I could point to as many instances of manifestations of rape culture as I could to try to “prove” that we live in one, but I don’t think the rape-culture-isn’t-real crowd understand the importance of rape culture theory.
1 in 6 women, or 1 in 5, (in the U.S. anyway) will be the victim of attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
That’s a lot of rape.
I have to believe that we live in a rape culture because the alternative is believing that quite a few men would rape and sexually assault people without any sort of conditioning from our culture.
"Rape culture" is the idea that rape is culturally condoned under certain circumstances; the idea that sex is believed by our culture to be “owed”, “deserved”, or “earned” under certain circumstances.
But more importantly, when people talk about “rape culture”, they are talking about the idea that it’s not possible that that many men are just born with the desire to rape; there has to be something wrong with our culture,otherwise there is something inherently wrong with men, which is an idea I have to outright reject.
In other words, rape culture theory is nothing more than optimism; It’s the assumption thatthings can change, that rape is preventable, that if we change attitudes towards sex and rape then we can change the frequency of rape, that rape is so common because of culture, not because of an inherent flaw in the male gender.
Cultures can change; inherent human behaviour cannot. By placing the blame on culture for the high amount of rape, it’s essentially asserting that men aren’t inherently evil, they’re just coerced by our culture to evil acts.