Dear Future President,
“She must have wanted it.” “He was drunk; he couldn’t help it.” “Boys will be boys.” These are all examples that have been said to blame the victim of a rape. These are therefore all examples of rape culture.
Do we really want America's culture to be Rape Culture? Only 40% of rape cases are reported. This is because most rape victims are to scared to report rape, because the default response for most authority figures is to blame the victim. When someone reports a rape, the first thing they hear should not be scrutiny against their actions. No one wants to be blamed for something that happened to them. Sexual assault or rape is never the victim's fault. It is a violent act committed against the person, not an act of sexual passion. Rape and sexual assault is degrading to the victims. No one wants or asks to be attacked. Unlike what the media would have you to believe, humans are not animals and therefore can control their actions. Telling the victim of a rape or sexual assault that their attacker could not control himself is not a solution to this problem.
Another problem, trivializing sexual assault, is a big factor in rape culture. This happens when people say things such as "Boys will be Boys." No one raises their son to rape someone, but men are told their whole lives by society and social media that they are supposed to be dominant and sexually aggressive. This is what needs to stop. Boys will be boys, but boys should not be rapists.
To decrease this cultural norm in our society more people need to take rape accusations more seriously. 98% of rape accusations are true. Only 2% are false. When a woman (or a man) reports a rape, it should always be looked into. If rape accusations were taken seriously, and more than 14-16% of rapes made it to trial, rape culture would decrease extensively. On that note, when a women (or a man) makes a rape accusation her/his history, clothing, mental state, or motives should not be taken into consideration when following up on the accusation. Just because a girl is wearing a skirt a little short or is a little tipsy, does not mean she "wanted it."
Also, convicted rapists should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 97% of rapists never spend a day in jail. Just because they "have a bright future," or are an athlete should not excuse their actions. Yes their future may have been bright, but what about the future of the woman (or man) they raped?? The victim has so much to deal with now, their future has diminished significantly. If your daughter was raped or sexually assaulted, you would want the rapist prosecuted. So many victims and families have seen their rapists walk free. These victims live in fear everyday, that is not a way for anyone to live.
Everyone can do something to combat rape culture. Men and women can stop using words that degrade women. Take rape accusations clearly, support anyone who is a victim. Define your own womanhood and manhood. Do not let stereotypes define you.
Unlike what the media would have you to believe, humans are not animals and therefore can control their actions. Telling the victim of a rape or sexual assault that their attacker could not control himself is not a solution to this problem.
Rape culture is a serious problem in America. 600 people are raped everyday in the United States. Every 2 minutes another person becomes a victim. In the time it took you to read this letter, another person was victimized. Why is this not in the media more? Why are only 40% of rapes reported to the police? These things are because rape and sexual assault are considered cultural norms in our society and country. This needs to stop. Rape culture needs to stop.
Thank you for your time,
Anna Reese C.