be contradicted by societal norms(Introduction to Sociology 2e, 2015). This means, although there are written laws prohibiting rape, society directly and indirectly condones it (Grubb and Turner, 2012). It all comes down to contradictory values ingrained within society. Society continuously hypersexualizes the female body, yet repremends a woman if she takes charge of her own sexuality. If a woman is sexualy active, she is deemed promiscuous and if a women is not that sexual active, she is labeled a prude. For a man, acting on sexual urges is seen as masculine and societably acceptable. These stereotypes are now being extended through the media, further endorsing a misogynistic agenda. From an early age, girls are taught that showing too much skin will distract boys, and that it is the responsibility of a girl to make sure boys are not tempted. This diluted notion is then translated into the idea that if a man touches, looks, and talks to a woman inappropriately, it is the woman who is at fault; women are blamed for allowing their appearance and/or state of sobriety to entice a man.
Due to the fact that women are the ones who are usually raped, it is perceived that it must be woman’s own doing. Instead of teaching men not to rape, society teaches women how not to be raped. In turn, women are expected to uphold societal values set in place for women; such as, being submissuve, gentle, modest, agreeable ect. If women do not portray said values; they are persecuted (Introduction to Sociology 2e, 2015). This report will explore the present cultural climate of rape and the contributing factors towards rape culture as a whole. Through exploring the act of victim blaming, misogynistic norms, the emotional cost of being a women, and gender hierarchy, this report will give an accurate synopsis as to why rape culture continues to thrive, even in the twenty-first century.
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