Rape Culture is a term used to describe the normalisation of sexual violence against women. It’s in the everyday misogynistic language that objectifies women and refuses to hold men’s behaviour to account. It’s the way boys are mean to girls in the playground and the girl is usually told, ” don’t worry about it he’s only doing that because he likes you,” it’s how her discomfort is dismissed and his behaviour appeased.
It’s the way mothers teach us to cover our breasts and not wear short skirts instead of teaching boys to respect all women. It’s when boys touch girls bums without permission and it’s shrugged off as, “boys will be boys” and when girls are asked to not wear short skirts because male teachers get distracted.
It’s men watching their friends get women drunk and calling it, “marinating the meat” and it is then, blaming drunk women for being raped.
Rape culture is the way some men will insist on buying you dinner then expect sex simply because they paid. The list is endless and we are now at a point where Robots can even get raped. Company called, True Companion recently created a robot named, “Frigid Farah,” the robot can simulate rape allowing men to rape safely instead of just, I dunno maybe not rape women.
Misogyny in rap music isn’t a new phenomenon but that doesn’t mean it still shouldn’t be called out. In an interview with the Breakfast Club, Rick Ross was asked why he hadn’t signed a female artist to his label Maybach Music Group (MMG) his response was,
“you know, I never did it because I always thought I would end up f–king the female rapper,” he said. “F–king the business up. I’m so focused on my business. I gotta be honest with you. You know, she’s looking good and I’m spending so much money on her photo shoots, I got to fuck her a couple times.”
This is rape culture. Rick Ross uses the same logic men who pay for dates use to justify expecting sex from the women their dating. They objectify us, put a price on us and don’t even consider whether we’d like to or not. He doesn’t pause for a second to consider whether the female artist might say no to him. To paraphrase him, if he’s “spending more…he gotta fuck” because apparently, she has no autonomy.
In school they called it “Sex Education” but they only taught us was about the male and female anatomy. They taught us that each month, girls bleed from their uterus and that boys have occasional wet dreams and when the egg and sperm meet they make baby. What they didn’t teach us was what happens before the egg and sperm meet. They failed to include a crucial lesson on consent. (They didn’t talk much about contraception and STIs but that’s another post for another day.) They failed us.
The word, “no” is a beautiful word. 2 letters, 1 syllable, no. In it’s simplicity it asserts authority, it conveys displeasure and it lets the receiver know that the answer is “no” it doesn’t require any qualifications or explanations. Boys need to be taught to accept our nos without explanation.
We need to start teaching boys to always seek consent. To listen when a girl says no them and to accept her no as a no and not an opportunity to coerce her into sex. No means no. There is no grey area when it comes to consent. It’s black or white. Yes or no.
“Boys will be boys” if we continue to fail to teach them better. If we continue to infantilise them they will indeed continue to be boys and grow to be dangerous men.