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To say that the UK is not a Rape Culture?

(769 Posts)
PatriarchyPersonified Wed 06-Dec-17 14:08:36

So I have had an argument with a lady I work with today that has ended with her calling me the "Patriarchy Personified", hence the name.

She claimed that the UK was a Rape Culture. I completely disagree and it feels like this is more creeping 'third wave' bullshit.

If you look at the definition of Rape Culture which is:

a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse.

Then it's clear that she is wrong. I don't disagree that there are elements of UK society that I would argue probably are characterised in this way, but you can not describe the whole UK in those terms.

She was extremely unhappy to be challenged, I work with her on a weekly basis and I've got a feeling I'm not going to have heard the last of this!

LaurieFairyCake Wed 06-Dec-17 14:14:28

Interesting question

I'm on the fence as I think you can effectively argue both sides. I think the huge consumption of pornography validates a rape culture.

But we don't use it as a weapon of war.

So, both sides. I also know that the majority of women I know have had non consensual/non desirable/rape - so maybe at some point the statistics of rape would lead to us saying that if most women are raped then we must live in a culture that condones it (due to how little it is prosecuted) ?

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 06-Dec-17 14:14:48

Maybe stop talking about non-work things at work and avoid having arguments? That might help you continue to work with your colleague.

PatriarchyPersonified Wed 06-Dec-17 14:17:44


Fair point, but she did bring it up! Lol.

Didntcomeheretofuckspiders Wed 06-Dec-17 14:18:32

Have you been to a nightclub or bar recently? It is completely normal to be groped or have men grinding up against you as you dance. Women are told not to walk home alone because they ‘might get raped’. The attitude that you are more likely to get raped if you ‘dress like a slut’ still prevails. 1 in 5 women in the UK will experience sexual violence according to Rape Crisis and yet only a minor percentage of those will be reported, and an even smaller number of those will lead to convictions.

How can you say there is no rape culture?

ZigZagandDustin Wed 06-Dec-17 14:19:51

Hmmm, I think I'm more inclined to agree with her on the whole. But I do agree you could argue either side.

LeCroissant Wed 06-Dec-17 14:20:06

Yes the UK is a rape culture. 85,000+ women are raped every year and a very tiny fraction of the perpetrators are prosecutes and an even smaller fraction are convicted.

Out of 1000 perpetrators of rape, about 994 will go free and rapists are far less likely to go to prison than any other criminal.

Following the Ched Evans trial, 40 labour MPs asked the Attorney General for a change in the law on the basis that women were less likely to report rape because of the fact that a victim's sexual history could be used to acquit her rapist. The legal system actually believes that if a woman behaves in one way in one situation, she must be assumed to have behaved that way in a similar situation and on that basis her rapist (who admits to what he did) should be let off. It doesn't matter if his behaviour is abhorrent or criminal - the woman's past actions excuse him.

If you don't believe there is a rape culture I'm very happy for you. Carry on living in your happy little bubble.

RhiWrites Wed 06-Dec-17 14:20:37

Don’t argue with strangers about their experience of rape. You have no way of knowing why she feels this way and it’s not cool to tell other people their experience is incorrect.

TrinitySquirrel Wed 06-Dec-17 14:21:26

You've not been out on a night out clubbing or to bars very often have you OP?

The second it hits 9pm it's like bloody Gremlins.

Every aspect of the drunken nightlife in this country is rape culture.

PatriarchyPersonified Wed 06-Dec-17 14:21:39


That's precisely the point of contention.

I'm not saying there is no such thing as Rape Culture, I'm not even saying some communities in the UK aren't Rape Cultures, I'm saying the UK as a whole is not one.

streetlife70s Wed 06-Dec-17 14:21:52

I do think the normalisation of porn, rape jokes, gender stereotypes, attitudes toward females who drink, who wear not enough / too much clothing, are single parents, pout too much on their social media pictures, stay at home, go to work etc etc all contribute to normalise sexual assault and abuse of women. The crap sentencing for DV is a sign of structural inequality.
Had I not been living in the age of social media I may have agreed with you but being witness to some of the comments from men about women and realising how many of them truly hate us just for being female I think we are still very much a rape culture.

Alwaysinmyheart Wed 06-Dec-17 14:21:53

Two words:

Ched Evans

TiffanyDoggett Wed 06-Dec-17 14:22:00

If you are eagerly awaiting for outraged answers by the bucketload may I suggest posting in feminism.

And yes YABU. Third wave bullshit? hmm

Goady goady goat face.

BenLui Wed 06-Dec-17 14:22:21

Hmm. She has a point regarding “trivialising or normalising sexual assault”.

Most women have had their backsides pinched, been groped in a pub, had a man grab them and kiss them, had hands up their skirt and far worse at some point.

I was certainly told as a student not to report an assault in case it wrecked the poor lad's future career.

Things might be changing a bit now but for most of my lifetime she hasn’t been wrong.

How many people on hearing recent reports have said “of for God’s sake he pinched her bum ten years ago, who cares?”

Re sexual abuse, for many many years (and not that long ago) it was swept under the carpet. We may act differently now, but many of the old attitudes remain.

thewisestoldelf Wed 06-Dec-17 14:22:47

I think it's relative. When you compare the UK to other countries where you hear of women being gang raped on a bus, then no we don't have a rape culture but I guess it's a matter of opinion (and not something I'd discuss in work!)

AnyFucker Wed 06-Dec-17 14:22:57

She is right, you are misguided

BigDeskBob Wed 06-Dec-17 14:24:04

From the rape crisis website: 'Conviction rates for rape are far lower than other crimes, with only 5.7% of reported rape cases ending in a conviction for the perpetrator. (Kelly, Lovett and Regan, A gap or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases, 2005)'

Why do you think this is?

NotACleverName Wed 06-Dec-17 14:24:07

Two more words: Adam Johnson

LeCroissant Wed 06-Dec-17 14:24:08

The UK as a whole is governed by a legal and social system that is aware of thousands of rapists walking free and does nothing about it.

Your chances of being sexually assaulted in the UK at some point in your life are astronomically high - I don't know any woman who hasn't been sexually assaulted in some way and they live all over the UK.

meatyLoaf Wed 06-Dec-17 14:24:47

You are right. She is misguided.

BenLui Wed 06-Dec-17 14:24:49

I’m interested in what you mean by “some communities”?

Which ones?

PatriarchyPersonified Wed 06-Dec-17 14:25:28

All the examples being cited aren't exclusively characteristics of Rape Culture. They are possible symptoms of it. They are also symptoms of lots of other issues.

Correlation doesn't equal causality.

LeCroissant Wed 06-Dec-17 14:25:44

If you're a woman you're likely to get assaulted or raped at some point.

If you're a sexual predator or rapist you're very unlikely to be convicted at any point.

That is rape culture in a nutshell.

Jaxhog Wed 06-Dec-17 14:26:20

I agree with you. Although there clearly are some sexual assaults and rapes, they are not a key part of our overall UK culture. And while it might be part of night club culture (I wouldn't know), only a very small number of people participate in this. A rape culture is where it is endemic through out all levels of activity. This clearly isn't the case in the UK.

LeCroissant Wed 06-Dec-17 14:26:33

How bad does it have to be to count then Patriarchy? Is 85,000 women a year not enough?

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