Uh oh, did somebody somewhere disturb the conventional wisdom? Quick! Hurry! Get someone to repeat the consoling fictions, before there’s a tear in the space-time continuum and everything falls off.
To the rescue: Caroline Kitchens in Time, with all the clichés piled up next to her keyboard ready to go.
There is no rape culture, there is only rape culture hysteria.
There we go; everyone can go home now.
Recently, rape culture theory has migrated from the lonely corners of the feminist blogosphere into the mainstream. In January, the White House asserted that we need to combat campus rape by “[changing] a culture of passivity and tolerance in this country, which too often allows this type of violence to persist.”
Tolerance for rape? Rape is a horrific crime and rapists are despised. We have strict laws that Americans want to see enforced. Though rape is certainly a serious problem, there’s no evidence that it’s considered a cultural norm. Twenty-first century America does not have a rape culture; what we have is an out-of-control lobby leading the public and our educational and political leaders down the wrong path.
Really? So the Steubenville case never happened? All rape cases are prosecuted? High school and college athletes never get away with sexual assault defined away as consensual sex regretted the next day? There’s never any questioning what the woman was wearing, where she was, how much she’d had to drink?
But now, rape culturalists are confronting a formidable critic that even they will find hard to dismiss.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is America’s largest and most influential anti-sexual violence organization. It’s the leading voice for sexual assault victim advocacy. Indeed, rape culture activists routinely cite the authority of RAINN to make their case. But in RAINN’s recent recommendations to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, it repudiates the rhetoric of the anti “rape culture” movement…
We know it does.
Good job, RAINN. Thanks a lot.