Sexualized Saturdays: Rape Culture

Trigger warning for rape throughout.

If you’ve been following the news, odds are you probably know a good bit about the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial. The case centers around two Steubenville High School football players charged with raping a drunk teenage girl.

The case is unique in that hacker group KnightSec first drew attention to the case by leaking a video showing students joking that the victim “is so raped her puss is about as dry as the sun right now.”

If you didn’t throw up a little bit, get the fuck out. Better yet, sit down and learn something.

A few articles have since pointed out that the Steubenville rape case is challenging sports’ rape culture. Before, the articles note, it was generally accepted that talented athletes could get away with treating women like objects of abuse. Rape was a funny word thrown around the locker room, nothing more.

I played multiple sports in high school. I still play several sports for recreation. And I can tell you this; this is not the majority opinion of sports fans and sports athletes.

Furthermore, the idea that rape is A-OK in sports-driven minds only is absurd.

Take, for example, this t-shirt created by t-shirt company Solid Gold Bomb.

The t-shirt is based off the popular “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters that have since been adopted by the internet-meme culture. The t-shirt suggests, I guess, that instead of carrying on, you should just rape. A lot. Good message.

According to this, the t-shirt has been discontinued. However, it shows that the blase nature of rape is not simply for the popular athletes. Some fanfiction pieces color rape as okay in some situations, even going as far as to use it as the primary catalyst for their story. Television shoves the trope of rape down their audience’s throats on a regular basis. There is an entire culture of adult comics that focus on anime characters getting forcefully penetrated by tentacled creatures. Political strategist Zerlina Maxwell was quoted as saying that women shouldn’t need guns to protect themselves from rape; men should just not rape. She then received rape threats in response. Isn’t that fucking cute?

The point is that, while the media would like to point to Steubenville and say “shame on that rape culture,” we’re overlooking the other circles that accept rape as standard. I’m a guy, and I have no wish to ever rape another person. If I have children, they will know that rape is wrong at an early age. Why? Because I do not want to hear any more stories about rape being okay in certain situations; “Boys will be boys,” and all that.

You never rape. Period. And rape is never something to be celebrated. Period.