Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: On Rape Culture and How We Unconsciously Perpetuate It

July 23, 2017

If there is one thing that the media will always sell, it’s sex, regardless of what kind of program is on. From cartoons, to live movies, even the music, if it doesn’t have a little bumpin’ and grindin’ in it, it won’t sell, but what is this doing to our minds?

 

Photo: Agustinus Nathaniel on Unsplash 

 

For one, it alludes to the idea that we are only here for consumption, which perpetuates rape culture. How many times have you heard a friend make a statement that made you uncomfortable? How many jokes have you had to brush off with a forced chuckle and a “whatever dude”? Even if the answer is once, that’s still too many.

 

A lot of the time we don’t realize just how harmful our words can be. Of course, sometimes we say things and accidentally offend people without realizing it, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that we’ve created a hostile environment. The problem with the clear majority of these instances is that we say these things that are problematic and when corrected, we get offended. Men and women alike can create hostile environments for each other, and we must realize that rape culture affects everyone. Phrases like “I can’t wait until she turns 18” or “She legal yet?” perpetuate rape culture, but it’s not just words, it’s actions too.

 

Now, I love movies as much as the next person, however, we need to step it up when we’re casting movies. No 45-year-old woman should be playing a 16-year-old. Casting an adult for the role of an adult is detrimental to everyone. There are plenty of talented actor/actresses that can play roles that fit their age bracket. Stop casting adults for the roles of children. Also, if you’re 28 dating a 16-year-old…what are you doing pal? There is absolutely nothing that you and a child could have in common enough to even consider being in a relationship with each other. I’m all for dating/being with whomever makes you happy but there’s a certain point where we should draw the line, and that goes for everybody.

 

All in all, we know that sex is a money maker; sex, scandal and lies, but it shouldn’t be that way. If you wouldn’t want someone to make you uncomfortable, why would you do it to them? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, women (and men) are not here for your consumption. Every body is some body. Don’t change the way you speak just because there’s a girl around, change it because you know that speaking in a sexual manner or making inappropriate advances is harmful, and affects the way someone views the world. That’s all there is to it. We must make a conscious effort to be better, and to do better.

 

Dominique is currently studying Psychology at Bridgewater State University with a double minor in Middle East Studies and Music. In her spare time, she is a poet and artist. She hopes to use her voice as both a journalist and artist to empower the unheard.

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