There’s no doubt that society is becoming more and more sexualized. Just about anyone over 16 will see this dancing as horrifyingly sexual, meanwhile the children in the video obviously didn’t see anything wrong with it. It’s normalized. That’s what they see other people doing and since children mimic, that’s what they do.
Before I continue, this is not a contradiction of my previous assertion that video games don’t cause people to commit crimes. Surrounding someone with an overtly sexualized culture will cause people to react to that culture and most have followed along with it. There’s a big difference between buying hot pants and shooting someone. Also, there’s the undeniable fact that fads effect everyone. Stores stock the latest fad fashions, if you need new clothes, guess what you’re wearing. People don’t walk into something as common as a clothing store and pick up a new handgun.
Moving on, college-age girls are at the epicenter of this cultural epoch. They’re of legal age, they’re away from their parents and the structure that they’re used to, and they’re surrounded by people their own age who are most likely just as enraptured in the culture that they are. But are the girls who “go wild” only stripping down because they’ve been told that this is the only way to express your sexuality and show that you are truly comfortable with your body?
Whether or not, it’s a mote point. Society has glorified women such as Paris Hilton, the Karshadian sisters, the Playboy Bunnies and stars of The Girls Next Door, and has recently been responsible for the mind-numbingly bad film The House Bunny (for more check out my post “The House Bunny; new movie, old issues” on NowPublic). So, between your role models being pointless sex tape making, immature, spoiled airheads with bank accounts and cosseted nude models, how can we be surprised that young women are willing to whip their bras off for a Girls Gone Wild baseball cap?
But now we get to the dark side. According to the US Department of Education forcible campus rape and sexual assault on 4 year public colleges and 4 year non-profit private colleges have steadily increased from 2001-2003. But, non-forcible rape and sexual assault rates have dropped. Staggeringly, in 2001, 473 rapes/assaults were reported in public 4 year colleges, in 2003 the number plummeted to 51.
Are the rapes stopping or have they stopped being reported? Non-forcible sex offenses covers incest, offenses against children, sexual abuse of the handicapped, and physically helpless or mentally disabled. This includes individuals who were drugged, restrained, unconscious or paralyzed.
A rape victim had the amount of her legal compensation reduced by 25% after it was decided that she had been drinking and therefore was not entitled to the full amount. Camille Paglia (who calls herself a feminist) stated in an interview with (ironically) Playboy, “A woman cannot go on a date, have a bunch of drinks and go back to some guy’s dorm room or apartment and then, when he jumps on her, cry date rape.”
Paglia believes that having dinner and a few drinks is consenting to sex. Society generally believes that having a few drinks makes the victim (they’re called victims for a reason) more culpable. There was also quite a brouhaha when four English footballers were accused of rape. The victim stated that she had consensual sex with one of the four men, but was then raped by the other three. Naturally, no one believed her. She went into a hotel room with these men, she admitted to having sex with one of them, ergo she consented to everything else that happened that night.
Women are deemed responsible for rape or sexual assaults because of:
Basically, any behavior deemed sexual is somehow a justification for sex crimes. in a society as sexually charged as today’s, let’s face it, she was asking for it.
Sarcasm aside, these are the reasons that women don’t report rapes. Because they know all too well that they will be viewed as somehow deserving. Maybe some of them actually believe that they deserved the crime and figure that’s what happens to a woman when she behaves a certain way.
Take this for example. According to Facts on Tap (2005). American Council for Drug Education, if 400 college rapes are committed, then 20 are reported, 4 perpetrators are prosecuted, 2 are convicted, 1 actually serves a significant amount of time. One rapist out of 400.
Also from Facts on Tap, 92% of colleges did not correctly report the crime statistics, especially involving rape and sexual assault. The 2005 FBI report on campus offenses reported to authorities stated that there were 9 instances of forcible rape on Arizona State’s main campus. I’ve toured that campus. There are over 50,000 students on that campus. While I’d like to believe that throughout an entire school year only 9 people suffered the emotional, mental and physical anguish caused by a rape, there is no way that there were that few instances of forcible rapes. The school might have messed up their numbers, the rapes might not have been reported to the police or school officials, but whatever it was, 9 is not the final number.
But let’s look at the perpetrator’s point of view. Saying that a woman is responsible for a rape is akin to saying that the rapist simply could not control his primal urge to breed and when he was with this young woman he, understandably, could not hold back his violent passion. Saying that the victim is culpable states that the criminal was entitled. Rape Crisis Info stated it best; Rape is the only crime in which the victim must prove their innocence.
Note: Huge thanks to Michelle of the Michelle Says So blog for the statistics and info! Without her help this article wouldn’t be half as good and I probably would have pulled all of my hair out looking for the information myself.