The Burden Of Rape Culture

Decent Essays
Despite the historical progress that has been made toward gender equality, women remain in an unequal position, with their social and political reach limited by inherent gender biases in the public sphere. Nearly all aspects of society have been constructed on masculine terms, effectively preventing women from securing fairness through the law. The disparity of political power in particular maintains male dominance, with the law favoring a masculine perspective, even in regard to women’s issues. Consequently, the contemporary challenges women now face stem from the fact that the social and political arenas have been constructed on power relations that delegitimize women. Historically, women were confined to the private sphere, specifically…show more content…
Through the common socialization process, men are taught to see women as their passive subordinates, consequently normalizing sexism and trivializing sexual harassment as an inherent component of masculinity (Foran; Hess; Whitlock). Rape, acts of violence, and the threat of violence are used by men to otherize and control women, and for some women, sexual assault can become a persistent experience in their lives (Brison; Whitlock). Subsequently, the burden of rape culture most often falls on women through means of victim blaming and objectification, lending to the idea that sexual assault is circumstantial, with certain offenses not legally or socially recognized (Brison; Winter; Xiao). Credibility is a necessary means for women’s survival, but is not regularly afforded to victims of sexual assault, as the woman’s character is almost always called into question, effectively making it her responsibility to prove “legitimate” lack of consent (Brison; Terkel; Xiao). Women who report their rape rarely see legal restitution, and during the process, victims are often accused of provocation or irresponsibility, thus creating an interdependence between sexual assault and social attitudes (Brison; Foran; Terkel). The law fails to intercede on behalf of victims of rape and domestic violence, and the minimization of abuse has created an institution of sexism that cultivates bias against
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