Abuse in any form is never an easy subject to write about. The key is to find an equitable balance to ensure the theme is not exaggerated.
Adolescents and young adults are four times more likely to be victims of sexual assault. In the vast majority of these cases, the perpetrator is an acquaintance of the victim. Date rape is a subset of acquaintance rape where nonconsensual sex occurs between two people who are in a romantic relationship.
Rape culture, or victim blaming, a term coined by feminists in the 1970’s, has been a part of society for centuries.
Rape culture plays a central role in the social dynamics of our time and is at the heart of all our personal interactions. It’s part of all our social, societal and environmental struggles. Rape culture is not just about sex. It is the product of a generalized attitude of male supremacy.
The anti-rape movement of the 1970’s did not materialize from thin air. Like all significant changes in the evolution of human history, the Anti-rape Movement is a manifestation of the gradual progress of an evolving culture and a noticeable shift in the prevailing norms and beliefs of that culture.
Throughout most of history, rape was not viewed as a crime. Women were considered property and without rights. Like taking land, men took women as an act of aggression; an affirmation of their strength and masculinity.
Examples of Rape Culture:
- Blaming the victim (“She asked for it!” – “Dressed for it.”)
- Trivializing sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”)
- Condoning the behaviour – looking the other way
- Sexually explicit jokes
- Tolerance of sexual harassment
- Inflating false rape report statistics
- Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history
- Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television
- Defining “manhood” as dominant and sexually aggressive
- Defining “womanhood” as submissive and sexually passive
- Pressure on men to “score”
- Pressure on women to not appear “cold”
- Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
Every cause has an affect and #NoMeansNo is a book about sexual abuse and its consequences.
Heads up men: Let women know you are there for them. Showing that you support her often changes the dynamics. Be a big brother to a sister – a response that should be instinctual.
“Linda has published fifteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”