3 Components of Rape Culture and What You Can Do to Fight Back

Rape culture is an invasive norm in the United States. Not only does it harm females, but it is a threat to our entire society. We must challenge rape culture ideals at every opportunity. In doing so, our young men and young women will have a much higher chance at living a mutually respectful, successful, satisfying life. This article raises awareness. We must be willing to stand up and say, “that is an abusive attitude, which I will not accept.”

Psychology Benefits Society

Fingers pointing at young woman

By Christin P. Bowman, MS, MA (Doctoral student in Critical Social-Personality Psychology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York)

**Trigger warning. This blog is about sexual violence.**

Let’s make something clear right from the start: Rape is caused by rape culture.

Rape culture has many ingredients, and like any successful recipe, once you blend them together, it’s harder to taste the individual flavors. Rape culture is so entrenched in our society, and its components so ubiquitous, we may sense that something doesn’t taste right, but be at a loss to pinpoint the problem.

This blog will break down the main components of rape culture and then give you concrete ways to combat it.

#1: Power, Anger, & Hyper-masculinity

While it may be true that men do the vast majority of the raping, men who rape did not become rapists in a vacuum.

Our society values men…

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January is Stalking Awareness Month

Police departments should be prepared to handle stalking victimization. Sadly, most are not prepared, particularly when technology is involved.

Personally, I don’t get it. This is not a “new” crime at all; just a more effective delivery method. The problem seems to lie with the established thought that private matters are not police matters. There is another school of thought that women are over-reacting to “normal” relationship problems.

However, anyone who has been properly trained should know that stalking goes well-beyond simple jilted lover spats. It involves a pattern of threatening behavior by a previous intimate partner, a peer or a stranger. It involves good record-keeping, investigation and follow-up. When stalking cases are handled properly, lives are saved.



Did you know that 6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States? Statistics show that 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime (Michele C. Black et al., “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report,” Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). This January marks the 10th anniversary of National Stalking Awareness Month, a resolution that was set into motion after Peggy Klinke was murdered by her stalker in California in 2003. Law enforcement agencies can use this month to highlight resources available to stalking victims, become more familiar with their state’s stalking laws, and ensure that stalking offenders are being held accountable in their communities.

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Carefully Stepping Away From A Stereotype

Women are supposed to be graceful and classy, not aggressive and loud, right? While we spend our time and energy achieving passive perfection, there are men who seek these traits in their classic victim. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched women absolutely destroyed by an ex because they didn’t want to be rude and unreasonable.

At the same time, the family court judges are ready to pounce on any “unladylike” behavior as a means of determining the “best interest of the children.” In other words, you are “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” in the saga of removing your family from an abuser.

The solution lies in tactful planning and skillful precision. You almost need to become as manipulative as the abuser to outwit him. Yet, you must maintain your dignity in the face of the legal system. It isn’t easy, but the lives of you and your children depend on it.

Someday, when enough blood of women and children has been shed, people will rise up and demand change to the antiquated, patriarchal legal system that currently enables abusers. Survivors will unite and fight for our sisters, who bare the next generation of human beings. Until that day arrives, be safe and protect your family with your God-given wisdom.