Yes. All. Women.

By  | 

“Rape culture” is a term coined by feminists in the late 1970s to describe the way that society blamed rape victims and normalized male sexual violence. It described how our culture condoned physical and emotional harm toward women. It showed that we allowed women to get raped and men to get away with it. And sadly, the phrase is still apt throughout the globe today, 50 years later.

Yesterday, hundreds of people in Bangalore, India demonstrated outside a public school where a six-year-old girl was raped.

The incident happened at Bangalore’s Vibgyor School in early July, but it was only brought to light last week. No arrests have been made, but it has been reported that police have detained eight suspects in the case.

The pressure from the people of Bangalore is commendable, without their effort the Indian police force would not have taken this issue as seriously, and the girl’s rapist may have never been caught or even investigated.

We’ve come along way since the 1970s. It was in ’77 that Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl before fleeing to France without serious public uproar.

Since then, there have been major advances in the feminist movement, and people are finally starting to change the way they think about rape. Here are some examples of how people are have started to change the way women can protect themselves:

  • A trio of Indian students created “anti-rape underwear” that delivers shocks and alerts the police to potential assaults. The device is cleverly named Society Harnessing Equipment (SHE), and is equipped with a GPS system and pressure sensors that make it capable to send a 3,800 kV shock.

  • A group of Swedish girls designed an “anti-rape belt,” also referred to as a “reverse chastity belt.” It has a complex labyrinth of a latch that the wearer has to unlock, which is impossible to do without two hands. “The rapist can’t hold you down and open it at the same time. It takes a while to figure it out if you don’t know what you’re doing,” one of the creators said.
  • A South African doctor designed a condom called the “rape-axe” that is designed to dig into a rapist’s penis upon penetration. The jagged hooks cling on to the offender’s penis and create enough pressure to prevent the man from being able to urinate.

  • Inventors added a little twist to the rape whistle: now there’s a keychain-like security device that sounds a loud alarm when pulled. The device is meant to scare the attacker while also alerting bystanders that you are in need of help.
  • Two students at India’s National Institute of Fashion Technology created a jacket that is supposed to prevent sexual assault. The jacket discharges 110 volts of electricity when it detects unwanted pressure. A button is pressed by the person who is being assaulted, which then signals the jacket to stun the aggressor and temporarily disable him.
  • A group of inventors created a test called that determines whether or not your drink has been drugged. “The lighter sized sensor is dipped into your drink and performs electrical conductivity tests, temperature measurements, and spectroscopic analysis to determine the molecular makeup of your beverage.” If it does detect something, the sensor alerts the user with a red LED light.

So as you can see there is a lot being done to prevent girls from being raped, and while all these inventions are spectacular and innovative, there’s still one thing wrong; we’re placing the responsibility on women and girls. These inventions send out the message that prohibiting rape is up to the female, and that it is their own duty to make sure that they do not become a victim. Instead, we should be holding our men accountable and teaching our boys that it is their responsibility to respect women.

Many of our conversations these days focus on preventive behavior, telling women not to get drunk, what not to wear, when and where to go out. This is rape culture.

Rape culture is telling women to “be careful” when they leave the house, or to put on something “less revealing.” Rape culture is shaming women for who they sleep with, how they walk, how they talk, what they drink, where they go. Rape culture is protecting our men, and condemning our girls; and I think it’s about time we change that. Not all men sexually assault women, but at one point or another in their lives, most women will be sexually assaulted by a man. We’ve been to the moon, cured numerous diseases, taken flight, and beaten our preconceived prejudices. I think we’re advanced enough to stop shifting the blame off men, and start respecting our women. I think it’s time we stop accepting rape culture, and start refuting it. Don’t you?


Mic Drop

Trevor Smith

Featured image courtesy of [Chase Carter via Flickr]

Trevor Smith
Trevor Smith is a homegrown DMVer studying Journalism and Graphic Design at American University. Upon graduating he has hopes to work for the US State Department so that he can travel, learn, and make money at the same time. Contact Trevor at



Send this to friend