What’s on the menu today? R.A.P.E.
It is pain for my mental health writing about rape culture. All of it. This year has truly been one like no other and the past few months have been a whirlwind of bad news for the world as a whole.
To be honest, I just wanted to join the social media campaign and keep having conversations around it offline but here was the response I got when I sent the above picture to a friend “you should write about this topic on your blog, your readers are waiting, they know what you stand for.”
When rape happens, society begins its moral lessons on women. Do you know how crazy it is that we continue to teach one gender how to survive violation, abuse, and death from the other gender?
It is sick to fully accept that your life is determined by how men see you. That much power is disgusting. These privileges need to be checked.
What is rape culture?
Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.
Rape culture is pervasive. It’s embedded within the way we expect, speak, and move in the world. While the contexts may differ, rape culture is often rooted in patriarchal beliefs, power, and control.
Rape culture is the social environment that permits sexual violence to be normalized and justified, fueled by the persistent gender inequalities and attitudes about gender and sexuality.
Every day we have the chance to look at our behaviors and beliefs for biases that let rape culture to continue. From the attitudes we’ve about gender identities to the policies we support in our communities, we must all take action to disable rape culture. It begins with me and you.
A lot of people are enabling RAPE CULTURE via entertainment either knowingly or not. Yet come online to #saynotorape. The hypocrisy is pain.
Check skits online – the skits that you like and share and applaud. Online advocacy has grey areas because the same people who applaud and share these stupid comedy skits that show a woman going into a room to meet someone, only for the door to be locked and the keys thrown to hades because a man likes the size of her breasts or butt are the same people who will join the voices online to end rape and assault.
All you need to do is STOP. Stop enabling Rape Culture. Just stop. Stop promoting it with your views, likes, shares, comments, and endorsement. How hard can it be?
Money is a key factor in promoting culture. If these comedians are not backed by YOUR endorsement and corporate sponsorships, the culture of rape jokes will die. If there’s no audience, there’s no platform to share silly jokes.
Now let’s talk about Bro Code. I have been told of conversations like this…
“That babe sabi feel herself sha.”
“No mind am.”
“Make we mess am up.”
One guy asked one girl out. He was offended by her response. He got his crew to go to her home and rape her to death. That was in the news a few months ago. She died because he was unhappy with her response. And he did it with friends because of Bro code. Disastrous friendship etiquette amongst men.
Someone from the pit of hell is saying Uwa deserves to be raped and killed because she dated two friends. In essence, society has assured men that women should be raped and killed when they date more than one man. Make it make sense. Bro code guarantees the protection of these criminals
These men with strong ties to bro code are finding spaces in the conversation of the day. But they will retreat to their deep dark dirty corners later to justify why some women deserve to be harmed.
I will not advocate with these people. I do not join my voice with yours, no matter how many posts you write to make yourself out to be a good person. You are vermin. Your soul is vile. Your bro code and all of you who have troubled women for flimsy reasons will suffer.
Do you know how many men dine and wine with rapists? They blank that truth out of the friendship and settle for “he’s a nice guy.” Their entire friendship with another man is based on the fact that he gave N3k “one-time laik dat when I no too hold”. It’s sick. Men know these men who rape and kill. They are friends and acquaintances protected by bro code. Badly behaved men protected by bro code.
I KNOW all men are not abusers. I KNOW! But these men who rape and kill are not monsters. They are MEN. Some of you know them. They are your friends.
The not-all-men crew should understand that women do not perpetrate as many rapes, burglary, police brutality, spousal abuse, and sexual assault as men do.
Silence may have protected you for long, but we are teaching the other gender not to be silent anymore. Women are stripping away shame and guilt. We are talking. It might just be what will save us. No more shame. We are changing the narrative.
Bro code is a deep dark dirty well of secrets. It would take one guy to tell other guys to help him deal with a woman who “hurt” his ego. And all these guys will come together to do something about it. It doesn’t have to be their experience. They will “fix” it for a random friend. Gang rape happens this way. Mobs happen this way. Bro code is vile and scary.
I always remember that chapter in Mona Eltahawy’s book… how men and women come together to fight a system, but when they win the “war” against the government of the day, these men turn around to rape these women as victory treat.
WAYS TO DISABLE RAPE CULTURE
1. Stop victim-blaming
Because language is deeply embedded in culture, we may forget that the words and phrases we use every day shape our reality.
Rape-affirming beliefs are embedded in our language: “She was dressed sort of a slut. She was posing for it,”
It is normalized by objectifying women and calling them names in popular culture and media.
You have the ability to decide to leave behind language and lyrics that blame victims, objectify women, and excuse harassment. What a lady is wearing, what and how much she had to drink, and where she was at a particular time, isn’t a letter of invitation to rape her.
2. Create a culture of enthusiastic consent
This cannot be overemphasized. NO is NO. Enough with the balderdash that when a woman says NO she means YES. Freely given consent is mandatory, at all times. Instead of listening for a “no,” confirm there’s an active, “yes,” from all involved. Adopt enthusiastic consent in your life and say it.
3. Speak out against the foundation causes
Rape culture is allowed to continue once we place ideas of masculinity that see violence and dominance as “strong” and “male”, and when women and girls are less valued.
It is also underpinned by victim-blaming—an attitude that means a victim instead of the perpetrator bears responsibility for an assault.
When discussing cases of sexual violence, a victim’s sobriety, clothes, and sexuality are irrelevant. Instead, counter the thought that men and boys must obtain power through violence and question the notion of sex as an entitlement.
4. Be intolerant to rape culture
Establish policies of intolerance for harassment and violence where you reside, work, and play. Ensure that you are committed to upholding a zero-tolerance rape policy and that it must be practiced on a daily basis.
5. Broaden your understanding of rape culture
Across time and contexts, rape culture takes many forms. It’s important to acknowledge that rape culture goes beyond the narrow notion of a man assaulting a lady as she walks alone in the dark.
For instance, rape culture encompasses a large array of harmful practices that rob women and girls of their autonomy and rights, like child marriage and female genital mutilation.
Know the factors that underpin rape culture and therefore the myths that surround it.
While nobody may disagree that rape is wrong, through words, actions, and inaction, sexual violence and harassment is normalized and trivialized, leading us down a slippery slope of rape culture.
6. Listen to survivors
In the era of #MeToo, #WeAreTired, and other online movements, survivors of violence are speaking out quite ever before.
Listen to their experiences, read stories of survivors and activists around the globe.
Don’t say, “Why didn’t she leave?”
Do say: “We hear you. We see you. We believe you.”
7. Don’t make fun of rape
Rape isn’t a funny punchline. Rape jokes delegitimize sexual violence, making it harder for victims to talk up when their consent is violated.
Humour that normalizes and justifies sexual violence isn’t acceptable. Call it out.
8. End impunity
To end rape culture, perpetrators must be held accountable. By prosecuting sexual violence cases, we recognize these acts as crimes and send a powerful message of zero-tolerance.
Wherever you see pushback against legal consequences for perpetrators, fight for justice and accountability.
9. Educate future generations
It’s in our hands to inspire the next generation. Challenge the gender stereotypes and violent ideals that children encounter in the media, on the streets, and in school. Let your children know that your family will be a safe space for them to express themselves as they are. Affirm their choices and teach the importance of consent at a young age.
Train the boy child. Make it as elaborate as the methods used for girls – the constant reminder of what it means to be female.
Teach boys how to use their privileges – these privileges bestowed on them by religion, culture, society, and all the attendant cousins of Patriarchy. Teach them how to turn their privileges to virtues like empathy and kindness and respect. Let them understand the power they carry and how to use it for good.
If you have a boy child, train him not just in academic excellence, but how to be a decent and self-respecting human being. Tell him he has privileges automatically given to him by institutions. Teach him how to use these privileges to build and not to destroy.
To the ones who were raped
To the ones who lost their lives in the process of Rape
To the ones who remain scarred from Rape
To the ones who remain scarred from Attempted Rape
I hope that you find peace to live with your scars
I hope you have a voice to speak without fear
I pray that #JusticeForUwa #JusticeForBarakat #JusticeForTina and the many others in this situation become a reality!!!!
What’s your take on the topic? Do you have suggestions on other ways to disable rape culture? I will be in the comment section with you.