Rape Culture

So I tend to be called the feminist among my friends and to be honest, I think every woman should be a feminist, though not every feminist needs to be a woman (men are invited).

I think that if you are a woman and you are not a feminist, then I would describe you in just one word: unaware. No offense to women out there who don’t deem themselves feminists. Like I said earlier: free world!Moving on, I wanted to rant about the rape cases that have been flashing across our media of recent, for instance, the gang rape in India that killed the 23 year old girl. My first and foremost point is that cutting the balls off of the men, even though a bit satisfactory, would not solve the problem. It will not do anything for us. The truth is, whether you like it or not, women in countries like India and all over the world are raped because they are considered inferior, existent for the pure pleasure of men, and valued for their virginity.I am going to go on and mention virginity and how it applies to my scattered thoughts.
BUT before I go on, I will make some of my beliefs about the world clear. My number one: Women are treated as inferior to men all over the world, both consciously and unconsciously. Great, its out there.For me, as a Nigerian-Indian Christian, I have always been brought up to understand the importance of preserving my virginity. As a diaspora independent African, I have discovered the double standards and ills of this culture of virginity.
I know that I speak for many when I say that losing your virginity in my culture is considered in many ways an abomination, a disgrace, and most importantly, a sin. I will not address the Christian aspect of this culture but the practice itself. Many girls have grown up with their mothers telling them that losing their virginity will cause their husbands to value them less, trust them less, and consider them wayward. First of all, no one goes telling men this by the way. Just girls, ladies, women. Like I said earlier, double standards. Girls are told to remain virgins and boys are told to be safe. Where will they get the girls they are going to be safe with? I know our mothers love us and do not mean to take anything away from us, but even they are so indoctrinated themselves that they do not see. Anyway, having been told these things from a young age, a woman grows up to see her value vested in her virginity. Thus, losing it most times equals losing herself. It makes her loose, wayward, etc. These ideas are the kind that men in places like India take advantage of. When the man rapes you, he knows that he is not just having sex with you and breaking your most private boundaries, but he knows he is devaluing you. And in that manner, you become inferior.

The moment we as women and men make our daughters and finally society understand that we do not invest in our daughters’ virginity but in them as people, the better off we will be!


9 thoughts on “Rape Culture

  1. “I think that if you are a woman and you are not a feminist, then I would describe you in just one word: unaware.”

    I propose that feminism should not be seen as a women’s rights movement, but as a human rights movement. This is why I as woman do not call myself a feminist.

    1. I do believe in feminism as a human’s rights movement which is why I added “not every feminist needs to be a woman (men are invited)” but I do believe that women who are indoctrinated in the system tend to be the best perpetrators sometimes: such as mothers in my article, even though they do not know it and it’s sad. I believe that for men to become feminists and for it to be a human rights movement, women need to take a stand as a whole and I believe that’s what feminism is about. But like I said, I hold nothing against women who do not call themselves feminists. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  2. Forgive me, I would like to pick your brain on this issue.
    How do you think society can change its current valuation system for women?
    What effective methods can we create, what histories can we rewrite or destroy, what new methods can we take that will enable us teach our daughters, mothers, fathers and brothers to treat and value girls and women as individuals with ability?
    Should we rewrite the basic structure of mythology which portrays the hero, his sidekick and love interest ( a helpless damsel in distress)? Should we begin digging into our histories to find our strong female role models and discover how we killed and buried them under false pretentiousness? (because every society always has them)
    What do we tell our daughters to make them strong and not feel excluded when everyone gives them shit for not wanting to look like Barbie or fit some ridiculous image force fed through almost everything they see, read or listen to? Perhaps even more importantly, how do we help our friends when they choose to remain plastic, to fit into preset molds because they are so much easier?
    How do we treat them as possible strong individuals, without writing them off for their obvious choices?

    How do we create friendly feminists who are neither condemning nor passive-aggressive?

  3. I am never sure what to think of posts like this. I am an American, not Indian, not Nigerian, not Saudi, Not Mexican, American. The problems described here are so far outside of my experience I don’t know if I should even believe it to be true. In America we are not asking if she has any value if no longer a virgin. We are at the point of asking how much could she value herself with 40, 50 or more different partners. No American man really expects a virgin bride, but we question how faithful a woman who has had 60 different partners could be.

    1. Thank you for your perspective. I wrote this from my culture’s point of view. I believe however that it could apply, in different interpretations, across cultures. Do men in America care about having 60 different partners? or is it just women? this discussion has many different dimensions of which I just stated one. The discussion does not need to have only one perspective

  4. Lovely! I completely agree, it was only until a while ago when I started comfortably identifying myself as a feminist and it was, indeed, because I was unaware. It’s the fact that things such as rape in culture, rape in conflict and just rape in general still happen in the world every day that is upsetting and that it is always brought back to how much it ruins her “virginity”, but what about her as a woman? Forget the conventional views of virginity and how “sinful” its loss is seen as, but what about how much rape – as you say – “devalues” women. Really enjoyed reading this.

    1. Thanks a lot! It definitely took me a while to realize and embrace being a feminist, and I really believe that I began to do that when I began to become more aware of the state of women across the world and how a topic like rape displays it so clearly and perpetuates or makes use of the standard of value women are placed against. I am glad you enjoyed reading it!

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