What Is Rape Culture?

What Is Rape Culture? February 7, 2014

by Suzanne Calulu cross posted from her blog True Love Doesn’t Rape

Buzzfeed.com had an awesome article today laying out exactly what Rape Culture actually is. They even had photos to illustrate the problem and that song by Robin Thicke that is a perfect example of rape culture and the lack of informed consent – Blurred Lines.

If you haven’t seen the video or heard the song here it is. Not safe for work.

The writers and editors did an outstanding job breaking down what Rape Culture is, the only problem was they failed to include the whole impossible Purity Culture Rape Culture in Biblical Patriarchy. They left it entirely out. No talk about ‘taking her myself’ on the wedding night, no Vaughn Ohlman-esque ponderings on women never having the right to refuse a “Godly” husband sex, nothing by Debi Pearl urging you to play along with your man’s sexual needs even when you hate it. Not one thing about how Fundamentalist Christianity tends to view all women as walking vaginas free to plow at any time regardless of consent, while insisting on virginity and virginal behavior.

One of the bigger problems in the Christianity version of Rape Culture is that with girls being taught to stay sweet, obey orders and be sexually innocent is that it sets these same young women and girls up to be victims/targets by the males surrounding them and not even realize it. Look at the stories of all the women sexually harassed by ATI head Bill Gothard, one of the big things those ladies had in common is not realizing while it was going on that he had clearly crossed a line into Rape Culture. Hard to recognize a creep with impure motives when you’ve been sheltered to the point where you don’t know those types of predators actually exist.

My question tonight is what do we do as citizens of this nation to make sure that Rape Culture dies a swift death?

Also, I like this version of “Blurred Lines” much better, even if it’s no more safe for work than the other one. It’s more honest.

Comments open below

Read everything by Calulu!

Calulu is an empty nester lives near Washington DC with her husband, cats and various rescue birds. She works at a residential treatment center for children and is also the administrator of NLQ. Was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 7 years ago. Her blogs are True Love Doesn’t Rape and  Calulu – Seeking The Light

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce



"People with integrity won't even be considered for years to come."

Larry Solomon Loves Racist Misogynistic Rush ..."
"Larry and Trump love Rush for the same reasons: He's part of their "old boys' ..."

Larry Solomon Loves Racist Misogynistic Rush ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nea

    I’m reading this before I go to work; finding the Blurred Lines parody by three women that is particularly graphic will have to wait for my retun, but I like it because it flips the rape culture right back, with a chorus that boils down to “if you don’t like it when I do it to you, don’t expect me to find it flattering, guys.”

    Rape culture is so pervasive that it can’t be killed a swift death. Hate to say it, but when every! Single! Community! I’m part of from religion (and atheism) to gaming to online is marinating in dude privilege, it’s not something that can be knocked out in the next couple of years. I think that now we’re in the name-and-shame part, where calling it out every time it appears, from pop culture through fringe cultures and making it clear that this is not cool and won’t be allowed to pass without prompt pushback is the best we can do.

    Times are changing… but glacially.

  • attackfish

    Please note to anyone going to Buzzfeed: Don’t read the comments. For your own mental health, DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS.

  • Catherine

    I think part of the reason Buzzfeed didn’t address this particular aspect of rape culture is that the QF/Purity culture is such a small subculture that it goes virtually unnoticed by most of its readers.

  • Jewel

    The parody is right on and hilarious.

    “Payback is a bitch”. LOL.

  • $66283444

    I think it’s a two-part process.

    First, the laws need to change, and they have been, but there’s more work to do. Rape is a crime and it should be prosecuted as such. It still baffles me why a person who reports a rape is so quickly discounted, yet a person who reports burglary is taken seriously.

    Second, we as a society need to let go of co-dependency, but that’s a work for each person individually. We each need to learn how to set and enforce our own boundaries (especially when no one else will back us up), and we need to learn how to respect the boundaries of others.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Re: “…We each need to learn how to set and enforce our own boundaries (especially when no one else will back us up)…”

    The problem is, “setting and enforcing your own boundaries” only goes so far if you’re around someone who doesn’t respect the boundaries of others and there’s no one around who’s willing to back you up. I’ve read about how a teenage Elizabeth Tudor was sexually harassed by her stepfather Thomas Seymour who entered her bedchamber and woke her by tickling her (people slept naked then) and ignored her requests for him to stop? When the scandal broke, people assessed Elizabeth as being equally guilty in “betraying” Katherine Parr– even 21st century historians!

    Mind you, I do get what you’re saying– we need to teach girls that they have a right to speak up and define their own boundaries without worrying about being “impolite” or “hurting his feelings” by rejecting him. Women have been socialized to always be “nice”– and there are real social and professional penalties exacted when someone female steps outside the “niceness” boundaries. Did you hear about the experiment that showed when female applicants negotiated for a higher salary men stated they’d be unhappy about working with this woman in the future, while male applicants who did the same thing incurred no such animus?

  • $66283444

    I didn’t hear about that experiment, but it doesn’t surprise me; I’ve long ago accepted the fact that some folks will call me a bitch. Still, I have the higher salary to show for it, so whatever. lol.

    You’re right that boundaries only go so far, which is why I think law enforcement needs to keep stepping it up.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Interesting Development: Robin Thicke has defended himself from the charge that ‘Blurred Lines’ promotes rape culture by claiming that the song is a paean to his wife, Paula Patton, on the grounds that she’s “undomesticated”.

    Well now Paula Patton has called it quits, ostensibly at least in part because of Thicke’s propensity for getting too up-close-and-personal with beautiful female celebrities and the models in his videos. Thicke is begging her to come back to him by dedicating songs to her at public performances.

    Whether he’s matched that by pledging in private to respect the personal space of other women has not been reported.