Myself and many others believe that there are certain sectors of our society that create and permeate what we call ‘rape culture’. Now, there are people reading this already rolling their eyes and calling BS, but before you go away, allow me to explain what I mean using a current news story.
So, what has been in the news lately?
(image created by Maddy Dicks)
I have chosen this particular image because to me it demonstrates the upside of Media 2.0, the media of consumer-created content. I have put this here because of all the news, articles and memes I’ve seen on the subject this is the only one I’ve seen that actually touches on the real issues here.
All of the “professional” articles I’ve read are talking about Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato reacting to it and each other and the social media backlash that followed, giving women in positions of fame and influence yet another thing to fight and feel bad about.
The crux of the argument is that Swift has donated a substantial amount of money to Kesha’s legal team and people are upset that she’s shown financial support rather than tweeting about it. There are two things that annoy me about this particular argument. For one, it’s the kind of smoke and mirror/shadow boxing that the mainstream media is good at creating in order to stop people thinking for themselves. The other is that it demonstrates the downside of Media 2.0.
Social media can be great for raising awareness of an issue, but what does awareness actually do? Well, it makes people aware of things. No tweet or status update, no matter how well it is worded, is going to change the world. It can inspire some to action, but ultimately sharing a pop star’s thoughts expressed in 140 characters or less is the same as doing nothing. To me, Swift has put her money up to help what she feels is a worthwhile cause. The old saying goes that actions speak louder than words but unfortunately in our social media driven age a lot of people seem to miss that point.
You want to help a cause? Donate your money, donate your time, engage in debate and conversation, write a blog, wear a t-shirt or wristband; absolutely anything as long as you actually do SOMETHING for that cause. No matter how small your contribution may be you can do more than click the share button or engage in the smoke and mirror bullshit we are spoon fed by the mainstream media. If you aren’t part of the solution then you are part of the problem.
So, before I get down from my soapbox, what is the takeaway from all of this?
There are people out there who are determined to make rape some kind of grey area and it really fucking shouldn’t be. I think the creator of the image at the top nails it on the head, the message being sent here is: “We are men who can make money off you and don’t give a flying shit about the physical safety or mental well being of women.”
You want to tell me that rape culture doesn’t exist? A woman got raped and all we can do is protect her attackers, in-fight and find other things to talk about.
And it is a damn shame.