This is The OverExplainer, ESSENCE’s video series where Danielle Young takes a topic and breaks it down.
Rape culture could be simply summed up as the normalizing and tolerating of sexual violence. The phrase first emerged thanks to filmmakers Margaret Lazarus and Renner Wunderlich, who made a documentary of the same name.
This film was the first time rape and culture were examined together. Rape culture was used to help expose society’s inherent need to blame the survivor and encourage the aggressor, but rape culture is more than that.
Rape culture is so deeply embedded in our culture, so pedestrian, that you might not even realize that you’re feeding into it.
It’s as simple as listening to and enjoying R&B singer R. Kelly’s music. It’s making jokes about Donald Trump using his “fame” to grab women by their genitalia. It’s assuming that young men understand consent. And the list goes on.
Let’s unpack rape culture, shall we?