On Rape Culture Continued

Because for this generation it seems to be a never-ending battle. This is something that stemmed from the recent news reports on the “Roast Busters” Club– a club founded by teenage boys in New Zealand devoted to gang-raping girls as young as thirteen and shaming them as sluts on social media. The full story is on Jezebel.

The worst part of these misogynistic thought patterns of today are the individuals who claim to be well-read up in the news and deny that such a rape culture even exists. Not only are they part of a group that turns a blind eye, but they are unwittingly defenders of such perpetrators under the guise that they are only trying to be fair to innocent men. This type of mindset is activated when one equates feminism with man-hating and that is truly the most frustrating part, and the worst kind of ignorance.

Here is my rebuttal to an especially infuriating article— originally published as a Letter to the Editor of the University of Wisconsin student newspaper, The Badger Herald. It is by David Hookstead, a student at the university. I strongly encourage you to write him a response.

Is it a highbrow piece? No, but I had fun doing it and felt even more satisfaction when I sent it. Here you are, David Hookstead:

‘Rape culture’ does not exist

Editor’s Note: trigger warning for sexual assault.

We’ve all heard the term “rape culture” before and it’s time to set the record straight. With this line you are suggesting that it’s been skewed in favor of women up until now. Now who’s living on the fringe of reality? The United States of America doesn’t have a culture of rape any more than it has a culture of murder. This just tells me that you don’t understand the first thing about what the word “culture” means in this context. This term aggressively paints men as dangerous and as the root of evil.

I know that people are out there on the fringe of reality who are going to criticize me for what I’m about to explain — but somebody has to explain this. Thank God it’s you. My hope is that you read what I am about to say, and save your judgment until you finish reading.

The first thing everybody needs to understand is that bad people exist. Yeah, I think everyone and their kid sister learned this on the first day of school when that one bully first took your lunch money in the cafeteria. This is the reason for murder, rape, child abuse, domestic abuse and all sorts of crimes. Gross overgeneralization. Statements like this is what you use to explain crimes to children. Either way: get some actual critical thinking skills or drop the condescending tone. It is the reality of the world. Poignant revelation. I’m so glad I read this piece so you could tell me so. Crime is not unique to the United States, and if you put a spotlight on rape, you don’t understand the real issue. Nobody, and I mean, NOBODY, is claiming that rape is the only crime or the worst crime ever committed. Here, you are so removed from readers that I’m embarrassed for you.

Next let’s take a look at what people often attribute to this non-existent rape culture.

I’ll be the first to admit that music lyrics can be extremely degrading towards women. This is the first major point you bring up to address rape culture? Where are the real cases? Where are the examples? Turn on any rap song and you’ll quickly hear some woman being described as a sex thirsty whore. Switch to the next rap song and you’ll likely hear about shooting people, selling drugs or the degradation of the black community. Your attempt to sound politically correct and neutral is quite frankly, hilarious for all the wrong reasons. 

How come none of the latter is attributed to any sort of culture, but the former is a sign of a rape culture? I’d like to point out that your grammar is horrific. If music and movies speak of and depict murder, then do we have a culture that accepts and promotes murder as well? Of course we don’t.

I’ve never seen a feminist in a blaze of fury over the fact that Wiz Khalifa promotes illegal activity, and I don’t care that he does either. What you don’t care about or seem aware of could fill an Indiana Jones movie warehouse. And the answer is because it’s not part of their agenda. Yes, believe or not, everyone and everything has an agenda, for better or for worse. That was an extremely shoddy attempt at parallelism. But why is there a double standard? What you are describing is not at all a double standard. You have about a 5th-grade level grasp and understanding of the terms you are using here. 

You’ll often hear very uneducated people make statements like, “If people taught their sons not to rape women then we wouldn’t have a problem.” There are a couple of problems with this statement. You are indirectly insinuating that everyone who disagrees with you here is uneducated. At this point in the article you have officially established yourself as a condescending entitled asshole. 

First, it’s incredibly ignorant. But still not nearly as ignorant as you. Anybody who’s ever watched the news knows that rape is illegal, and yet the above paints the picture that our society is failing to educate young men on rape. Because it is. Steubenville? Hello? Secondly, it implies that education can prevent true acts of evil. Not JUST education. We’re talking about raising children here. We teach kids not to murder and rob, but people still do it. Read up on the school-to-prison pipeline, please. Once again, you can’t always stop criminals. While you’re in college, please be sure to take a sociology class. Please. For the sake of everyone.

Finally, statements like that put all the blame on men and put no blame on women. There’s no doubt that women are more often the victims of sexual assault and rape, but many men are assaulted and raped as well. Then why aren’t we teaching our daughters not rape? You trying to equate women raping men with men raping women is clumsy. Why are you forgetting men who rape men? Men who rape boys? 98% of men are raped by other men. By the way, the FBI EXPANDED its definition of male rape in 2011; how many men have reported rape since 2011? Zero.

A woman drugged a close male friend of mine, who was a superstar athlete, so that she could assault him. There was little outrage, but could you imagine if a superstar athlete drugged a random woman and raped her? It’d be on the national news by morning. No one here is saying that the news isn’t biased. It is. Always has been. But it does not inherently mean that the issue of rape has been unjustifiably magnified. This skewed coverage isn’t applicable only to rape. Read up on the Missing White Woman Syndrome, for instance. But that is still absolutely no excuse for trying to, once again, equate rape. In this current patriarchy (yes, that’s still what this society is), female rape is never the same as male rape. 

This last part is likely going to blow up my Twitter feed with hate tweets.

It is unfortunate that some women feel the need to exploit anything that may be rape for publicity. Not everything that is claimed to be rape is actually rape, and false accusations only take away from the credibility of real victims. This happens with every type of crime. Every type of crime. Every type of crime. Every type of crime. By your usage of this term earlier in the article, you are creating a double standard. Save this hate for people who actually are exploiting others. My thoughts on the rest of your paragraph are not suitable to be published, but know that your self-serving tone and unflinching ignorance is making my head steam. 

For example, I’ve heard many women tell me they regretted having sex with somebody, and that if anybody asked them they’d just lie and say they were too drunk to remember. That is NOT an example of false accusation. This is actually– probably– a reaction a woman often has that is a defense to slut-shaming. Yet another serious problem that has been shown to be related to rape culture– just like at the Roast Busters cases. It’s people like them that are huge problems. Why are women so desperate to demonize men that they’ll lie about being raped? Then make this article about devious people and cite them as problems. Pointing to rape culture as being the culprit of taking attention away from real victims is a disgusting oversimplification of the issue. Where are your case studies? More real-life examples? If you are so adamant in wanting to refute the term “Rape Culture”, then come at it with a Louisville Slugger, not this shitty little ping pong paddle that you can’t even wield. 

Let’s focus on those that truly need our help, and let’s stop evil people when we can. Yes, let’s do that by invalidating half the population. 

David Hookstead (dhookstead@wisc.edu) is a junior majoring in political science.

The biggest problem here is that you think women trying to stand up to rape culture are fighting men. We know the difference. It’s people like you who don’t. Give me your address and I’d be happy to send you not only a dictionary, but also a shovel so you can bury your head even further in the sand. 

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