Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rape Culture Part 2

This link was shared with me about the CNN coverage of the rape case in Ohio.  I posted my thoughts above the link from

This is part of the rape culture I was speaking about earlier. The boys' lives are ruined, yes. They made choices. What about the young woman whose life was forever altered because our society says it's ok to rape a drunk girl? She got drunk--perhaps deserved a hangover, not being raped. Avoiding expletives while typing--this really angers me.
From the Huffington Post:

CNN's Steubenville Coverage Focuses On Effect Rape Trial Will Have On Rapists, Not Victim

The Teaching High School Sociology web site

Rape Culture and a Teaching Opportunity

Earlier today, I awaited the news of the verdict of the trial of the two Steubenville, Ohio boys accused of committing sexual assault on the unconscious 16-year-old female classmate.  I then posted a series of links and comments on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.  This problem has many facets, from male entitlement, to distorted definitions of masculinity and femininity, irrational expectations related to alcohol and behavior, a culture that objectifies and denigrates women, and many more issues.

I also posted this picture I found online--it received a number of likes and comments:

My FB friends also had these items to say:

  • And being a high school football star or coach in a tight-knit community does not make you above common human decency or the law.
  • Too bad they got away with only being charged as juveniles.
  • I quit a "frat" that was like this. Right there in Ohio. It was so filthy and objectified the ladies so much. I have NEVER seen anything like it before or since. And I'm not Mr. Straight Arrow. Even today I like to party sometimes. It was hhhhHORRIBLE. This kind of stuff should be SNUFFED OUT FOR EVVVER!
  • Reading that was so sad. I hope everyone involved (coach included) has to face a fitting consequence. Also, where were any adults during this? There's alcohol, driving around (with or without alcohol?), a drunk girl that no one seems to account for until the next day... Sad.
  • Very true- it's not an issue about women or men, it's an issue within our society and culture that needs to be changed. I think because it's such a "bad" topic though, it's only gonna get pushed aside because people don't want to admit that it is something that is wrong within our culture (something wrong with us?? Never!). More awareness is a good start.
  • Chuck- do K-12 programs ever address this? I'm not saying play parents...but currently K-12 have programs about drinking and driving, drugs, etc. Seems to be a good way to address some problems in a rape culture.
  • I never heard of positive masculinity till now, but found this:

    Most of what I read just now seems good..but all this "must provide" "must protect" stuff seems a bit outdat
    ed. Can't a mother provide and/or protect? I mean yes I can do more physical damage, but that's not the only protection. 

    As to providing...I'm in that boat now. But I know other couples the women make more money. I don't think there's any shame to a stay at home dad either. If a man gets his career sidetracked by the economy or chooses to stay at home because he has a contractor kind of job, or wife makes more money, etc.

    I do wish this article in the "shared activities" would have listed another example than sports. We've put that one way to high on a golden pedestal in this nation, especially with k-12.
      Kiselica and Englar-Carlson look at how Positive Psychology can be used to support troubled men and boys. They discuss a strengths-based approach known as Positive Masculinity. As the mother of a rapidly-growing boy (aged 8, going on 18), I was very interested to come across the Positive Masculi...

  • And we still have a ways to go. I was sickened by the recent exchange on Sean Hannity in which a woman (who survived a rape) debated Hannity about guns and rape. She advocated "teach boys not to rape" over carrying a firearm.
    The reaction of the Hannity faithful was disgusting.
    Woman Receives Rape Threats After Telling Hannity Guns Won't Prevent Rape: Teaching men is the way to prevent rape, she said on the show, Democratic strategist Zerlina Maxwell, herself a rape survivor, appeared on Sean Hannity's show to talk about rape. A...

  • Is it a rape culture or a sexual objectification culture we have? Or both? There are few of us men who actually rape women, but many of us look at them and treat them as sexual objects through our looks, comments, attention, and obsession with porn. This is not at all to minimize the vileness of rape, but to say as men, I believe we need to stand against much more than just rape.

There were many more comments, but this is a good representation.  Now if we all can have these conversations in our classrooms, yes, even at the high school level, it would help being awareness to what is going on outside our classes.

So these are some issues that need to be out there and confronted in our classrooms.  I've always been fortunate enough to teach in schools that allow me to ask my students questions.  I doubt that everyone could do this, but it is worth a shot.  I will endeavor to follow up on this issue with more resources.

The Teaching High School Sociology web site