Mechanisms of a rape culture
Women continue to suffer in silence because of rape while the society upholds its traditional mechanisms of promoting rape. The prevalent culture of women abuse has even made the victims of rape doubt whether rape hurts women. Currently, it is so easy for individuals to perpetuate the crime unlike before. The most significant institutions that are complacent with rape are the family setups, the government institutions, the health facilities, and even some women who are victims of the treacherous act. The institutions prefer to use either persuasion or secrecy to nurture the culture of rape. However, when lenient measures fail then, the perpetrators use coercion like beating up the victims of abuse or even killing them. The essay evaluates how the various institutions and techniques are promoting a culture of rape in the society.
Family set up
A family is the basic unit of society, therefore; any challenge which the society faces including rape emanate from the family set up. Also, the family is the critical channel for promoting the cultural beliefs associated with different tribes. Some cultural beliefs are popular for undermining a woman dignity and denying women their fundamental rights. Nonetheless, some parents tend to exercise the cultural beliefs regardless, of how harmful they may be to their children. As seen in the poem by Patricia Lockwood the father upon learning of her daughter’s rape assumes the severity of the act and instead engages in a practice which he says will make her daughter all right. Such methods portray an element of ignorance on effective response to rape. Also, the failure of the father to consider reporting the ordeal to authorities or even help her daughter seek professional help shows how people prefer to keep rape a secret as if it was a taboo to discuss the incident. The family institution embraces the art of ignorance to enhance the rape culture at the grassroots level of the society. Also, the father tells her daughter that she is forgiven of her sins, the statement reflects an aspect of making the rape victim feel guilty, yet they were never responsible for the perpetrator’s actions. Making such a young girl feel guilty makes her fear to seek further assistance from the outside world because children are taught to believe in what the parents tell them. Also, the girl is confident about what her father says and never pursues help from other institutions.
People with whom we have close social ties
The society teaches us that no man is an island and we are social beings. Therefore, we need to establish close relations with people whom we can trust. Further, the society teaches us that trusts worthy people include our family members and for us children, our parents’ friends should also be our allies. We also get to learn about love and hence have boyfriends or girlfriends whom we meet through attending schools. The society insists on how trust is built over time. Therefore, when young girls have known that family friend for several years, they learn to trust them. The young girls tend to feel secure and often establish romantic relationships with them. The society failure to enlighten the young ones to what extent they should trust those close to them thus, making the partners take advantage of the girls. For instance, in the poem on rape joke, the young girl perceived the man to be one that never saw her interesting from an intimate perspective when she was young. However, in reality, the man thought of her as attractive, an individual that he could take advantage of whenever he wanted without experiencing any adverse effect. That is why later on the man went on to assault her, but because of how much she had trusted the man she found it weird and not a crime. Individuals who are close to women at times tend to take advantage of the trust and abuse women.
Also, the men with whom women have close ties with tend to cheat whenever their actions appear to expose their real intentions. For instance, the young girl in the poem had been going out with the boyfriend, and she noticed how the man idolised violent activities like wrestling. When the girl inquired why the man preferred violent actions the man openly lies to the girl claiming he was in love with the rock. However, he still engaged in destructive behaviour of getting high and also the books shelf had content relating to serial killers. The description of the room represents a man who is dangerous, yet the girl chooses to believe in what the man says. It is, therefore, evident that the society is exploiting the close social ties using vices like lies to derail women from realising the imminent danger of rape. The societal culture teaches the young adults that sex is allowed in a romantic relationship while overlooking the fact that for the act to be legal, the woman must consent. Therefore, even in marriages women still face the threat of rape from their husbands. However, when raped by their partner’s women never get help because of the fear that the community will assume that a woman must be submissive to her spouse.
Rape victims who fail to speak up.
For there to be progress in the fight against rape women who have been through the nasty ordeal must be ready to speak up at all cost. They should be vocal about the event as soon as it happens as opposed to waiting until it is too late. The young girl narrates her ordeal and explains how she was in a state of disbelief that she was raped. She further says that she went home as if nothing happened to her. Also, she was okay talking to friends about the nasty ordeal and even laughing over the issue. She took a year to let the parents know what transpired because she was afraid of what would happen as the perpetrator was like a son to her parents. Allowing fear prevent rape victims from seeking help encourages the culture of complacency with the crime in the society.
The perpetrators are always counting on their victims to keep quiet about the incident. Therefore, women should do the exact opposite. Also when the girl speaks of the rape, her friends never encourage her to seek help from the relevant authorities. Women are failing to effectively use the communications platforms available to support one another to speak against rape, yet the fight against women violence only succeeds when there is a collective effort. Whenever the victims are courageous other women facing a similar challenge will also be vocal. Therefore, at least the sex offenders will fear getting exposed and reduce their tendency to engage in the harmful behaviour. Also, women fail to be vigilant in seeking help from alternative sources whenever they receive a solution that is not fulfilling. In the poem, the girl was okay upon hearing her father forgive her yet she was still hurting.
Government institutions in charge of helping rape victims recover (counselling departments)
The counselling department is yet to make the public aware of the services they offer and how they can access them. That is why the young girl moves from city to city for five years seeking ways of how to overcome the rape incident. The department also fails to give the public necessary steps to overcoming rape, which explains why the girl lacked an idea of the right way to handle herself after the incident. The poem indicates how she kept writing about any other issue but rape yet that was her primary challenge. Further, the department inability to handle all rape cases denies the government an opportunity to understand the emerging trends of abuse comprehensively. For instance, in her case, the government lost a chance to know how parents were encouraging secrecy at the expense of assisting their children in recovering from rape.
Ultimately there are new mechanisms of promoting the rape culture in the 21st generation. The basic unit of the society is the primary avenue of normalising rape. Also, the social ties, some women who have been victims of rape and government institution that are meant to help rape victims are instead encouraging abuse. Therefore, the society must devise ways of using its institutions to discourage abuse else the problem will continue to persist.
Fontes, Lisa Aronson, and Kathy A. McCloskey. “Cultural Issues in Violence against Women”. Academia.Edu, 2018, http://www.academia.edu/947409/Cultural_issues_in_Violence_Against_Women. Accessed 16 May 2018.
Jordan, Ashley. “TIME Magazine Is Wrong. Rape Culture Does Exist. – Thehumanist.Com”. Thehumanist.Com, 2014, https://thehumanist.com/commentary/time-magazine-is-wrong-rape-culture-does-exist. Accessed 16 May 2018.