Rape Culture


We have the power to stop rape culture with one word. Respect.

You don’t have to go too far on a college campus to know someone who has been affected by sexual assault.  It’s a college campus epidemic, and somehow it’s becoming excusable. With minimal punishment for sexual assault crimes even here at Bucknell, we find justifications within the phrases, “They never said no”, “We were just so drunk, it didn’t mean anything”, “It will ruin their future”.

What if college campuses everywhere emphatically rejected the idea of sexual assault as being excusable?

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12 thoughts on “Rape Culture”

  1. This is a good post given the recent articles regarding UVA and Columbia (http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/arts/design/in-a-mattress-a-fulcrum-of-art-and-political-protest.html?_r=0). Does it really have to take a viral article to get people to pay attention to this issue? What strategies would you implement at universities to deal with this? Should education begin before college, if so, when?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, While the article added attention to it, I would say many people here, staff, faculty, students, HAVE been talking about this for awhile.

      Of course, MORE attention is better, especially in ways that enlist people into positive behaviors.

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  2. Being a SpeakUP Bucknell peer (and Emily is too!), I understand as well as anyone how difficult it is to combat this issue. Change takes time, and such an issue is difficult to address categorically, and even moreso from a general, nationwide basis. What do you think would be your first step to make positive change at Bucknell?

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    1. I haven’t seen/don’t recall seeing this PSA before which is surprising because I looked up the original video “A Needed Response” and it almost has 10 million views! We have similar messages but I wanted to aim for changing the idea of sexual assault as being excusable on college campuses by a message that asserts being a person doing the right thing out of respect .

      I wanted to make a video that tackled the issue of sexual assault on this campus because it’s an issue that has affected my friend group in the past year. I wanted to translate what my friends and I call “girl-code” (the usual taking care of your friend if she’s too drunk…tuck her in, put tea/water by her bed) into “everyone-code”, in which the procedural things we do to take care of each other as friends under this unofficial code would be normative for everyone to do, despite gender and friend groups. Sure, we’re more likely to do these things for our friends, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, ect. but what if the mindset of people on campus changed to these things being normative for anyone you see that needs help? By rejected the idea of sexual assault being excusable, the mindset of assuming a guy would be likely to do something inappropriate with a passed out girl could change to something more positive.

      Preventing sexual assault is as easy as respecting another human being and making sure they’re ok. Right now it’s the right thing to do for a friend, but shouldn’t it be for everyone? I originally wanted it to be a guy that had a crush on the girl passed out, but my friend Zach suggested it would be better if it was “some random passed out drunk girl” because it would better foster this idea of respecting everyone on campus…even people you don’t know.

      Actors are my friends Zach and Danielle

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think if he had a crush on her, it would be more powerful, but for a different reason. I think part of rape culture is an attitude that males “deserve” sex and hence have a right to “take” it. So, a video linking masculinity to respect undoes that cultural message.

        Yours is good in terms of helping anyone, but it is somewhat different then exorcising the “sex is my right” demon in masculinity.

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    1. What is fascinating here to me is how innovation works. We have lots of historical cases of the same idea emerging at the same time among disconnected people. THe theory is that similar mileux produce similar responses. After the fact we assign solitary credit to an individual “genius” or “hero.”

      Your girl code probably exists other places. And it gets recreated and diffused through same-campus and cross-campus social networks. Hence, it was common “raw material” to use to culture jam the rape culture.

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