The rape and sexual assault culture is an ongoing phenomenon. Nearly 20 percent of women in the U.S. have been raped or faced a rape attempt, and every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. What’s even worse than rape or sexual assault is the too-often-occurring victim blaming. We’ve all heard that the victim “should not have been drunk,” or should have “covered themselves better.” Some will go as far as saying the victim could have asked the perpetrator to “stop.”
There are hundreds of cases every year in which victims are blamed. In 2016, 18-year-old David Becker sexually assaulted two unconscious girls at his friend’s bedroom in Massachusetts. The same year, then-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner raped an unconscious girl behind a garbage bin. In both cases, the women were blamed by some for being too drunk.
In Nick Ross’s book Crime he wrote, “Rape isn’t always rape.” He explained that the “booze culture” often leads to a rape that is technically not rape. Some situations are “more complicated,” he wrote.
The rape and sexual assault culture is frightening enough; missing the severity of rape is even more terrifying. Rapists and perpetrators should always be at fault. This should not be a controversial matter but, unfortunately, in our society it is.
Let’s look at victim blaming through a gun violence perspective. If a drunk gunman shoots someone, is being drunk an excuse? If someone gets shot while being in a shady area, are they to blame? The clear answer is no.
In America, one in three women experience sexual harassment at work. Sadly, in a 2015 interview with USA Today, our president said that if his daughter would get sexually harassed at work, she should “find another career or find another company” to work for. He accepted the notion that women should put the burden on themselves if they are harassed at work. More so, he did not even mention the punishment perpetrators should receive.
Disgustingly, our president has also personally bragged about sexually assaulting women. “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful,” he said in an Access Hollywood tape. “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” And to defend his revolting statement, he said it was “locker room talk.”
When the 2005 tape was released, millions of teenagers who looked up to Trump witnessed him saying those sickening statements. It made sexual assault seem usual and even acceptable.
The rape and sexual harassment culture in America must change. People must understand that victims are in no way, shape or form to blame. In all cases, the perpetrator should be accused and face consequences.
Our president must fathom the inhumanness that sexual assault is. And by doing so, he should implement an organization that fights it, similar to what former vice-president Joe Biden did. Biden campaigned throughout college campuses to fight against rape and sexual assault. “Violence against women is a crime pure and simple deserving of our nation’s legal and moral disapprobation,” Biden said during a rally.
In order to combat this sickening culture, it is important for teens across the country to have a powerful role model who tackles down this culture. And so, our president should make that happen.