From Passing Judgements To Sexist Jokes: 8 Ways We Might Be Contributing To Rape Culture

Time to ponder!
From Passing Judgements To Sexist Jokes: 8 Ways We Might Be Contributing To Rape Culture

Rape culture isn’t only about the obvious offenders or the big headlines we see every day in the newspapers, it’s almost women into the fabric of our everyday lives in a lot of subtle and unnoticed ways. Women face instances of being eve-teased and being followed on a daily basis and it is saddening to know that most women have faced these situations without any repercussions. It is deeply rooted in our upbringing. The reality is much more than any headline can make out of it and it starts with the smaller seemingly harmless habits that we have imbibed in our lives. Here are a few ways we as a society are perpetuating rape culture without noticing it.

1. Judging Clothing Choices

Ever heard anyone around you comment that a woman’s clothing is “too revealing”? Well, it’s safe to say that women more than men have been the contributors to this mindset of policing women’s bodies and propagating the idea that a woman’s worth is tied to their appearance and how they dress themselves. There have been many instances of people downplaying harassment under the question “What was she wearing?” which says quite a lot about how we look at the situation.

2. Romanticizing Persistence

This one never gets old! Films for the longest time have normalized men relentlessly pursuing women and these scenes are called “romantic”. Given the impact of movies on society this romanticizing of being followed and pursuing absolutely uninterested women is just another subtle but alarming way of perpetuating rape culture. Think of ‘Tu Haan Kar Ya Na Kar, Tu Hai Meri Kiran’, it is a given that ‘no’ means ‘try harder’ to the point where women feel unsafe to even talk to men openly.

Also Read: Reddit User Shares Updates In Mumbai Girl Raped By Instagram Friend Case: “Loaded Lifestyle Is Helping Accused”

3. Complaining About The “Friend Zone”

This takes us to the ultimate rant of being stuck in the friend zone. The fact that you feel entitled to someone’s affection and attention is a problematic issue in itself. Trying to win over a woman and getting out of a friend zone is a harmless instance but on a deeper level, it creates a position of authority that you are putting yourself at. A “no” is simply a “no”, regardless of what situation it has been said in.

4. Minimizing Sexual Assault

Use the proper language. Using words like “sex” instead of “rape” downplays the seriousness of the sexual assault and makes the victim’s struggle seem like a chore. Let’s just start by calling it what it is and stop minimizing the experience of the survivors. These are small ways, seemingly harmless but in the longer run it can change how something as serious as a rape or an assault is looked at.

Also Read: Twitter User Questions Why Men Don’t Call Forced Intercourse ‘Rape’ And It Has Triggered Men On The Internet!

5. Enforcing Gender Norms

Society is known for reinforcing unnecessary gender norms that often limit expression and propagate stereotypes. From expecting men to be strong and dominant to pressuring women to be submissive and adjusting, these expectations have a big contribution to a culture where consent and respect are often overlooked.

6. Blaming The Victim

Again, this has happened many times around us, it’s common for people to question what the victim was wearing or how much they had to drink. Women have also been asked why they felt the need to get out of their houses at the time, insisting that it was the victim’s part that they chose to make the decisions that made them end in such a scenario. To be honest, through this whole enquiring the offenders take a back seat with their very “earned” freedom at the hands of justice.

7. Promoting Rape Myths

Saying things like ‘She was asking for it” or ‘Real men can’t be raped” is literally the worst thing one can say when it comes to addressing sexual offences. The fact that people still believe in such an idea of internalized misogyny and stereotyping is beyond believable.


8. Making Sexist Jokes

This one has to be on the list. It is high time that we get over making everything around us funny. It’s not funny to make sexist jokes casually just because you want to sound cool. Making sexist jokes is indirectly normalizing an offence like rape to make it an everyday chatter topic. People who have experienced the offence live every day of their lives differently after going through such a situation. Making jokes about it might sound funny in your head but it is more problematic than that!

These are just a few examples of the many ways in which rape culture manifests in our society. Rape culture is something that starts with the small things that have been inculcated in the minds of people and these things are a way to water those demonic thoughts.

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Mrunal Subhedar

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