Rape Culture

     Rape culture is a term for the kinds of stories, messages, attitudes, and patterns that get reinforced in popular culture, which end up legitimizing gender-based violence.

  • A TV show with a plotline that involved someone lying about being victimized (when in reality people are much more likely to fake a murder than fake a rape);
  • an ad for hard liquor which makes it seem like fun for a grinning man to pin down a frightened woman in a sexual posture;
  • clothing for an infant boy which has a slogan emphasizing his penis size,
  • or for an infant girl with a message saying that she likes to be spanked;
  • labeling the alcoholic punch at a party with the name 'Liquid Panty Remover';
all of these create an atmosphere in which violence is sexy, consent is optional, and victims can be disregarded and disbelieved.
     Continued exposure to these types of messages contribute to the sense that these activities, behaviors, and beliefs are normal and even rewarded.

Please read content disclaimer

  • The Clothesline Project  The Clothesline Project is a visual display of shirts with messages and illustrations that have been designed by women survivors of violence or by someone who loves a woman who has been killed.
  • Harvard University Panel on Sexual Assault on College Campuses  This forum, moderated by Marnie Shiels, Attorney Advisor for the Office on Violence Against Women, examined the prevalence, nature, and reporting of various types of sexual assault experienced by university students, including those perpetrated by "undetected" rapists, and discussed evidence-based prevention strategies.
  • Transforming a Rape Culture  A groundbreaking collection of diverse voices tackling a wide range of important issues, this book is a much-needed step toward eliminating the sources of rape and rape culture.

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