If This Isn’t a Rape Culture, What Is It?

If This Isn’t a Rape Culture, What Is It? May 6, 2020

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons by Gage Skidmore, https://www.flickr.com/people/22007612@N05, share alike.

I wrote a post a couple of days ago that set all sorts of nerves ajangle. I had the temerity to say that we live in a rape culture, and that women who come forward when they’ve been assaulted are treated like dirt. 

It didn’t surprise me a bit that I got a lot of pushback with that. I’ve been advocating for victims of sexual assault all my adult life. I was one of the six founders of the YWCA Rape Crisis Center here in Oklahoma. When we did that, I had cops calling me at home and arguing with me because they were offended that I said that the police treated rape victims horribly.

I was just a kid then, but I didn’t back down. The fact was that the police treated rape victims horribly. They didn’t mind doing it. They just didn’t like anybody saying they did it. 

I got the original funding for the statewide domestic violence shelters here in Oklahoma back when there was no federal money for such a thing. I was the original author of the protective order in this state. I’ve passed more laws concerning this issue than I can even begin to remember. Sometimes a discussion will come along about a law, and I’ll remember: I wrote that, and I passed it into law. Yep. I did that. 

Let me tell you, I didn’t do a bit of it by being afraid of or backing down before people who support these despicable predators. Ask anyone who ever served in office with me the kind of fight I will fight when this issue is on the line. I did the same thing with pro life legislation, which also got me shoved around. 

I wanted to take such good care of the people who elected me that they would always go further and do better because they had me. I wanted to do as much good for as many people as I could while I was in office. I focused on that, and to the best of my ability, I did it. 

I consider it my job with this blog to tell the truth as I understand it. If I’m wrong — and I will be from time to time — then I have to say I was wrong and correct the error. But I’m not going to lie to you and tell you I think Biden is innocent of this when I think he did it. Ain’t gonna happen. If it turns out that I’m wrong, I’ll say so. I’ve got no problem with doing that. But unless that happens, this is my opinion. 

I haven’t thought about it a lot, but when I do think about it, I am utterly amazed that anyone would know so little about me as to think that I would back or support a misogynist serial sexual predator like Donald Trump. I couldn’t force myself to do that. It is not possible. 

By the same token, I am more than a little bit amazed that anyone would think that I would walk away from the woman who is accusing Joe Biden of sexual assault. If you think I could say, well, we need to beat Trump, shrug, and leave her out on the ice so that the bears can have her, you don’t know me. 

Ain’t gonna happen folks. 

She is not a Republican set up. She is a Democrat. She worked for Biden. He was her boss. He was also the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s clear to me from reading the comments about this situation that most people don’t get just how much power that position holds. 

People understand that when a cop beats up his wife, she can’t call the police. But they don’t get that a staff member of the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee would be in the same position, raised by powers of ten. 

I believe her.

This is the same Joe Biden who used his position as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee to ram through the confirmation of Clarence Thomas, despite Anita Hill’s testimony. He did this even though Thomas was the Supreme Court nominee of a Republican president. I don’t have much trouble connecting those dots. If Biden’s accuser is telling the truth — and I think she is — his behavior vs a vs Anita Hill suddenly does something that it never has before. It makes sense. 

Anita Hill. Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons by Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/people/22007612@N05

Presidential Candidate Biden apologized to Anita Hill a few months ago. She didn’t buy it. I don’t know, but I would guess that part of the reason she didn’t buy it is because she thought it was a political move rather than sincere remorse. 

Now, here we are, stuck in the morass of trying to decide what to do about another powerful man we need to support for political reasons who is also a sexual predator. Unlucky us, we feel. We never stop to consider that maybe we are part of what made this situation. We are part of the rape culture that supports sexual assault and persecutes victims into silence. 

Our culture is so completely a rape culture that we are rotting down with it. We’ve got a serial sexual predator in the White House, two sexual predators on the Supreme Court, and the Democratic challenger of the sexual predator president is another sexual predator. 

Every single woman who steps forward to accuse one of these powerful men is attacked, defamed and martyred with social martyrdom. They often face death threats, loss of income and endless, on-going persecution. 

I can attest that writing a simple little blog post saying I believe these women is enough to earn me a few insults and pronouncements of how I’m going to hell in a bucket. None of that matters to me. Once in a while, if I’m feeling vulnerable, it can make me angry. But that’s the limit of it. 

I only mention it because it demonstrates the extreme lengths people will go to in order to attack and silence women who they say they’ve been sexually assaulted by a powerful man. They not only attack the woman. They attack anyone who dares say they agree with her. 

Dr Christine Blasey Ford. Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Congressional photo, public domain

We live in a culture where powerful men rape and assault women, children and less powerful other men with impunity. If one of their victims steps forward, the victim is attacked without mercy. Every attempt is made by society as a whole to silence victims of sexual assault and make them afraid to say anything to anyone about what has been done to them. If anyone else comes along and says “I believe the victim,” they will have to take their turn at being called a few names, as well. 

If that’s not a rape culture, what is it? 


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