Sexual violence is a behavior that is highly condemned in the global arena, and the incidents of victims being assaulted are on the rise. Rape is an issue of public concern since it is considered to be a form of violence against women. In most cases, the victims of abuse are females from diverse social classes and populations, and the impact of the same is felt on a daily basis. The definition of what rape entails has changed over the years, but the overall description still stands as the forceful penetration of the penis finger or any other object into the vagina, mouth or anal of the victim without their consent. Even in cases where approval is given it should be examined whether it is expressed or implied.
Rape culture is a situation where society normalizes rape violence and accepts it as part of the custom. The term rape culture originated back in the 1970s when there was a trend to standardize the sexual violence acts that were taking place in the country at that time. Therefore an effort was made to examine the relationship between rape and culture, and it appeared that the society had accommodated sexual violence assuming it to be part of the culture. The accommodation of these behaviors resulted in a culture that promoted the sexual abuse of individuals. It was a gradual process that persistent and up to date the rape culture is still practiced in various parts of the country. This culture has been established due to various misconceptions, myths about rape and the elements of blaming the victim in case of sexual harassment. These factors have worked to form an opinion concerning the crime and shaped the societal views that drive the sexual behaviors of the society. So that the misconceptions about sexual abuse have in turn resulted in the development of a culture that views sexual harassment in another perspective. Some of these factors revolve around matters such as rape cannot occur in the context of marriage, women compromise themselves to be raped, and women don't tell the truth when they claim to be raped among many other perceptions on the same (Kesselman et al. 26).
One of the reasons for the rape culture is the patriarchal system that gives men more authority than women and also the prescribed roles of the two genders in the society. As such the myth that a husband cannot rape his wife becomes evident as men demand sex from their wife and if the women are not willing they take it by force (Kirk, Gwyn, & Margo Okazawa-Rey 25). The context of marriage has thus significantly contributed to the rape culture. More so, rape was seen as a weapon of war among the communities in the political systems. In a time of war, women are taken advantage of and raped. The incidences are then seen as a way that the opponents use to defend themselves rather than as an assault on women. Hence during the war, it is seen as a regular occurrence for women to be raped with no further action being taken. In the recent days, there had been shifting of the blame from the perpetrators of the act to the victims. Through the social media platforms, women have been condemned for indecent dressing and other activities that compromise them placing them at risk of being raped. As a consequence, women have been abused and blamed for their carelessness and indecent dressing that provoked their perpetrators (Hubbard 30). Other allegations have been that the victim was walking alone at night and thus then it is justified if he is raped.
From the cultural concept and the widespread myths about women is that they yes no when they mean no. This lie has resulted in harassment and women who say no to sexual assault has been taken forcefully. It is more so when backed up with the concept that believes that women enjoy being raped at all times. The society has internalized the misconception and rape is not just a new case in the community but a common occurrence. Again many cultures have compromised pornography that promotes the rape culture in which it has been viewed as something friendly and a regular phenomenon in the community.
The negative consequences of the rape culture cannot be underestimated or overlooked in any way. As a result of the same many people, both men and women have continued to suffer on a daily basis. One of the impacts of the culture is that it makes it very difficult for one to eliminate rape. In this culture, sexual assault is seen as a regular occurrence in the society and thus no need to do away with it. As a result, more people continue to be assaulted every day. The effects of the rape on the victims cannot be ignored. The endless suffering of the individual in the hands of the victim both physically and emotionally result in severe consequences and affect the well-being of the individual in the society (Lee 25). The rape culture also creates a fearful environment for everyone in the community and especially the target victims. It also leads to the increased spread of sexually transmitted infections among other ailments.
In conclusion, the rape culture has taken root in the society, and many people are being condoned for their behavior. The different social institutions that are in the communities have contributed to the establishment of this culture and keep on taking root every day. The detrimental effects on the society that are caused by the issue is also a subject of concern.
Feminism is a social theory that employs an interdisciplinary approach when dealing with issues to do with gender equality, gender expression, gender identity and sexuality as it relates to the social methods of and also political activism. Feminism has been evolving and it currently broadly covers the social and performative constructions of gender and sexuality. The main agenda of feminism is to create equity in aspects where intersectionality such as class, race, and gender has created division among the people.
In so many ways the feminist has worked to bring a social change to the society today, and this is remarkable. One of the factors is the creation of a balance between the men and women in the nation regarding opportunities and the roles played by each one of them. Feminism has also empowered women and their ability to make their own decisions when it comes to reproductive issues. Matters concerning the reproduction in women were of have raised the alarm as it was evident that they are entirely controlled by the society. One of the major issues was the ability of women to perform an abortion when they wanted. For many years abortion was illegal, and action was taken on those that participated in it. The setting in of feminist, however, has changed the way people view abortion, and many countries are beginning to legalize it (Kesselman et al. 26). As a result, some centers are working to advance the reproductive rights of women both on a national and international scale.
Feminism has also brought along the realization that women have equal capabilities as men and thus females in the society have taken on similar tasks to those of men. Some factors in the community were mainly confined to the male gender as the women were seen as weak vessels that could not perform these duties. But due to feminism, the women have gained self-confidence, and apart from being mothers and housewives, they are also able to engage in different professions and other self-realization fields. More women have taken up various careers, and this is to the advantage of the society. More so the feminist has brought to the limelight some of the sufferings of women such as domestic abuse. In return, feminism has drawn public attention to the issues pertaining women, and this has led to the coming in of various players into the field to deal with the problems (Valenti 24). Multiple organizations have been found that have concentrated on different ways to deal with issues affecting women and it has led to the creation of legislative and legal mechanisms that would protect victims.
One of the mediums that are used by the feminists is the social media platforms. These platforms have created discussions that have ended up liberating women from most of the social perspectives that have so long dominated the culture of the society. More so these platforms have led to the inclusion of everyone in the community. Another platform that has been utilized by the feminist is the media. Most Media have taken up upon themselves to propagate the issues that concern women and thus have resulted in more concentration on women issues. The media has acted as a powerhouse and an agent of change for the various issues affecting women. As a result, multiple blogs and websites that are geared towards feminism are available to tackle these issues. Feminist have also formed organizations that have supported the agenda of women in the society (Pollit 6). These organizations are at the forefront to lobby for the rights of women and condemn any acts that are directed towards harassing them. Still, many organizations are being formed every other day for the same purpose.
Several principles have shaped the activities that are undertaken by a feminist to bring about the social transformation in the society. One of the laws is that the position of men and women in the nation has always been unequal. To this, the feminism has worked to bring about equality on the two genders and various proposals have been passed on the same. The second principle is the patriarchal one in which case the men have dominated the females in different ways. As an outcome the best position in the society and the various social institutions have been left for the male gender and which in turn leads to oppression and neglecting of the females in the diverse social institutions. Feminism has thus worked to outdo this principle and in return ensured both genders are treated the same. Lastly, the other policy that forms the feminism structure is that most of the social institutions are mainly dominated by the malefactor. From the political system, the economy, the family, and the religious circles male are mostly considered as the superior power and has always been vested with more authority as compared to the female gender (Valenti 30). Feminism depends on this and works to do away with this patriarchal system.
In conclusion, feminism is an issue of concern to many activists and hence should be looked at keenly. Feminist have employed many techniques to institute social change and structure in the society. More so different forms and mediums have been used by the activist to propagate their agenda on feminism. All these activities are guided by the various principles that shape the society, and they are all organized to achieve this change.
Hubbard, Nyla Jo Jones. The Rape of the American Working Woman: How the Law and the Attitude Violate Your Paycheck. Algora Publishing, 2016.
Kesselman, Amy V, Lily D. McNair, and Nancy Schniedewind. Women: Images and Realities: a Multicultural Anthology. Boston, Mass: McGraw-Hill, 2008. Print.
Kirk, Gwyn, and Margo Okazawa-Rey. Women's Lives: Multicultural Perspectives. Mountain View, Calif: Mayfield Pub, 2012. Print.
Lee, Peter J. S. This Man's Military: Masculine Culture's Role in Sexual Violence / Peter J.S. Lee. 2016. Drew paper: no. 26
Pollitt, Katha. "Feminism for All." Nation, vol. 304, no. 8, 13 Mar. 2017, pp. 6-8.
Valenti, Jessica. "The Empowerment Elite Claims Feminism." Nation, vol. 298, no. 9, 03 Mar. 2014, pp. 22-24
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