Defining Perpeturapetion

esparreguera

Think twice if you’re going to touch your female friend

does she really want you to do that?

We're halfway through Perpeturapetion Reflection Month in anticipation for the debut of my film Perpeturaped at the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival on April 28th, 2018!

Thus, I felt it was time to really get into it by establishing a running definition of perpeturapetion, as it's established in the short documentary.

This month's examples are meant to illuminate a cultural occurrence that is often difficult to define - but is becoming increasingly easier the more we discuss it.

That occurrence is the perpetuation of rape culture in the media. 

Rape culture. What a scary word, right??

It definitely is, which I often think scares people away from using it. I've dedicated my life to being an advocate of the subject, and I still find myself hesitating the second before I use the phrase in a conversation with someone new.

I studied ... rape culture. In the media.

Still haven't quite figured out how to introduce it, which reinforces my point that we desperately need to talk about it. 

rapeculture

“Assault Allegations Will Ruin A Man’s Career.”

not

People have varying definitions of rape culture.

For some, it simply encompasses the parts of our culture that lead directly to rape - such as slut shaming or the way we treat victims in court. (i.e. asking them why they were wearing what they were wearing on the day they were raped / sexually attacked - implying it has anything to do with why rape happens - and playing to certain 'rape myths' to get their clients off)

Most feminists would include something as small as calling at a woman on the street as participating in rape culture because it reinforces the idea that men are entitled to a woman's body or time. And it's meant to be accepted with a smile even if it makes the woman feel incredibly uncomfortable or preyed upon. 

And some of us stretch the definition even further.

I'm an active voice in the conversation that even the simplest gender stereotyping can be an element of why rape happens

Cultures are woven together over time. And once something is stitched, it's very difficult to unravel the parts that don't really work. Or in this case, forms a culture that undermines women and their bodies, leading to both general inequality and sexual attacks. 🤷‍♀️

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That would probably be better than being turned on, believing I have a right to their body, then sexually assaulting them before they had a chance to leave

think about it

So, when I discuss something like general sexism, to many it may seem like a stretch to say that it leads to rape. But, I would argue that every sexist factor plays its role in creating a cultural landscape designed to suppress women. And that in itself is intrinsically linked to sex.

I know. Everybody hates the downer who claims that everything is sexist. But actually, that's just kind of part of it too. 

And guess what? You can still be fun and think that something participates in rape culture. We can still love our favorite movies and shows and music while recognizing that they're not always great for women. 

It's confusing. But it is possible to look at our culture from above and say, 'Yep this could use some work.' 

negative narritivizing

Let’s generalize about (wo)men

if you don’t catch the reference, drop everything and go watch crazy ex-girlfriend

And that's what perpetu-rape-tion sets out to do. To think about the media moments in life that have perpeturaped us. And recognize that we're still learning.  

If you hate this, maybe take a soul search and ask yourself why.

And maybe you just hate me! Which is a whole different thing! But that doesn't mean you have to be afraid of this subject.

And for the last time, men who get freaked by this term, it's not said in an accusatory way. In fact, that's a part of rape culture in itself - the fear that, as a man, they may take advantage of a female and not even realize they're doing it. 

Rape culture is something we all perpetuate. So it's on us to, guess what, talk about it YAY

So here we are, and here we'll continue to be all month! And then probably after that too!

Because rape culture is kinda everywhere ... so let's ruin everything we love!

And remember: it's a culture, people.


Rape culture goes a little OVERBOARD

10 Thing I Hate About You, Rape Culture