ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: rape culture

The Impact of Rape Culture on our Campuses

As a society with an increasing rape culture, many instances of sexual assault and violence are not reported because survivors are shamed by law enforcement or looked down upon by society. Sadly, this behavior is rampant in American culture today. The public perception of a rape victim is a young woman who is either intoxicated, displaying sexual promiscuity, or a combination of both. Despite what the public thinks, rape is not an anomalous event. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in five American women will be raped or attempted to be raped in their lifetimes. This problem also affects students in higher education. A recent MIT survey found that 17% of female undergraduates experienced one or more unwanted sexual advances during their time in college. Many… Read more »

Why Chanel’s Asian-ness Matters

People v. Turner has been widely deemed a failure of justice since the Stanford University attacker’s sentencing three years ago. Brock Turner was given six months in jail—of which he served only half—and three years of probation. His sentencing continues to be used as an example of white privilege and rape culture today. Recently, the sexual assault survivor from the case revealed her identity. Her name is Chanel Miller. Chanel is Asian. Since the former Emily Doe’s identity was kept a secret from the public, this part of her identity went unrecognized. Even now, at the time of writing, I haven’t seen any major media outlets discussing why Chanel being Asian matters. Why is it important? Because her Asian-ness adds another critical layer to consider when looking at his motivations,… Read more »

5 Responses to Rape that Feed, not Fight, Rape Culture

*Trigger warning: This article contains discussion of sexual assault. In 2016, we’ve seen unprecedented progress when it comes to recognizing the prevalence of rape culture, and coming up with legal and social ways to fight it. From bipartisan support for the Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights and the success of the #ItsOnUs campaign, we’re closer than ever to protecting survivors of sexual violence and making sure victims feel safe and heard at every level. However, we’ve also seen some pretty shitty attempts to explain away rape culture, make excuses for convicted rapists, and blow off incendiary comments made by a certain Presidential candidate… There have been (too many) opportunities for our nation’s elected to not only speak out against rape and sexual violence, but to also take a stand against the pervasiveness of… Read more »

The Best Rape Joke I Ever Heard

Trigger warning: rape, violent language Yes, you read that title correctly. But let me explain. I couldn’t sleep a few weeks ago and was looking through videos on one of my favorite websites, Everyday Feminism, when I stumbled across this slam poem that absolutely took my breath away. I can’t tell you exactly how many times I’ve watched it since first discovering it, but the number is in the dozens. The poets call out many of the worst aspects of rape culture. For instance: “Don’t worry, we’re good victims. We won’t cry too loud, or demand your attention, or ask for trigger warnings.” I personally think trigger warnings are wonderful, and as someone who is triggered by certain things, I find them incredibly helpful sometimes. Unfortunately, there are many who… Read more »

Kesha and Rape Culture in the Music Industry

Trigger Warning: Rape Today the New York Supreme Court will release the decision on the case filed by Kesha Sebert against her producer, Dr. Luke, who has filed his own lawsuit, with Sony’s support, claiming that the artist is just trying to defame him. The decision will ultimately determine whether or not Kesha will be able to publish any more music. Currently, she does not want to work with her assailant and is, under contract, not allowed to produce with another label or on her own. According to Kesha’s lawyer, she is suing Dr. Luke on assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, civil harassment, unfair business, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Kesha says that these charges date back to 2005 when she was approached and convinced… Read more »

Amber the Activist and Victim Blaming in Rape Culture

[Trigger warning of sexual assault, rape and mental trauma.] 2015 was (unfortunately) the year of perpetuating rape culture and victim blaming. After her ex-husband and ex-boyfriend both made disparaging comments about famed feminist and actress, Amber Rose, she threw her first annual Slut Walk in downtown L.A, raising money for the Amber Rose Foundation and various other sexual assault advocacy programs, reclaiming negative sexual slurs and raising awareness of sexual assault using her own harrowing account of abuse. Bill Cosby was (and still is) entrenched in a massive rape scandal, with allegations of assault from more than 50 women over a span of decades, with people renouncing him as an actor and wondering if the allegations are true. 2016 has barely started, and now, we have the case of Amber… Read more »

Amber Rose is Still Not Asking for It with Los Angeles SlutWalk

This past weekend model and artist Amber Rose hosted a SlutWalk in Los Angeles to speak out against slut shaming. There are a few key lessons we can all take from it, especially as members of the reproductive justice movement. But first, a brief history lesson. SlutWalk was established in 2011 after a police officer at a school in Toronto told people they should not “dress like sluts” to avoid getting raped or other forms of sexual harassment. This is problematic for many reasons, but here are two big ones: 1. Everyone has a right to their own body and their own choices. Whether it’s their right to a safe abortion or contraception or simply what they want to wear. There is no reason society should ever police someone’s body… Read more »

Oy With the Victim Blaming Already!

Trigger warning: rape, victim-blaming, and pure ignorance Sometimes you get a harsh reminder that rape culture is alive and well. Far too often that reminder is on facebook. I considered refraining from saying anything about this because my head was spinning and I honestly couldn’t figure out how to put my thoughts, anger, and frustration into words. But it’s been several days now and I can form coherent sentences about this, and I want to share. I wish I had taken screenshots of the post I’m about to describe, but I was too shocked at the time and it goes without saying that I have since unfriended the person in question. The other day, I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, as I often do, when I saw that an acquaintance… Read more »

Fraternities and Guilt by Association

I’m sure by now most people have seen or read about the video that was taken of members of the SAE chapter at Oklahoma University chanting racial slurs. There have been countless articles written on it, tons of media coverage, and lots of social media interaction. The hashtag #SAEHatesMe has been used to talk about all sorts of issues relating to racism in Greek life. After this video surfaced, OU president David Boren issued a statement condemning the actions of this group. I should applaud the administration for their swift action, but I also think that making a statement that “Real Sooners are not racist” is a little bit ironic. However, the statement issued was undoubtedly further than the University had to go to deal with the problem, and going… Read more »

Biden, Travolta, and Entitled Touching

For whatever reason, some people feel the need to touch other people without their permission. We see this all over in society, but it seems to be common among men. More specifically, men touching women without permission. This may seem harmless to most people, but there is a very troubling nature to this kind of touching. On February 17th, our Vice President Joe Biden was doing a swearing in ceremony for the new Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter. After administering the oath of office, he stepped to the side to allow Sec. Carter to speak, and placed his hands on the shoulders of his wife, Stephanie. He left his hands there for over 20 seconds before whispering in her ear and stepping back. Of course, this is nothing new for… Read more »