“Don’t (Get) Rape(d)” by Katherine Ong is about the factors that contribute to rape culture. She blames popular music, the media, and even school dress codes. And for the most part, I agree. Rape is a very big issue, one that is ignored or put in song lyrics or hidden in small text on the bottom of the screen in the news. Katherine writes, “Young people who are constantly exposed to contemporary media that objectify women do not take sexual assault as seriously as they should.” I believe that is true.
However, I disagree with her on one point. While addressing how school dress codes contribute to rape culture, she writes, “With these rules, schools indirectly teach children that girls’ bodies are the problem and must be covered up.” School dress codes exist for a basic reason: so students dress appropriately. Dress codes apply to both genders. Guys can’t go to school in just their underwear because they want to feel more comfortable. They can’t take their shirts off just to, as Katherine writes, “feel comfortable, self-confident, and … attractive.” Yes, women should feel comfortable in their own clothes, but there are limits for a reason.
Otherwise, I was moved by Katherine’s essay. Women aren’t here to be objectified by men. I agree with her statement that “We must teach society to not rape rather than to not get raped.”
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.