What Is Rape Culture All About?

By Johna Lindawan

So you’ve heard about it. It’s all over the news – on TV, newspapers and magazines, and on the internet. Bill Cosby, the American Dad, accused of rape. If you were to be honest to yourself, what was your first reaction upon reading or hearing about it? For most, it was impossible. Many have raised eyebrows. Why? Because Bill Cosby was a respected man – the American Dad, as he was called.

I, for one, have put off the news after reading the headline. In my mind, I reasoned it could be just another hoax to put down a good ol’ man who I’ve been watching perform in movies; all of which portray him as a kind, loving older man. And hey, he’s now 78! So what’s this rape accusations all about? And though he has been acquitted from the accusations, women from all over the world have to understand this trend and fight against it.

What's The Trend?

The rape culture. Simply because rape has become normal – or seen as normal – since the 1970s, as history has recorded. This rape culture has been imprinted not only in the minds of men but of women, too. To men, it has become the norm, the cycle by which they can prove their manhood, the means by which they become real men. To women, especially those who were victimized, it became a prison of fear and humiliation, a situation they would never dare to talk about in public. But does the society in general understand that? Do they even care how these women feel? What about the perpetrators? Do they even dare to realize that what they’ve done have become that woman’s nightmare for years to come?

Women who understand the fear and humiliation of having gone through such a nightmare will find this question, “Why did it take you so long to talk about it in public?” rather infuriating! It’s not a wise and intelligent question, I tell you. What do you expect? After having been raped, she’d go out rejoicing, telling the world about it? And even if she’d go out telling people, as some women throughout history have done, would they believe?

For one, women may be up against a man of high reputation. And second thing, would you trade your dignity for courage? I mean, if you were the police officer or the attorney-in-charge who got the report, wouldn’t you think the lady talking to you was just framing the man up because of his fame and great wealth?

Okay, let’s take another approach… How about perpetrators who have no power in the society or has lower economic status? Well, they’re all over the news – they are the ones very easily reported – unless a victim has been threatened or too ashamed to come out just as society made her to be.

When can women be free to roam the streets without fear of getting kidnapped or raped? When can they sleep in peace even in their own homes? Is there any man who can be trusted these days? Why is man’s image so marred and so opposite the very thing they were made for? Men were made for loving women; women were made to submit to men. But where is the love? Why is submission so much demanded when there is no love being given? I leave these questions to every reader.

To every woman, I say, stand strong. Defend yourself if you must! You were made to be loved, not to be played. You have a greater purpose, much greater than what a man can offer.

To every man, be what you were supposed to be – the protector of your woman, the lover that loves her for who she is without conditions; a real man that does not seek to hurt other women just for his own pleasures.