Rounding up 2011 – some thoughts on rape

Just like i did to round up last year, I decided to link to a couple of excellent pieces i came across this year. These pieces are about rape, education and changing the way we talk about rape. Instead of focusing on what the victim did or how the victim could be responsible for what happened, we should be focusing on teaching people that rape is not OK.

I’ve included excerpts from both articles. Click on the headings in blue to read the articles in full.

Have a Happy New Year!

1. Because Amber Cole is Just a Kid and Boys Learn to Be Boys from Racialicious

“Our culture teaches boys that this is okay. That it is okay to use people. That you are expected to disregard a woman’s feelings, to do what you want with her, to find women who are pliable who you can mold, who will seek your favor and happily trade a few moments on her knees for her affection. Our society teaches boys that this is ok, that this is what you do with women. The onus is on women not to be used. Men do not hear “don’t be an abuser” in the same way men don’t hear “don’t be a rapist.” The onus is always on women keeping themselves safe, on women not putting themselves in positions to be attacked or exploited. And when something does happen, when teenagers being teenagers suddenly becomes a nation newsstory, everyone wants to talk about what the girl should have done to prevent herself from being in the situation.”

2.  What Rape Culture Looks Like from Ginger’s Blog

“As more details emerge, you’d think there would be a deafening outcry from sympathetic Nigerians – fellow students, mothers, women in government, fathers, brothers who would join arms with this hurt sister in solidarity and call out for investigations for justice. No! Rather they ask ‘why did she go to his room?’, anonymous students from her school write to say ‘she’s a known slut who probably decided to make more money by taking on 5 guys and has now bitten more than she can chew’, they say ‘didn’t you hear her tell her rapists that ‘she was cooperating’ does that sound like rape to you? Was she screaming or moaning in pain at any point? Aren’t people being raped supposed to scream and struggle? Some even suggest she may be a lying gold digger who is only protesting cause the act was video-ed.
Her life history is already on public trial in a way that would never happen if she were the victim of kidnapping or attempted murder.

That’s rape culture. When victims are tasked with the burden of rape prevention. When women are too afraid of being re-victimized by their peers, the courts and the media to come forward, and when the public gets the message that women who accuse men of rape are lying or did something to deserve it, and the cycle continues…… 
There are 5 alleged rapists in this crime. But no one is talking about them or what determinants in their school environment or community fostered and promoted rape. Rather the victim is the focus of all the blame and negativity. That’s rape culture, and it has to stop.”

4 responses to “Rounding up 2011 – some thoughts on rape

  1. Wishing you a blessed 2012

    Re: Rape….people’s attitude to rape victim is only an illustration of how little we – as a society -value women.

    Till female children are not seen as second best; wives not seen as husband’s properties; childless women not seen as failures; spinsters not seen as rejects …..and widows not seen as witches……we have a long way …..sorry..VERY long way to go.


    • Thank you Naijamum, i wish you the same 🙂

      You have it exactly right. It really comes down to how much or rather, how little, society values women.We do have a very long way to go and we won’t get there unless we talk about these things seriously. I have more thoughts on the topic that i would like to go into in 2012.

  2. Thank you Culturesoup.
    I think last year was the worst on man’s injustice to women. from Congo, to Strauss Kahnn, to the ABSU 5, Lara Logan, Arowolo etc. It was a year in which i saw few victories for women folk worldwide. I pray 2012 is a better year for us. I truly hope it is a year we speak out more and be willing to step out of our comfort zones and make a deafening cry about injustice to women and men around us.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

    • I love that quote, it’s very encouraging and very true. I also pray 2012 is better because the last year was quite disheartening. I will be following for more of your thoughts on these issues. You do a really good job in writing about important topics.

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