I often think people needlessly complicate this topic. As long as you live in a country that rationalises, justifies, and trivialises sexual assault; you live in a country that has a rape culture. That is to say every country on earth. In any other form of physical assault do we so readily question the validity of the victim’s perspective? We are enablers who by our very actions we distort the course of justice; as long as this enabling effects judicial systems rape culture will exist.
On top of which the counter arguments are ridiculous. I’ll go through three of the common ones:
Womenz be gagging for it. Ludicrous, to use an analogy: If I was walking down the street cricket bat in hand (as you do.). When a guy wearing a “please hit me!” walked past me. I then decide to break his ribs with said cricket bat, am I justified in doing so? If by common assault standards it is held as assault by the reigning judiciary; then it should hold true across the board regardless of the prevailing general opinion.
Next is the; if we convict people and they’re innocent we ruin their lives! Firstly I would like to congratulate those people cynical enough to believe this their on newly built log cabins in the middle of nowhere. Honestly though how common do you really think this is? I mean to charge and carry this out is not a moment of intense anger its cold and calculated. How many people have it in them to destroy someone’s life with whom they have had such an intimate connection with? I would guess that the opposite is actually far more common; that people hold back and rationalise the incident for fear of ruining someone’s life.
I’m an egalitarian who believes in no special treatment for anyone. That is a very noble sentiment, but it makes you a complete hypocrite. Sexual assault is treated differently from all other violent crime, it becomes about perspective, about qualifiers, and public attitude. Instead of a cold hard impartial justice.
Now at some point someone is going to point out evidence and sexual assault. If it was only about this then honestly I would understand why the state of sexual assault convictions is the way it is, but that is only part of it. An example is probably best. The way the police treated the victims, their failure to act, the boys will be boys attitude. When a judiciary system is so bogged down in cultural attitudes it fails to act with the empiricism we expect of it. Then how can we say that rape culture does not exist.
I should at this point expand on why New Zealand is such a poignant example. This is a country that regularly places extremely well on economic and civil liberty (first modern country to allow women the vote, one of the first to allow gay marriage.) OECD and many other ranking systems: A country that punches well above its weight in most areas. If it is so rampant there then how do you imagine other countries fair?
I will also add that I say this as someone who is fairly obtuse to both people and social conventions, and who really isn’t all that intelligent; yet I find all of this so incredibly obvious.