RAPE CULTURE: ON WHAT LEVEL DOES IT EXIST

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“Is it condoned or not?”


when did it start

America is a country where we have all these buzz words that get people to react in a visceral manner. And one word stands out in today’s society and that is rape culture. Now, do I think we have a culture that is based around the subjugation of women. No, I don’t think we do. And simply because the victimization of a person is not in existence when the person is a “willing” participant. Notice when I said willing participant, I am referring to aspects of our entertainment. We have a culture of young men and women engaging in activity that is deemed to soon for their engagement. But do I think we just except rape as part of our culture, no.

wait, that’s rape

You would be surprised what constitutes for rape in our society today. I, for the longest thought that forcible rape was the real. No, there are many different forms. There is the underage, which another rape I am aware of, but there is this new form, called, “I made a mistake,” rape. Comedian Aziz Ansari was someone accused of assault, but in the description of the situation, you come to realize that it was just a bad date. But people were ready to destroy based on the woman’s description. And to me, that’s scary knowing that a bad date, or her mistake in sleeping with you can be flipped into rape. This is a shift in our culture because now with that kind of ambiguity, it’s scary for both parties.

the movements that spark it all

For the past year, there have been celebrity after celebrity getting into trouble for their sexual misconduct. And that meltdown has sparked a rallying cry, “Times Up,” “Me Too.” The time up for dealing with sexual assault and violence against women and me too expressing it has happened to me as a woman as well. And from these movements the culture of how we interact as men and women shift. Now, is everything all good, meaning, will this movement work in favor of women or ultimately collapse. Now, since we are in real time living, we don’t anything but the good. But a movement, even one used to promote ones well-being can be flipped and used as a tool to do harm.


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RAPE CULTURE: IS THIS A REAL ISSUE?

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“No still means yes, really?”


against her will

For eons, women have had to bare the grunt of being subjugated to sexual assault. Whether it’s on a job or even in their home lives; women have been targets for many sexual attacks. But what my question would be is if there is a real culture based around the idea that rape is alright to a certain extent. Because as men, we have an idea for what rape would be in our mind, but in a woman’s mind it could mean something different. Because to a woman, even if she thinks rape it can constitute as rape; which is a slippery slope when you’re a guy. But I am not even fully referring to that, I’m talking about a different type of culture in the mind of a woman.

playful assault

To a woman, when you’re being playful, she might be a little uncomfortable. You might be thinking, “Oh this is just fine, she’s just overreacting.” For example, walking up behind a female and giving her a hug when you are not in a relationship or close friends. That could be seen as uncomfortable and that woman could go into a space. She could go to a place in her mind that makes her feel violated. Now, if she is into you, then she may let it slide. That can be a tricky situation that you have to feel out, but can also put you in a position to make her feel uncomfortable as well. That’s why when you’re on a job, you have to be sure that you are not coming off as someone putting a woman in a weird situation. So when in doubt, be professional.

what is rape really?

Men in Hollywood over the past year have been losing their careers because of their sexual assault allegations from their female counterparts. Some cases have been force and others have been methods of coercion. But to a man, rape is holding a woman down against her will, and raping her. It is the way we have been taught rape is in our lives. No, no; rape if not sexual assault is trying to get a woman to sleep with you as a coworker where you’re above her in a position of power. She might sleep with you out of fear of losing her job, which can lead to you being in a situation. Sexual assaults can also be seen as a guy at a bar who won’t stop trying to get your phone number.

signs

So what are the signs if you’re a guy of rape from a woman. It used to be force, or of course underage sexual contact. But now in today’s society, the lines seem to be blurred. And when you look in in the history of society, we have cultivated this environment that have made it difficult for women to exist without having to watch her back. And biologically, women are less physically built than men, so they are already in a vulnerable position. But the only way this can be dealt with is through progress.


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WORKPLACE MANNERS: HOW TO ACT TOWARD WOMEN WHILE AT WORK

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“Mind your manners.”


Over the past couple of months, more and more women have come out against men in the public eye with sexual harassment claims. Once the top man in the entertainment industry was brought down, Harvey Weinstein, there has been a constant barrage of women sharing their stories. You would think some of the men would say they were innocent, but all have been admitting to the behavior. So with that said, what types of standards must be further implemented in the workplace to insure that women are safe. And the reason that I say women is because the odds of men coming out in this fashion against the women are rare. As a matter of fact, men coming forward with stories is so rare because the workplace etiquette from women have traditionally been respectable. So what is it with this behavior that have lead so many of these men down this path?

Image result for matt lauerBecause just yesterday, television news correspondent Matt Lauer was fired from NBC for his sexual misconduct at work. And the problem is that a lot of these men come from a time period where so much of this bad behavior was commonplace. As a matter of fact, it was so commonplace, that women never even thought twice about the advances at work. But today, with so much changing in this digital era where information travels faster, you can’t be what  you used to be at the workplace with behavior towards women. That is not to assume that the women in the past were totally fine with the advances because a lot of them weren’t. They just had a hard enough time trying to secure employment, so they didn’t want to say anything that would have rocked the boat. See, I have a different means of approaching the situation when working with women at work.

Any job that I have had, usually involves me having very small talk with the women around me. Keeping everything very basic and very simple; with a hello, how are you, and then conducting my business as usual. It may come off as distant and antisocial, but when you see what has been transpiring in the news to public figures, I know I would be fired. But that type of atmosphere in itself is rather uncomfortable, yet you have to watch yourself. Because I know women who don’t mind being complemented at work when they look nice, but others meet the comments with disdain. And you are basically rolling the dice when you speak.So what is the proper workplace etiquette?

In the end, most women will tell you that they don’t come to work to be complemented. But there are women that feel a lot more comfortable around some men and not others. So the answer is Image result for women workplace flirtynot always being complemented, but whose giving the complement. And that in itself is a slippery slope. But the reality is that if the woman is uncomfortable, I don’t care if one guy makes her feel one way and one guy makes her feel the other way. The one guy that is making her uncomfortable must stop, not the one she’s fine with conversing. Sounds irritating if you’re a guy, but some men creep women out more than others.


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RAPE CULTURE: THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL OF HOLLYWOOD

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“Who would have thought there is an actual culture behind it.”


In the recent news, we have been hearing about all the sexual assault allegations directed at the Hollywood elite. Ranging from actors to top executives, all who have been accused and admitted to sexual assaulting women and even children in some cases. Many thought the worst was over with all the women that came out over Bill Cosby. Then Harvey Weinstein victims came out, and from there on it has been a constant barrage of women sharing their stories of sexual assault and rape at the hands of powerful men in Hollywood. And the reason besides this being Hollywood, why it’s such a news story, is because of the way famous public figures try to police everyone else. These men and women spent the past year and a half attacking the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump for his comments. Now they’re silent on the allegations in their industry.

These are the same people who say there is a rape culture issue in America, but they are surrounded by a culture of rape. And it has gone on for decades in the film and television business, with very few people coming out against it. So if this is something that is this pervasive in the industry, how do you change the way business is conducted. Because at this point it’s part of the identity of an industry. And if this is something that is the identity, then how do you change it? You can’t change this overnight, it takes a long time. But the Golden Globes and the Oscars are two and half months away. Are the comedians that host these award shows going to address it or remain silent? Since everything else is addressed in the industry that is social or political. My best guess is that they won’t, which will further add to the already feeling of disconnect.

But then again, is this just a Hollywood identity? If you’re under the impression that this is only a one industry problem you are wrong. Women can tell you horror stories abut men in politics, corporate America, the medical field, and even education. Yet the men who are constantly getting caught are guys who come from an era where this was totally acceptable. A time when men were told, “Hey, look at how she’s dressed; it’s an invite.” And these men are so stuck in their mind-frame from that time on top of having so much influence, they don’t realize the change in time. They know you can get in trouble quicker, but yet still, the full concept is not grasped. In the end, who knew that the fighters against this rape culture was part of the biggest culture of rape. I don’t see the business changing anytime soon. But it has to start now because what has been done has changed the game forever.


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YES YOU MAY: AMERICA AND OUR PERMISSION TO FIGHT BACK

“Speak when allowed, how come?”


In America today, we are constantly surrounded with controversy. Whether it’s the president or some other person in the public eye. But what I will never understand is how come we need so much permission to have a voice for ourselves. It’s almost as if the people can’t think for themselves. In the recent news we have been hearing about Hollywood Executive Producer Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct over the years. And people have been coming out stating how they knew he was this type of person for years. But how come no one openly spoke about it. We hold truths inside and then when we get permission to speak we speak. And the only reason why this has become irritating is because of the self-serving attitude of Hollywood’s elite public figures. How could they be so social and yet so protective of Harvey. And its because they get permission.

But, you’re getting permission to speak, what about the issues. You always hear celebrities speak out against bad behavior, but they always find themselves in the middle of controversy for those same reasons. They attacked Trump for sexual comments he made and stated their upset with rape culture. But rape is bigger in their environment. And what will they say, my career is on the line. So were coaches jobs at Penn State, but you can’t protect pedophilia. And that’s when you realize as an adult you have to make immoral decisions to survive in America. You have to see things going on and keep your mouth shut. Crazy because as a child you are taught that when you see something say something. But no one prepares for a life of falsehoods. No tells you that there is no honor in being honest. That at every turn, honesty will get you killed. And why do we do it again: survival.

That’s right, survival. Since the beginning of time, man has made numerous attempts at surviving on this planet. And we have done just well for ourselves. But as it pertains to living with each other, we continue to fail one another. And we lie for each other because no one wants to feel ostracized. So we do things to each other and for each other that is out of character. Sometimes it could leave our better judgement under question. And that’s how wind-up back  having to survive, we don’t want to lose a gig. So we sacrifice better judgement for a check. And it’s because if we do take a stand, few will back us, and even fewer will fight with us. So we keep quiet, not realizing that our silence at times is just as dangerous as the person’s lies we’re covering.

And in the end, we get permission to speak out against someone. And that’s when we can open up about all the bad things they have done. And the populace is stunned, and you become relieved. But relief is short lived because you know that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more bad guys, a lot more.


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KEEP QUIET AND KEEP WORKING: WHY WE PROTECT PEOPLE IN POWER WHO DO WRONG

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“Power can corrupt to be covered up.”


The photo above is of legendary film producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein has been in the news over the past week since the allegations of his sexual misconduct over the years emerged. Now that he has been removed the Weinstein Company, the conversations are starting. So many people are now saying that they knew something was up. Actresses are stating to now come out and share their stories. But, how come no one came out sooner? And it has a lot to do with having a position of power. A man like Weinstein is at the top of the heap in the entertainment business. So no one would dare come out and state how they genuinely felt. Only a chosen few have stated how they felt and the rest kept quiet. And now that he is ostracized, it’s in the books that we can all now talk about Harvey. So what is about power that keeps people quiet?

As children, we are raised to be honest and stand-up. Then once we become adults, all the rules go out the door. We find ourselves defending people that we would otherwise never defend. Because it’s easy to say that we are these stand-up people when there is nothing on the line. But in that space and time, it’s harder to go against the grain. And the higher the person sits on the totem pole, the harder it is to talk. So if you work a regular 9-5, and see misconduct you get nervous. But at this level you can anonymously give the name of the person/people involved. On the other hand, when looking at a company the size of Enron, you can understand why it’s a tougher go. But a woman did flip on Enron, yet ever since then, she has been a pariah in the financial sector, even though she is a hero to the masses.

Which is a main reason as well that people don’t talk and protect the ones in power. It’s also because when the time comes to testify, you will be ostracized later on. Why, well because so many people might be conducting the same type of business. So they applaud because they are happy it’s not them getting penalized. And in the end we all keep quiet when we see things happening. Because no one wants to feel the repercussions of being ousted for talking. So keep quiet, and keep your job; then talk if something is ever uncovered. It’s ugly, but that is the harsh reality of living in our society where power reigns supreme.


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HER WORD IS WORD: THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF RAPE IN OUR SOCIETY

Image result for sexual assault bachelor

“No joking matter.”


Recently in the news, there was an incident on the reality television show Bachelor in Paradise. Two co-stars in the show Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson were hanging out together. Their casual hangout with drinks took a turn and eventually they were both in a hot tub together engaging in a lewd sex act. Camera crews were in sight of the whole entire ordeal. When the story was made public, the television show was yanked from the air. Why was the show yanked from television? Because in an unexpected twist, Olympios stated she was too inebriated to have consented to any sex act. Even though she said she wasn’t raped, she just was too drunk to consent to any sex acts. This left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

Everyday women throughout this country are raped and so many of the stories fall on deaf ears. So when Corinne eluded to being sexual assaulted, even with video footage, it made a lot of people angry. Though she kept saying it wasn’t rape, the way she said what happened was still sensitive. When you say I don’t remember consenting, you’re still in a way saying something was done to you without your consent. So saying rape or not, it opens the door to more investigation. And the television show was cancelled, understandably so. Because why would a multinational conglomerate like NBC want allegations of sexual misconduct on one of its television shows.

But let’s say for just one moment that there were no television cameras around. And she found out there was something sexual that took place. Would she still come out and say that nothing happened? That is what has people so outraged. DeMario would be in a lot more trouble had there not have been cameras present. Because now the ball is in her court regarding what happens next. And on top of it all, her parents and her boyfriend found out. So instead of her coming correct, it could be something much more that didn’t have to be. So what about men who don’t have cameras present? Or better yet, what about women who are actually being assaulted who never get the appropriate attention they need.

And that is why rape allegations, even slightly eluding to rape should be handled in a delicate manner. Because the fact that someone feels like not facing the reality that they screwed-up, they can now use rape as a get out of jail free card. It could have changed a young man’s life forever. There are men sitting in prisons across the country who have been exonerated for charges of rape. Men who spent greater portions of their lives behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit. Another slippery slope is if a woman thinks rape, that’s enough to charge a man with a crime. Meaning, she could have said I was too scared and thought it, but didn’t say anything. That is a strange position because he now says I thought it was consensual.

In the end, sexual assault is a very serious allegation. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, not even eluded to in conversation unless it’s true. And what’s tough is that even if it comes out that the guy is innocent, no one speaks on it. It’s kind of expected to just go away. As for the guy, he is stuck with this stigma for life.


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