Rape Culture. Just the way things are.

December 29, 2012

Sorry for the heavy title, but a few articles popped up today, that have me incensed…again.

Why? Because the current reign of our ever-present Rape Culture, seeping into every crevice, is simply infuriating me.

The definition of Rape Culture from upsettingrapeculture.com, writes the following:

In a rape culture, people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate, rape. Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

This is what it means when people say that sexism and violence against women are “naturalised.” It means that people in our current society believe these attitudes and actions always have been, and always will be.

Just the way things areJust are.

Question #126: Isn’t that the general reason/excuse for indifference?


I started this post today after I saw the following article regarding the comments made by a Catholic Priest – Father Piero Corsi – in Italy:

Italians outraged by priest’s claim that women bring violence on themselves.

“The title of message was ‘Women and Femicide, How often do they provoke?’

“Father Piero Corsi said scantily dressed women bring out the worst instincts in men and cause violence or sexual abuse. He claimed women end up exacerbating tensions by ‘leaving children to themselves, having filthy houses, serving cold meals, buying fast food and providing dirty clothes.’ “



When will ‘the worst instincts in men’ be what attains the pressure from society to change?

No, no, no. It’s us – women. WE have to change…how we dress, how we act, what we say…

But…really…is that what the men in the church (and men in general maybe?) feel is the actual solution?

Will rape and violence against women cease to exist if we stopped wearing plunging necklines?…and stopped providing dirty clothes…and serving cold meals (is that a cold heart too?)…and…and…and…

We all know the answer to that is no.

Hence, we have a Rape Culture.

And yet, if all the rational people think that what’s happening is going down a dark, violent and septic alley, why are we not seeing anything being implemented to stop the continuing, harrowing statistics?

Now I have an even heavier heart due to reading that the poor girl who was gang raped in India, has just died from her injuries.

The following article was a response to the Indian girl’s rape itself, telling women they should carry chilli powder to throw in the eyes of their attacker and not go out at night.

How to prevent sexual assault (no chilli powder required)

Again, GREAT! Anything else for women to do?

This article does have a wonderful list of tips, however, that should actually be used to encourage a change. Tongue-in-cheek – yes – but you get what it’s saying:

Anne Bartow’s Sexual Assault Prevention Tips

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behaviour.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “by accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

Here’s an idea: How about it’s NOT women who attempt to stop things, from a defence position; not being allowed to be themselves.

How about governments intervene from a ‘childhood educational angle’?

Tone down the amount of imagery that’s EVERYWHERE, like this:


I pulled up behind this bus when it was stopped. This is the moving billboard, distracting everyone who’s driving. And where’s the filter for all the developing brains who are taking it all in?

Woman=gagging for it (look at the image)=looove sex=rape.

Question #127: How about implementing a new program in schools? Australian National Curriculum?

We need something. Anything.

Deep Breath.


7 Responses to “Rape Culture. Just the way things are.”

  1. Hannah Tuton said

    Terrible comments by that priest!
    I have also seen that bus poster several times and found it extremely distracting…. Semi-pornographic images should not be shoved in our faces!

  2. lamehousewife said

    Hi Paula. I see a little contradiction in your piece today. The women you show at the end are who the priest is talking about. These women are encouraging the rape culture that is so prevalent. Women have been just as irresponsible as men lately or extremely naive. I continue to encounter women who do not want to take care of their children, who are willing to leave their children with strangers in order to go have a good time, and their children become the object of some perverted person. This is what I think the priest was talking about. How are women contributing to the problem? Some women believe their sexuality is a way to have power over men, and in some cases that is true. They believe they are controlling men with pornography, and in many ways they are. Both men and women contribute to the problem, so it will take both men and women to solve this problem. That was my take on it anyway. I hope that you are doing well. Blessings…

    • questionsforwomen said

      Hi Juliet,
      I have to be honest – I was a little rushed in the end when writing this one and I didn’t express one point well enough. I’ll have to add it in.
      I was discussing this with a friend earlier in the day and I voiced the same issue you just did (and have said throughout my posts in a way) – I know how women are contributing to the huge and massive problem we have. My catch phrase has become, ‘You can’t have a porn t-shirt with a woman saying, “OK!”‘
      My whole look on life is about balance and I don’t see it in the dialogue that comes after horrific acts against women (let alone lesser ones). Yes, men and women alike are shocked and want the perpetrators punished – BUT the articles and voices ringing out on the situation generally focus on how women should change ONLY. How they should cope.
      I just don’t hear a balanced effort being made on looking at the fact that it’s the men’s nature that’s causing the damage.
      We get that conversation about the nature of men with gun laws (because it’s mostly men – well, so is this. And this is worse).
      Yes the women ABSOLUTELY contribute. I’ve said this all along and that is why my blog is questions for women – I’ve always hammered them for their participation in normalising this hypersexualised image that’s being splashed around (on the back of buses) – but men need an equal shake of the moral finger when they violate a woman, as many, many, many, many women who are raped have done nothing to ‘deserve’ it.
      Thank you so much for your comment, Juliet. I hope I clarified the point I was trying to make with the post and that I completely agree with you in terms of how women contribute.

      • lamehousewife said

        I am a little out of the rhythm of blogging, but I understand what you are saying now. The media is a tricky beast–I agree with you that it gives far from a balanced picture. Rape is inexcusable.
        I would love to see the day when men quit objectifying women and when women realize that playing into that objectification is below their dignity.
        Thank you Paula for the clarification:)

  3. Well said Paula, this is my problem, the degradation of women is so ingrained into the subculture that, as the comment lamehousewife says, even women who aren’t conscious don’t see the harm. THIS is what has to stop. The ‘normality’ of it all.

    I love how it’s always sexually repressed (usually religious/abstaining) men who tsk tsk at women for making it sooo hard for them not to attack/rape/abuse/assult, and this is a message that’s been passed down from religious institutions for centuries.

    I long for the time women regain their worth, their subtle and centred power, and this can’t happen by drinking as much as men or lowering our sexual standards by removing our sense of love and care and giving, or by trying to ‘be’ like men. We are depth that are women! Yet we seem to be under the stupidity of unawakened ideals that put us ‘beneath’ another gender.

    Our worth has to be awakened from within, but in conjunction with an awakening of male awareness. Degrading, demoralising or disconnecting from the feminine and all it has to offer a man in opening his self to become fully masculine is never going to produce the results of power these guys crave. Drinking until you lose self control and fucking *is never going to provide that guys*, doesn’t matter how often you keep trying to prove it otherwise!! A real man knows his weaknesses (like a real woman mind you) and doesn’t have to abuse to regain his sense of worth. He instead has the courage to work on himself instead of lashing out at an easy target. Let’s hope 2013 marks a shift towards a more conscious society on all levels for both genders. x

    • questionsforwomen said

      That was beautifully said, Kate! I long and yearn for a time when women are just that, women.
      We live in a paradigm where men are raised NOT to be ‘girls’ (who would want girl traits, after all) and women are trying to be more like men to be ‘seen’.
      It’s all out of whack.
      Balance. That’s the secret to everything. Balance.
      Thanks Kate! xxx

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