The phrase “rape culture” refers to a way of thinking that systematically trivializes, normalizes, or endorses sexual assault. We’ve collected over 60 concrete examples at our new Pinterest board and we thought we’d share some additional examples that readers have sent in recently.
(1) Topping the list, Clair let us know that University of Maryland students successfully organized to oppose a hand stamp used at a local bar. The stamp reads “Shut Up and Take It”:
Jesse Rabinowitz set up a change.org petition opposing the stamp to get the bar’s attention. In response, management has agreed that the stamp is inappropriate and has pledged to run a public apology and do some sexual assault awareness education, perhaps including the introduction of a “consent is sexy” stamp.
(2) Dolores R. pointed us to a RiotMag screenshot of a Fox News broadcast. The main story features a headless Hooters “girl” while the news scroll at the bottom pointed to the very serious issue of sexual assault in the military. So sexual assault is subordinated to sexual objectification (it reminds me of this titillating coverage of a video game allowing players to simulate rape).
(3) Sent in by V, a Rohypnol gag coffee mug (the substance is famously used to drug targets of sexual assault into unconsciousness):
(4) Dominos Pizza joshes about sexual assault with their play on the reminder that “no means no” (thanks to Dolores R. and YetAnotherGirl for the tip):
(5) Katrin sent in a British anti-rape poster that blames the victim, holding her responsible for preventing “regrettable sex or even rape.” “Don’t leave yourself more vulnerable,” it explains:
(6) In 2011, the Exeter University’s Safer Sex Ball ironically included this piece of humor in it’s leaflet (thanks to hp for the image):
For more examples of rape culture, visit our rape culture Pinterest board.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.