Society Magazine

It’s Time My Male Peers And I Hold Ourselves Accountable For Rape Culture

Posted on the 03 February 2017 by Juliez
A photo of Man Up and Open Up — a great org working in this space

A photo of Man Up and Open Up — a great org working in this space

I was once sitting at lunch with several of my guy friends when a girl in our class walked by. When she was too far away to hear us, one of my friends asked if we thought she was hot. Another friend instantly replied, “She’s kind of ugly, but I’d still rape the sh*t out of her.”

Despite being disgusted by my friend’s comment, I ignored it and remained silent. Looking back, I now realize my passivity in the presence of his misogyny speaks volumes about how men are raised to perpetuate rape culture. Instead of speaking out, instead of condemning it, we shrug. We overlook it–which only perpetuates it.

Although our newly elected tyrannical leader and the potential damage he’ll wage in terms of foreign and economic affairs dominates the headlines, we can’t forget that sexual assault still remains one of the most destructive issues plaguing American culture. In fact, <a href=””>an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds</a>. Although activists have started movements and created organizations to address and eradicate rape culture, it remains a dominant part of how men, just like my friends, interact with each other on a daily basis.

Men are undeniably the most common perpetrators of these heinous acts. In fact, <a href=””>60 to 99 percent of rape and sexual assault is committed by men</a>. But the problem is ultimately more complex than just identifying the most common perpetrators. I witness rape culture thrive all around me in my school, in my community, among my friends, and even in myself. Rape “jokes” and taking pictures under girls’ skirts are still prevalent in my school. I even catch myself unwittingly victim-blaming rape victims in my mind sometimes.

One of the biggest roots of this problem is toxic masculinity standards and gender roles. Men are raised to feel entitled to anything we want, particularly women and sex. In order to appear “strong,” we subscribe to the distorted notion that we’re entitled to women’s bodies. If we don’t take what we want when we want it, we’re labeled weak and unmasculine. And it’s clear this attitude is still widely accepted: we just elected a man who has admitted to committing sexual assault to the highest office in the nation, after all.

But even so, men who contribute to the systemic issue of sexual assault cannot solely blame their actions on gender role expectations. Men must not only be held responsible when they choose to act in sickening, dehumanizing ways, but must also proactively work to prevent those actions from happening again. One of the most important things we can do to work towards prevention is to learn about consent. We also need to stop making rape jokes — they’re not funny at all and only reinforce our subconscious (or conscious) entitlement to women’s bodies — and need to actually call out men who make these comments. And even if it’s against “bro code,” we must intervene whenever we witness an act that seems like it could lead to or is rape or sexual assault.

We have to teach young boys empathy, not entitlement. We have to make a conscious effort to reverse the way we’ve been socialized and recognize once and for all that women’s bodies aren’t objects for us to use whenever we please. Men are a huge part of the problem, but we can also be the solution. It’s time to “man up” and hold ourselves accountable for, and actively prevent, rape culture.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Video: Climbing The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite

    Video: Climbing Nose Capitan Yosemite

    Thanks to the recent speed record set by Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell, there has been a lot of talk about The Nose route on El Capitan in Yosemite recently. Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Kungfujedi
  • Paper Fix | Pop-up Card

    Paper Pop-up Card

    greenhouse pop-up card | terrain Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Ofpaperandthings
  • Finding Your Own Yoga

    Finding Your Yoga

    by NinaKitchereeIf you carefully read the Yoga Sutras cover to cover and learn about what the eight-fold path really entails, you would realize—and maybe you... Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Ninazolotow
  • Bad Fruit is Bad


    Yesterday I wrote about the wind, meaning, the Spirit, blowing where it will. I wrote of how we can't see the wind at the time but we can see its effects. One o... Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Elizabethprata
  • Supermarine Seafire F.XV

    Supermarine Seafire F.XV

    @ Oshkosh, WI July 2010 My first Seafire sighting, seen at 2010 Oshkosh Airventure.  The number of articulating bits on this aircraft are certainly impressive. Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Htam
  • The Eyecicle • Temperature Cooling, Anti-Aging Beauty Device

    Eyecicle Temperature Cooling, Anti-Aging Beauty Device

    Facial massagers have become a popular beauty buy of late and even though they have been around for years and used in many a facial treatment, they have become... Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Kellilash
  • Karakoram Summer 2018: Individual Expeditions to Keep an Eye On

    Karakoram Summer 2018: Individual Expeditions Keep

    Yesterday we shared a few updates from the Karakoram about the current status of a few teams that have already started to arrive on their respective mountains. Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Kungfujedi