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Rape Culture

April 29, 2019
By amysotog GOLD, Miramar, Florida
amysotog GOLD, Miramar, Florida
10 articles 0 photos 0 comments

One in five women will be raped at some point their life, in the U.S. alone. You read that right; one in five. Recently, I was assigned a research project on sexual harassment. While researching this topic, I found so much information unknown to me before, that has struck a chord within me.

Before going into this project, I thought sexual harassment was something separated from myself; something I could not relate to as I have never experienced it. However, after going deeper into the rabbit hole of information, I realized that I, like every other female in the world, have somehow been affected by this thanks to the endless imbalance between men and women in our society. As I’ve gained more knowledge on the issue, I’ve come to find that sexual harassment really stems from this imbalance with certain cultural and biological factors that feed into the agenda.

Looking at global and local statistics about sexual harassment, I was disgusted by the fact that so many women around the world have to suffer through such trauma and it’s terrifying to think that I, or someone I love, could be one of those women in the future. There is such a large acceptance of rape culture and gender harassment in the society we live in that I wasn’t aware of before. In one study, women showed video clips of various forms of sexual harassment were unable to identify the less explicit forms of it, which shows just how accustomed to abuse women are. I believe the cause of this perception really stems from stereotypes that have been normalized through cultural practices and the media. According to studies, 50% of magazine advertisements depict women as sexual objects, which have been found to increase acceptance of sexual harassment amongst men. Stereotypes such as women being more emotional and helpless than men are also ingrained into children’s brains from a young age. Just think, two years ago people would argue against a female president because her biology made her too emotional and “moody” to lead a country.

And yes, women naturally aren’t as sexually driven as men, as proven by science. The male sex drive is closely linked with dopamine and they also have higher levels of testosterone which makes them more prone to craving sexual activities. However, with the large and complex capacity of intellect and self-awareness the human brain has, why isn’t it possible for men to keep their nature in control? Women, too, have sex drives and most can control them. This train of thought is why I believe the biological counterargument to be inconsistent and absurd.

Rape culture is a persistent problem in our global society that has kept the female sex from rising to be equal. Didn’t John Locke tell us people are born free and equal and that by natural law we should fight oppression? We should follow this concept of free will and fight against the injustice of rape culture.

Personally, I hope more movements such as the “Me Too” campaign become popular and supported by the general public so women who have suffered from sexual harassment of any type can feel empowered to speak of their trauma. This will firstly normalize a negative sentiment towards sexual harassment which will then be passed onto future generations. It will also help in changing male and female stereotype depictions in everyday life and media.

Starting with small things like this will lead to better education of the harmfulness of sexual harassment for future generations. This deeply rooted societal flaw is something that cannot be fixed overnight. It will take a long time but I believe the female gender has been oppressed for way too long; it’s time for them to reclaim their power in society. The survival of the human race literally depends on the female sex, so why is it that we are the ones that suffer the most in society?

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