In Amanda Taub’s Vox article, “Rape Culture Isn’t a Myth. It’s Real, and it’s Dangerous,” she defines rape culture as “a culture in which sexual violence is treated as the norm and victims are blamed for their own assaults. It’s not just about sexual violence itself, but about cultural norms and institutions that protect rapists, promote impunity, shame victims, and demand that women make unreasonable sacrifices to avoid sexual assault.” With this definition in mind, form small groups and answer the following questions:
- What sacrifices do women have to make due to rape culture?
- Why is the narrative of “personal responsibility” on the part of the victim so troubling?
- What role does the legal system play in perpetuating rape culture? How does the historical context Taub provides shape your understanding?
- What are some examples from popular culture of rape culture at work? Think of films, tv shows, music, and art that normalize rape and sexual assault.