Rape has unfortunately been a big topic in the news lately. From the Indian gang rape case discussed previously on SJS, to the terrible kidnapping and rape of a 9 year old in Pakistan these cases are bringing to light the cultural and political degradation and abuse of women globally. But where does the United States stand in this increasing trend of misogyny and sexism? It doesn’t seem that we are fairing too well. In fact, it is possible that we are ignoring the issue in our country entirely.
In the article “America’s Rape Problem: We Refuse to Admit there is One” by The Nation the author discusses that rape in America is something we tend to blame on ‘monsters’ rather than society, something we coin up to the fault of the victim for whatever reason, and something we often tend to ignore.
“American media covering the Indian protests have repeatedly referenced the sexist culture, reporting how misogyny runs rampant in India. The majority of mainstream coverage of what happened in Steubenville (click here for a primer), however, has made no such connection. In fact, the frequent refrain in discussions of Steubenville in comment threads is that these boys are “sociopaths,” shameful anomalies. We’d rather think of them as monsters than hold ourselves accountable as a nation and tell the truth—these rapists are our sons.
It’s not just the parents of the accused rapists or the boys who made jokes who are complicit—it’s not just Steubenville, a town criticized for putting their prized high school football team above the law and justice for a young woman. Steubenville happens every day in the United States, and we’re all responsible,”
In a country where we see a need for shows such as “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”, and where the rape of a 16 year old girl in a small Ohio town can tear a town apart seemingly because the town would rather back the prized football players than the victim there is indeed a rape issue. The ignorance of it’s existence is none the more obvious than in the recent act by the GOP to block the Violence Against Women Act for the first time since 1994 which allowed the act to officially expire. Their reasoning? It gave too much coverage to particular women such as LGBTQ populations, Immigrants, and Native Americans…
It’s time we got over our fear of this four letter word and acknowledge that it hits closer to home than Pakistan or India, and that our society too is at flaw.
Written By Georgianna Reilly, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer