Thursday, March 21, 2013

See, There Is This Thing Called Rape Culture...

[Content note: rape culture]

It seems that Henry Rollins meant well when he wrote this piece on the Steubenville rape cases, and I agree with most of what he says. I'm appreciative of his sentiment and I don't want that to get lost in what I'm about to say.


By approaching the issue of rape culture from a perspective of, "For the last couple of hours, I have been thinking of the verdict" and then going on to pretty much describe rape culture as though rape culture has never been talked about before, Rollins suggests that he's perhaps not thought much about rape culture until he learned of this incident.

That so many people choose not to think about rape culture until a high profile case that's relatively "easy" for people to condemn, in part, because actual footage of the rape exists, in itself, seems to be a symptom of rape culture. 

Furthermore, feminists have been saying all of what he says in his piece, of course, for years.

Rollins makes no reference to this ongoing woman-led, feminist-led conversation about rape culture. Indeed, he proposes solutions, off-the-cuff, with no reference to solutions that women have proposed or have been proposing for years. The subtext suggests that maybe he believes in rape culture, not because people, especially women, have been talking about it for years, but because he watched a video and read commentary about Steubenville for a few hours and saw it in action.

That, the ignoring and ignorance of women speaking for years about our lived experiences, seems to be a symptom of rape culture too.

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