Posted by: The Lazy Admin | April 15, 2013

“Rape Culture” is a Red Herring

There, I said it.

I know quite a few of you armchair activists out there with more internet rage than you know what to do with are going to instantly go from zero-to-batshit but you know what?  Tough.

I’m as appalled as the next regular, mostly sane person when it comes to seeing all the stories of teenage girls lately, going to parties where they get liquored up, raped, and later publicly humiliated.  My reaction though is less bleeding-heart and more pent-up anger at how, in general, parents who have been having children since the 90’s have been dropping the ball.  I don’t mean in a way such as specifically parenting their children, but since we’re on the topic…

We’re not facing a ‘rape culture’.  The more you want to talk about it like it is (just like the gun debate) the less you’re actually going to accomplish.  Though, I’m guessing for many of you, it’s only the good feeling of acting like you’re standing on the right side of the issue that attracts many of you even to this blog post.

Now I’m going to tell you why you’re dead wrong for thinking of it as ‘rape culture’, and what you can actually do to make a difference.

Rape culture, as a term, alludes that there’s a prevailing sentiment in our society that encourages and condones sexual assault and rape.  If that’s so, then why are there so many people outspoken against it?  Why are people livid when a girl commits suicide as a result of one of these tragic occurrences rather than cheering for the rapists?

When an individual feels as passionately (and as unwavering in their beliefs, e.g. feminists, opponents of evolution theory, etc.) as the most outspoken on the topic seem to do, the idea is to make the issue as a big and scary as possible.  They want more support, and they want it however they can get it.  Hey, I get it.  Nobody wants to be wrong, but I’m not going to sit here and apologize to you, reader, if you are one of these people.  You’ve got an issue and it’s important to you.  Not me.

If you are flying your banner on rape culture as a thing, and that’s your issue, then friend you need to be aware of something:  you’re grandstanding.  According to Merriam-Webster, that is, you “Seek to attract applause or favorable attention from spectators or the media.”

Not to mention you are, like so many others like you, trying to put a band-aid on the bleeding when there’s a deeper, darker, worse problem here.  Ever wonder what actually causes your ‘rape culture’?  Let’s take a look.

The case of Rehtaeh Parsons is a great example here.  The media pastes the picture as being some sick conspiracy between the police, the school, and the community who all apparently didn’t want this girl’s attackers to come to justice.  How much more crazy is that than saying the JFK assassination was a government plot?  You’re taking a lack of evidence as your proof when you haven’t actually proven anything.

You ever stop to think about the boys who did this and how they were raised?  What about their community?  Their friends?  How did any of these boys make it to that age without understanding the repercussions of doing what they did?  You want to find and fight a real battle?  Tell me how these boys grew up with a blatant disregard for law, personal boundaries, and responsibility.

It’s not just boys!  Girls are just as guilty of this as boys are, so you feminists can stop your war chants.

Just a few weeks ago I read an article about a group of girls who were coercing, threatening, and assaulting girls into basically being their sex slaves, pimping them out to men so they could earn money.

You want some uncomfortable discussion?  Let’s talk about just how much of this ‘rape culture’ is perpetuated by women.  Yeah, light that torch now…

So if boys and girls alike are equally as likely to commit sex crimes, where is the problem?  Still think it’s rape culture?  What if I told you it’s a gradual apathy and lack of responsibility on part of the parents and the support system that should be there for these kids?  We can see this at least twice in cases like Rehtaeh Parsons and Audrie Potts.  The kids went through a terrible, traumatic event made even worse by the brashness of their attackers, and ultimately killed themselves.  Where were the parents?

This is happening to kids… OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

We have several generations of children being raised by absentee parents and learning their morals from pop culture.  We have parents allowing kids to go to parties, like where Rehtaeh Parsons was raped, without verifying the nature of the event or checking up on their daughter.  We have parents who sign off on their kids the moment they can feed and clothe themselves.  You want to know where the ‘rape culture’ came from?  Worthless mommies and daddies.

More and more in US culture is the lack of taking responsibility.  Even our largest businesses no longer accept responsibility for their mistakes.  And why should they?  There’s no repercussions for breaking laws, ruining people’s lives, and then sitting on the curb crying about how they need someone to help them out.  You’re teaching our kids that. YOU!  

There are *no* consequences for all the most ancient and universally ‘bad’ things anymore like murder, and even then someone just wants to hug the murderer because it’s not ‘their fault’ that daddy beat them.  It’s not their fault mommy was mean.

I’m not old by any stretch, but I am observant.  I grew up the mid 80’s when most of this nonsense was really starting to get rolling.  My parents were raised to respect adults and follow the rules.  Breaking rules or doing something bad meant pain, or some other unpleasant result that most sensible kids wanted to avoid.  If you look back across past generations of kids, they tended to learn how the world worked by these examples.

Nowadays it feels like you can’t even spank your kids for fear of having the government up in your house, or going to jail.  If you want kids to learn some morals, social responsibility, and respect for others then they need to be afraid of what happens.  What happens when a grown-up is “bad”?   They go to jail usually, right?  What about when you do the right thing?  Does someone take you out for ice cream?  Do you get a new toy for doing what you’re supposed to do?  Why do we continually treat children like this, only to set them up for a horrible life where our only hope is they’re smart enough to figure it out on their own what happens as an adult?  Bad parenting.

There is no incentive to do the right thing as an adult.  Only disincentives.  Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer of those all the time.

In Rehtaeh’s case, her parents in my opinion are the main cause and responsible party to the girl’s death.

1)  They let this girl attend a party where there would be alcohol?
2)  This girl didn’t know what *might* happen if she drank too much and passed out, having apparently little fear for her own safety?
3)  Her parents didn’t impart that fear into her??
4)  DOES NOBODY WATCH THE NEWS OR READ THE INTERNET and see the same thing happening to other girls and think, “Gosh, I better be careful or that could happen to me!”
5)  Why did it take her death before people elicited a single iota of empathy or sympathy towards her?

Lack of Responsibility

Pardon me for saying so, but I’m not blaming the victim here.  Detailing where things went wrong for Rehtaeh in a meaningful context is not “blaming the victim” so once again, we have another group of people who are unwilling to come to grips with how the world actually works and actually try to make things better.

It is not blaming the victim to point out that Rehtaeh’s judgment in choosing to ingest possibly dangerous amounts of alcohol, whether at the behest of her ‘friends’ or of her own free will, was stupid.  It is not blaming the victim to point out that underage drinking is not only illegal but is dangerous.

“Stop blaming the victim” is another red herring for a culture that doesn’t want to address problems.  It’s a statement for a culture who only want the problems to go away.  If you have ever uttered those words in real life or on the Internet, I have bad news:  you may be part of the real problem.

We have built such a culture that people always have someone else to blame.  If I crash my car, it was a mechanical fault.  It was the weather conditions.  It was the other driver.  Let’s completely ignore just what was within my own power to protect myself and my vehicle.  Notice I didn’t mention if I was driving too fast, or talking on the cell phone, or eating while I was driving.  Why would I mention any of that?  Then it looks like it could have been my fault.

If a teenage girl goes to a party, gets drunk, passes out, and it’s around some of these sociopaths created by a society bent on protecting children from everything including accepting responsibility and penalties for their actions, it’s not entirely the girl’s fault… but stop acting like she had no responsibility for what happened.

We live in an information age.  It’s ridiculous to think that her parents nor herself would have at least known that those activities were dangerous, especially if you are not experienced with drinking and know when you’ve had “too much”.  It’s ridiculous to think the parties involved never heard of any case where this happened to a girl.

It’s ridiculous to think, in this day and age, that it couldn’t happen to them.  Their health and well-being, if interpreted through their actions, says “I’m not responsible for what happens.”

Personal responsibility has all but disappeared in Western society.  We don’t teach kids anymore that there are serious, damning, life-changing repercussions not only when we make serious errors in judgment, but when we affect others with our actions.

The boys in Rehtaeh’s case were brazen and unabashedly proud of their actions.  Do you think they were taught that rape is okay?  Do you think they were taught that drinking alcohol and destroying someone’s life was okay?  Chances are, they were simply not taught about consequences.

And there’s nothing you can do about it.  We’ve already been damaged, as a whole, by the individuals who think their way of thinking and doing with our children is best.  We’ve been told we’re wrong for spanking and punishing our children, and instead carry a proverbial bag of treats with us and simply become observers in our children’s lives to hand out rewards when they do as we expect.  Once they realize that only rewards come for expected behavior they do the behavior when they will get the reward and then do as they please.  No responsibility, no consequences.

You have got to stop being part of the problem.  Gun control people, you have got to stop being part of the problem.  Rape culture herd-mentality activists, you have got to stop being part of the problem.  The more you put your problems into a little box because you are so worked up and want your rewards now, the worse you’re making it.

You see a problem, but don’t have the critical thinking skills required to figure out how it became a problem.  Then you become part of the problem.  Stop being part of the problem.

There is no “rape culture”.  There are sick, twisted, undisciplined, unfeeling, uncaring, disconnected, remorseless, self-centered, reward-driven, under-educated, unbalanced, apathetic, uninterested, socially irresponsible, ticking time bombs waiting up and down your street.  The sad part is, most of them are children.

It’s your responsibility to learn to recognize that’s where the problem starts.  It’s your responsibility to learn how to not be like that.  It’s your responsibility to teach your kids to not be like that.

If you don’t want the responsibility, there’s good news.  You can be another statistic, and might serve as a warning to others with better sense.



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