Rape Culture. Those delicious words tickling the tongue of the Tumblr generation who really have no idea what they mean outside of the context of a movement that rediscovered it’s purpose in demonization—as fart rape, and yes, that’s an accusation they’re making and taking seriously. But perhaps the phrase “rape culture” isn’t entirely useless.
What is it to rape? It’s to force oneself on another. It’s to place ones own needs for anger, rage, release, and catharsis above the needs of another human and to fulfill those needs by force. It’s to enslave a person for ones own use.
It is of note that when people talk about slavery that there are certain words that recur quite often: chains, capture, injustice, emancipation, freedom. There are also words much less used, and less associated with the idea of slavery than the aforementioned terms—wages, payment, money, compensation. Somehow it is understood quite clearly that the primary (not sole) issue with slavery is not whether or not one is paid, but whether or not one is free. Having control over one’s own self-determination trumps the wages of being an unwilling participant.
What then is the defense of a human against rape and slavery? It is the right of a human being to say one word: “no.” The Right to No is sacred. It dictates that every relationship (whether economic or personal) is voluntarily taken up and maintained. Ideally it is only forfeit when one violates another’s right to the same. “You must do this for me—you have no option” is the language of a slaver, and a rapist. If you want to see real rape culture, look around and see who forces whom, and who lacks the right to say “no”. Start with Aaron and Melissa Klein.