TW: Rape, Assault
Rape culture is systemic, embedded in society and acting like it is individual failing is in reality a tool of the system. The truth of the matter is that the patriarchy allows, has institutionalised and encourages cis men’s entitlement, violence and as long as this continues, statistics on non-men experiencing abuse will not decrease.
If you were to be asked why men are quick to be violent to women, what would you say? What are the threads that connect on this behaviour? Why do heterosexual men think they are owed something by women? Why do men think that joking about violence is not a big deal despite evidence to the fact?
Because wanting to act like these things happen in a vacuum will not lead us to freedom (in this case freedom means being able to live our lives without fear of violence).
TO THIS DAY, we still have to explain to people that coercion is not consent. We still have to tell people that saying no is not an invitation to convince someone to say yes. We are still talking about why rape jokes fuel rape culture. And at this point we have to agree that there are people who are willfully ignorant and also, that men do not care and want to hold onto male privilege while at the same time be seen as nice guys™.
And let’s not forget that men are rarely held accountable – by the system and even individually – for being rapists or even those who fuel rape culture (insert media personalities here).
Whenever an incident of gender based violence is catapulted in media (because we know that there are many more that we do not get to hear about), the talking points remain the same year in, and year out. And you cannot convince me that men are as ignorant as they want to pretend to be or that they care about gender based violence. And even instead of caring enough to make any change, they are busy saying “Not All Men” or “Educate us” or “men are also raped (which they are but why only bring it up when we are talking about women?) or that bullshit of “I have a sister, mother, daughter” (which basically means they only see women as people when they are related to them) etc. That, is not helpful and further proves that men and the system as a whole are not interested in relinquishing male privilege as they keep derailing conversations.
And we know that men know what is happening and it disgusts me that we have to keep asking them to hold men accountable. It is terrible that we have to keep debating our humanity and telling (almost begging) men that our bodies are our own. And that it is not for them to comment on or dominate.
Men do not care beyond their need to look like they are “nice”; benevolent misogyny will not save us. Men who address women instead of their fellow kinfolk/perpetrators will not save us. If for anything else, no matter how much of an ally one is, there is no interest in relinquishing the privilege and it is SO OBVIOUS especially because they will never talk to their fellow men about these things – just random posts on social media.
Beyond a change in the system, are there things that individuals can do to change things? Yes. We should support efforts of grassroots organisations who do work in this area, men especially should open their wallets. It is not only about tweeting support dudes. The time for performative allyship is over.
Crime data – Here
FIDA – Here
Usikimye – Here
I cannot imagine engaging with misogynists and rape apologists on social media platforms at this moment. As if it makes a difference. It doesn’t. And if it did, we still wouldn’t be having this conversation. Something would have changed. But nothing has. NOTHING.