Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Managing Rape Culture

I'm a very fortunate long-time survivor who is alarmed at the attitudes I see when I dare to post against rape on social media.

Because I spent so much of my life in recovery and reclaiming I have focused more, for decades, on just living well. I was cushioned from awareness of rape culture and just how bad it is - not just around the world, but on line. I am alarmed.

But also, I want to do something about it.

My awakening came last fall in the form of an episode of Downton Abbey and the attitudes displayed by producers of the show, by journalists, by bloggers and by most people who post comments after articles on line. It appalled me on many levels.

I've since noticed that if I even post on my own Facebook page that I don't happen to like rape scenes, I will be attacked for it in some way. This was the core of my awakening. It would never occur to me to try to invalidate or reduce the idea of rape as a heinous and life-ruining atrocity. For some reason this attitude is rampant. It's almost as if I've tipped a sacred cow to simply say, "I wish there weren't so many rape scenes on TV, and I wish they would post Trigger Alerts," I have been attacked for this time and time again - when if I had said I didn't like animal cruelty scenes, there would have been a pure outpouring of commiseration.

WHY? I asked myself.

I've since done much more self-educating. And I would love to connect with people who are also seeking to raise awareness with the right arguments and verbal strategies. At first I responded very emotionally and that always backfired. I'm re-reading critical thinking volumes in hopes that it will help me to take on the people who pose arguments like, "Are you saying rape is worth than other atrocities?" "Oh, come on. I've seen much worse on TV," and even, "Get over it,"

This is not just for me. I worry about the effect of this kind of invalidation and insidious verbal attack on survivors who are still working through earlier or unprocessed stages of trauma. I worry a lot.

Thank you so much for reading.


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One thought on “Managing Rape Culture

  • James Barber says:

    Rose, I do try to appreciate this issue, but not having been unfortunate to be in that position it is very difficult. I did however, experience an awful childhood. At 67 the memories are still with me, not painful now but there & not nice.Therefore I do appreciate the personal distress, the demons that physical & mental abuse can cause. I have just emailed the Attorney General regarding the leniency of sentencing & the apparent attitudes of both Prosecution & Defence in a rape case. The attitudes of those concerned with the victim’s welfare were, in my opinion, barbaric themselves. My own interest in these social matters was brought about when a single mother of twins threw an alcoholic, pot smoking partner out after he refused to change or have treatment. He made demands on access that were impossible for her to achieve so it ended in court. He financed by a parent, she legal aid. It was proven his demands were unacceptable, it was proven he was unreliable & an alcoholic yet the judge showed little or no sympathy for this young woman & in fact ordered her to attend a course on Motherhood. This was an outrageous thing to do as this girl is the mother everyone should have,OK, she can’t work full time because of the twins but my word she does everything to make their & her life easier. Gives them all of her attention, keeps them occupied, clean, well fed etc. Never wastes anything, recycles, swaps, buys second hand, sells on when outgrown or no use & so on. Socially this girl is a perfect citizen but she has, I feel, been treated badly by a neanderthal system that needs a serious overhaul. This reply won’t add much to your own experiences but I just wanted someone that cares to know there are some men out here that care too.