America 's Thriving Rape Culture

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Tiana Reneau
English 101
28 October 2014
America’s Thriving Rape Culture America has a proud history of being a country that has many different ethnicities and cultures living within its borders. But one of the most prevalent cultures is one that transcends race or country of origin, rape culture. The term used by modern day feminist and gender activist defines a culture which normalizes rape and sexual assaults because of the deeply rooted societal attitudes towards gender and sexuality. In a rape culture the instances of rape are accepted as everyday occurrences and even as the prerogative of men, resulting in the stigmatization and blame placing of rape victims. Although the phrase “rape culture” is relatively modern, the
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Women, or specifically their bodies, are seen as the prey, a prize, or a commodity to be exchanged for sexual pleasure, resulting in the customary domination and objectification of women. Levesque, Nave and Lowe found through their research that “men express and have a greater desire for sex ... [which] probably influences judgments about sexual interest “(150) and that “men oversexualize interactions with women” (150). The value men placed on sexual experiences has allowed them to interpret women’s bodies as sexually available by default, giving them the drive to use sexual violence and get what they are “owed”. The acceptance of rape myths and sexual scripts are also major contributors to the thriving rape culture. Rape myths are the false but commonly-held beliefs about rape, and they are closely related to sexual scripts, the culturally established prototypes for how sexual encounters should proceed. Both of these elements support the act of rape and promote the victim blaming and normalization that rape culture entails. Key rape myths include: 1. Husbands can’t rape their wives, 2. Men must engage in sex once sexually aroused 3.Women ask to be raped 4. Rapist are different from most other men 5. Women enjoy rape 6. Women lie about being raped. These incorrect principles can be traced to the patriarchal system that accepts and fosters rape as an
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