This Is Rape Culture


I saw a post on Facebook being shared by some of my friends with cries such as “Amen” and “Well said”. I’ve posted the whole thing at the bottom of this post but the gist of it was: God made valuable things like diamonds and gold hard to find. You should bury your jewels and attract only legal miners. If you put your jewels on the surface, you’ll attract illegal miners and get illegally mined.

Can we just pause there to take that in?

If you put your jewels on the surface, if you wear skimpy clothes, you will attract rapists and you will get raped.

No mention of that being anyone’s fault but yours. No mention of that being the fault of the “illegal miner”. No, no. If you wear skimpy clothes you will get raped. End of.


Then there was this sentence: First, they will contact your government (family), sign professional contracts (wedding) and mine you professionally( legal marriage).

There’s a pretty significant part of that equation missing. A little thing I like to call consent.

When are we going to accept, as a society, that shit like this is not religious. It is not a message from God. It is not even pro-God as I don’t recall God deciding diamonds and gold would be valuable, and I’m pretty sure God didn’t make us with clothes on.

It is rape culture.

It is rape culture parading as a religious message of self worth.

If you value yourself and your body you will hide it. If you don’t hide it, you will get raped. And you will deserve it because you didn’t have enough self worth.

Yes, you should value your body. It’s an amazing thing and it’s a gift. You should look after it, keep it valued and not hand it out to everyone.

But that’s not what this message says. This message is a warning: Wear revealing clothes and you will get raped. And you will have been asking for it.

That, my friends, is rape culture.

And it has to stop.

Do you see these messages in your news feed? Do you agree with what they’re saying? 


Two young ladies arrived to a meeting wearing clothes that were quite revealing their body parts. Here is what the Chairman told them: He took a good look at them and made them sit. Then he said something that, they might never forget for the rest of their lives.

He looked at them straight in the eyes and said; “ladies, everything that God has valuable in this world is well covered and hard to see, find or get.

1. Where do you find DIAMONDS? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected.

2. Where do you find PEARLS? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell.

3. Where do you find GOLD? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers of rock and to get them, you have to work hard & dig deep down to get them.

He looked at them with serious eyes and said;

“Your body is sacred & unique” You are far more precious than gold, diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too. So he added that, “If you keep your treasured mineral just like gold, diamond and pearls, deeply covered up, a reputable mining organization with the requisite machinery will fly down and conduct years of extensive exploration.”

Then he said, “First, they will contact your government (family), sign professional contracts (wedding) and mine you professionally( legal marriage). But if you leave your precious minerals uncovered on the surface of the earth, you always attract a lot of illegal miners to come and mine you illegally. Everybody will just pick up their crude instruments and just have a dig on you just freely like that. So, keep your bodies deeply covered so that it invite professional miners to chase you

  • Gary

    This is just wrong. The crime is committed by the rapist and it’s not the fault of the person who is assaulted. You’re right, without consent, it is wrong. It doesn’t matter if the consent never existed or if consent is withdrawn at any stage of intimate contact.

    • Tamsin Howse

      Completely agree

  • iamevilcupcake

    Also, WOMEN ARE NOT A COMMODITY. Using terms like diamond and pearl and other things that are sought after and purchased, makes women sound like items on a shopping list. We are humans, we all have the same value as each other.

    • Tamsin Howse

      You’re so right!

  • Hayley Ashman

    This goes well beyond rape culture for me. This is a perfect example of the attitude that women have no power, nor do we want them to. It essentially says you are powerless and therefore should make decisions that will not force the hand of those around you. But, we will not do anything to shift the balance of power as we agree with it in its current state.

    • Tamsin Howse

      It also insults men by assuming they’re standing around waiting to rape you if you just show the wrong amount of skin

  • Therium

    No. Rape culture is quite simply fallacious, not matter how much a small percentage of people echoing the illusion of truth effect consider it otherwise. This was an incident. Culture is a widespread phenomena.

    This is the attitude of a very small amount of people. To claim otherwise would require one to prove otherwise, which would also mean showing a consistent regard to this point of view across the board.

    Rape is considered one of the most heinous crimes in western society. It is illegal, condemned and rapists are hated.

    Joking about something is not endorsing something. People have joked for thousands of years on all things. “I could murder a hamburger right now”, does not mean I am contributing anything other than the butchering of the English language.

    The point of view of outliers is not reflective of the statistical majority and can never by definition be the cultural norm.

    • Tamsin Howse

      It is widespread and it isn’t a joke. This is the kind of bullshit women are subjected to all the time. You must cover up because doing otherwise is encouraging men to attack you. It insults both sexes.

    • Paul

      Perhaps you’d be more comfortable with the term “rape sub-culture.” But a sub-culture is also a culture. And that people feel free to express this kind of sentiment, and loudly and publicly agree with it, without any expectation of public infamy as a result shows that it is accepted by a wider culture.

      “rape culture is simply fallacious” you say – I think that is one of the most asinine comments I have ever read, and I could not disagree with it more violently. Yes, there is rape culture. You’ve just read some of it above. The fact that you don’t think there’s anything wrong with it shows it’s part of YOUR culture – but you’re not seeing the wood for the trees.

      • Paul

        Perhaps we can explore that a little further, as there are complexities noted in your comment above – the fact that rape is a crime, for example, thus arguing that it is denigrated by the culture as a whole. Perhaps so, to a degree. Then why is there still so much rape going on? And why many people feel like this is appropriate? Why rapists are often defended for their actions by surprising groups of people? Why victims are blamed? What we are seeing is complexity, when what we ought to be seeing is very simple: pure rejection of the act, no qualifications whatsoever. So yes, there is is rape culture – and it is warring against the (thankfully) more dominant law-and-order culture and, you know, simple ethics. But that war ought to have been won a long time ago. Calling out and identifying the remaining elements of the opposing force is necessary and good. So – good article. I saw those posts on facebook too and was horrified at the number of people who commented positively and liked the posts. Glad you’ve pulled them up for it, Tamsin.

      • Therium

        Paul, in response to both your comments; I wonder if you understand the scientific and legal terms: burden of proof and preponderance of evidence?

        Rape culture is a term that is nothing more than a theory that has no scientific merit. There’s no need for this to be an emotional argument based on dicto simpliciter reasoning. There either is a preponderance of evidence or there is NOT. Unfortunately, there is not.

        Calling my comment asinine is merely poisoning the well (a logical fallacy) and I wonder the need for it really. Either your ideas hold and and are supported, or they’re not.

        “Why victims are blamed?” WHEN? Where is the proof that victims are blamed. Proof is what “proves” something to be factual. There’s a lot of appealing to the problem of what was she wearing, but this false appeal is not evidence of it being the consistent action. Again the group think of the illusion of truth effect. Most people don’t blamed the victim and rarely can it be proven that rape victims are blamed. This is merely an artifice and strawman to attack. Some people believe in conservative dress and the conflation of rape and imprudent dress – But not most.

        Some people rightfully address the right times for people to be aware of dangers and being drunk and alone in the middle of the night is one of them. It should be pointed out (though it shouldn’t need to be), that taking the position of one need not be preemptively adjunct to the other.

        Acknowledging danger exists is not tantamount to blame. We do not leave our doors unlocked because burglars should not rob.

        Do not for a second try and conflate my comment about danger awareness with an endorsement of the clothes predict rape theory, I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to see they are two quite separate positions.

        As of yet rape culture can not be proven. Do we live in murder culure? Do we live in a hate culture? Do we live in a man hating culture?

        What evidence is required to make a small group’s view asymptotically correct?

        You already know the answer.

        • Paul

          We aren’t in the courtroom now, Therium. Nor do we need to prove legally that culture exists for there to be culture. We’re in the realm of sociology now.

          Your comment was asinine. So I called it asinine. I had no wish to “poison the waters,” I was merely calling it like I saw it.

          When someone says “you shouldn’t have dressed like that” in response to someone being raped while looking nice, that’s victim blaming. And I’ve seen it many times, including in the post called out above. Who should be blamed? – the perpetrator, of course. It OUGHT to be possible to walk around completely naked without fear for personal safety. Vulnerability is not justification for people taking advantage of that vulnerability.

          But the post lambasted above went even beyond that. It presented marriage as legally “mining” the woman. And Tamsin was utterly right to call out the complete lack of account taken for consent implied in the analogy. The post was a product of rape culture, and a continuation and reiteration of it.

          Perhaps you don’t like the phrase “rape culture.” It is a phrase used to delineate a complex concept – that various elements in public discourse devalue the importance of female consent in relation to sexual relations. Does this reality not exist? Yes, it does exist. And we use the label to facilitate talking about it, just like all names are labels. Call it whatever you like, but the underlying reality will still be the same.

          • Therium

            No, you prove your beliefs. You prove you’re right. You back up claims with evidence.

            You don’t abuse people and make circular arguments appealing to the problem as evidence of the other problems.

            You don’t get to posit a theory that has no founding in logic or sense and not have it debunked.

          • Paul

            How can you not get this? The evidence is right there in front of you. Some guy says relationships are like mining for minerals, if its buried deep you have to get a permit first, otherwise you get to just grab whatever you want. This is flagrant disregard of women’s sovereignty over their own bodies, and a horrible representation of the way a swathe of people think about women, sex and consent. The fact that a bunch of people think it is shown by the number of people who reposted this bullcrap and the number of people who liked it and commented in the affirmative. It is therefore part of the public discourse. Being part of the public discourse is being part of the culture. It is a part of culture which enables rape. Hence, rape culture.

            I did not abuse you, I called your comment asinine. And it was.

          • Paul

            …and if you think what you’ve done is “debunk” the concept of “rape culture” then you and I have a serious difference of opinion about the meaning of the word “debunk.”

          • Therium

            Data is not the plural of anecdote.

          • Paul

            No. The singular of Data is Datum, from the Latin “that which is given”. In other words, a singular data point. Such as a small snippet of information. Like a comment, or a “like”, or a piece of text such as, I don’t know, an analogy perhaps?

            Whereas the definition of an “anecdote” is “a short, amusing story.” (scrolls up to check.)

          • Therium

            One person’s anecdote does form either a network of extrapolated information or a basis for which the term culture would be aptly placed. Are you so insistent on the infallibility of your idea that you need to ignore the request for actual factual culpability in favor of semantic reductiveness?

          • Paul

            Ah, good then! Even if the above IS an “anecdote”, you then allow that it is a point (or a complex web of points) of data. Good. Thanks for agreeing.

            I don’t agree I have been semantically reductive at all, and as for the factual basis of the concept of “rape culture” there is a wealth of evidence on that.

            Gone and google scholar’d that for you. –

          • Therium

            Is English your first language? I apologize if I’m not making things clear in a manner that you can understand, but let me rephrase for the young and bilingual:

            To prove something is a cultural phenomena, you MUST show proof that it is frequent and pervasive – Enough so, that it is the majority action of the culture. Single datum points, anecdotes and individual opinions do not add up to this requirement, therefore; you are wrong. The only way for you to be right is with proof, but you lack it.

            1.Show me most rape victims being blamed for rape (Evidence please).

            2.Show me the cultural approval of rape (Evidence please).

            Your filibuster of links is not proof of anything. More gender studies garbage. Not science – Opinion and remember – The BURDEN OF PROOF is on the claimant. You need to PROVE you point.
            Show the proof of 1 & 2.

            A list of links of gender studies “professors” (a bastardization of actual learned professional), claiming their opinions have merit, without any evidence is not evidence.

            You didn’t think that through when you made the weak ass point of not making your own argument.

   anytime “Paul” the “Male”?

          • Paul

            You’re not fond of people disagreeing with you, are you Therium?

            A few points ought to be made to clear things up with you. First of all, your imputations regarding myself. I am happy to clear this up a bit. I am a 38 year old Australian male of mixed Danish and English ancestry. English is my first and only spoken language, although I know several others for academic purposes (ie: I can read them, but speak them poorly, if at all.) As to my academic background, I have a PhD in Ancient History which was conferred by Macquarie University in 2009. So I understood your over-wrought English perfectly well, thank you, and understand why you phrased things the way you did.

            Now, to some other points. You seem to be mistaking your disciplines. What we are speaking of is in the Humanities – Sociology, to be precise. The study of societies. And yes, it has some standards of evidence and argument, but not the legal or scientific ones you seem to preference.

            The article Tamsin has written above claims the following: The quoted text is an example (data point) of “rape culture.”

            Now, you have weighed in and claimed that, despite there being quite a lengthy and distinguished intellectual and research background to the existence of “rape culture”, it somehow doesn’t exist. I think that is a point that perhaps you yourself ought to carry the burden of proof regarding. Secondly, in your latest rantings, you have suggested that these (and I use your quotation marks) “professors” are somehow not worthy of the name. Perhaps you ought to bear the burden of proof for that one, too.

            Now, perhaps I agree that I ought to bear the burden of proof in the postulation that “rape culture” is a thing, and so far I have not given you enough of an argument, relying instead on others to do that for me. I shall therefore respond more fulsomely. I do, however, reject the 2 points you have put above as the tenets of what would constitute proof. I shall replace them with what I believe to be more pertinent:

            1. There are discourses in the community which enable and encourage rape to occur.

            …actually, there doesn’t need to be a second, but perhaps we should add that:

            2. These discourses are prevalent enough to be problematic.

            OK, to the first point. Short of going and doing the primary research myself, here: is a good meta-analysis on Rape Myth Acceptance drawing on 37 studies which concludes that not only is there significant levels of rape myth acceptance across the board, but that males tend to have a significantly higher rate of acceptance than females.

            Now, to link RMA to incidence of rape, this study here: showed an association between reduced RMA and lowered incidence of sexual violence.

            Now, as to “is this problematic”, well, in the 12 months 2011-2012, there were 51,200 incidences of sexual violence where the victim was an adult in Australia.

            I consider that a problem.

          • Paul

            And what are we to make, precisely, regarding your last “”Paul” the “Male”?”? Are you trying to imply that males ought not to accept the existence of such a thing as “rape culture”? You seem to be implying that I am a female – because who else would be against “rape culture”?

            I’m not sure either of us likes where that implication leads.

          • Therium

            Well, I wasn’t one for intellectual posturing and I don’t posses a PHD, only two undergrads: neurobiology and cognitive science.

            A paywall? Really?

            Let’s face it – You and I won’t agree and you’ll keep referring to feminist theory and soft science and refuse to adhere the most stringent of academic rigors.

            51,200 is a big number – What percentage of that is rape?

            Also the data you are using is like all of it’s kind – Open to interpretation.

            1. This was an estimation

            2. Perception can be flawed

            3. Who makes the control factors?

            4. Why aren’t they shown?

            5. The vast majority of these may be the very least possibly aggressive of circumstances like a touch on the shoulder or something innocent and not meant to be misconstrued.

            See what happens with broadened definitions of sexual assault.

            Did you know Paul that these surveys ask if the person was subject to aggressive sexual contact, but does not ask if it was consensual?

            Do you know why that’s completely fucking bogus?

            Because MANY people consent to sexual activities that would be considered sexual assault if the question of whether they consented was NOT asked – Which it isn’t.

            That’s some pretty raw data and some pretty weak conflation of rape and not rape.

            The problem is you want to use the word culture, but you can’t and none of your supporting dogma can actually meet the standards of evidence whereby rape is a culturally dominant process. It isn’t.

            It’s that simple. All the dancing round the issue, all the appeals to opinions of others – Not weighted evidence, you still don’t have the preponderance needed.

            We need to have education facilities strong and virile in order to keep the truth and scientific merit as the bastions of reality.

            Nobody should get to say something is a culturally dominant blight and use a few dickheads with poor attitudes and social ineptitude as evidence.

            If most people don’t rape, most people aren’t raped and most people abhor rape and rapists, then you need a new phrase and anti rape culture might be it.

          • Paul

            I don’t get the paywall – guess it’s because I’m writing this from my office at a university. We get access.

            And what I was doing was not academic posturing, it was answering your imputations regarding my level of linguistic ability, and also responding to the vitriol you seem to have against feminist scholarship. I have my own issues with several academic feminists, but more of a collegial nit-picking than a blanket disregard. I made no assumptions regarding your level of education either.

            I think the main problem you have is that you are mistaking the concept of “rape culture”. You think an element of culture has to be dominant to be an element of culture? You would be wrong. From my Danish culture, for example, we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. In Australia, that isn’t done by many people. So it is culturally recessive. Is it still culture? You bet it is. Danish diaspora culture.

            So let’s move that to the concept of rape culture. As in the title, Tamsin pointed out that “This” is rape culture – the quote she responded to so eloquently. By implication, things which are not like “This” are not rape culture. Much like having a barbecue at the beach on Christmas Day lunchtime is not Danish diaspora culture.

            Are we closer to an understanding do you think?

          • Therium

            Not vitriol. I take umbrage at any educational course that purports to be an authority, that requires little in the way of proof to surmise that their theories are bulletproof and beyond reproach. Gender studies is a blight on the nature of academic discourse and ironically the bastion of the privileged.

            Paul the Male, I’m sure you’d find we agree on more than we disagree and this is probably the longest argument I’ve had on semantics. I propose that given majority attitudes we live in an anti-rape culture, and that rape culture and anti-rape culture can’t coexist.

            You clearly disagree. I’m sure we both agree rape is wrong and blaming the victim is likewise.

          • Paul

            I would agree that the vast majority is anti-rape, but some of the attitudes held by these so-called anti-rape people actually enable rape. It’s complicated. I don’t think it’s necessarily binary at all.

            But I think we can agree to leave it there. I understand that we probably do agree on more than we disagree, yes.

  • Gina Soldano-Herrle

    I haven’t seen anything like that post on my news feed. But, I’ve heard many people say things like “they’re asking for it.” I lived in a college town for several years and not a lot of people talked about how a very large portion of the female population had been and would be raped. It was unspoken. I believe the figure was at least 1/3 of all women in the college would have that happen to them. That’s not even including the unreported cases. No one asks for that. Yes, a lot of young women dress “skimpy.” But, that does not mean that they want to be assaulted. I think there should be more of a focus on stopping the assaults than a woman’s wardrobe.

    • Tamsin Howse

      That is so incredibly awful!

      Completely agree that the focus should be on stopping the assaults. We should live in a society where women can wear whatever they want and where people can walk home alone at night without fear of assault.