Miller and Branson (1987, p. 57) outline that, rape culture is a phrase that was created by United States feminists in the late 1970s. Rape culture refers to the culture that normalizes sexual violence in which societies are not taught not to rape on one hand, but, on the other hand, are shown not to be raped. The culture brings to focus on an environment where the term ‘rape’ is prevalent (Grana and Grana, 2010, p. 43). Rape culture involves the ways in which a society rationalizes, trivializes, or even excuses acts of sexual violence and rape including sexual harassment and exploitation among others. The rape culture environment unmasks a society where sexual violence against females is normalized and excused as popular culture in both society and the media.
Vena (pg. 87-90) notes that rape culture dehumanizes women and its stories cause trauma to the victims. According to Buchwald, Fletcher & Roth (2005, p. 78), modern rape culture is soaked in institutionalized misogyny. At its core, it has cultural characteristics of a society that is politicizing, defining, and ultimately controlling females bodies. The rape culture, like all other facets of culture, informs people’s conduct on several levels – often in ways, a person is not even aware of. The rape culture is extended by the objectification of women’s bodies, using misogynistic language, and the glamorization of sexual ferocity, thereby producing a society that disrespects women’s safety and rights. In this culture, people are surrounded by the language, images, laws, and other everyday occurrences that endorses and perpetuates rape (James, 2014, p. 121).
Rape culture influences how society discusses sex and rape. In the media, the Rape culture comprises of jokes, music, TV, advertising, laws, legal jargon, and normal words and imagery. Such a phenomenon makes violence against females and sexual coercion appear very normal making people consider rape as inevitable (Grey pg. 198). In such situations of such prevalent phenomena, rather than regarding the rape culture as a problem to change, such a society thinks that the persistence of rape is a normal life occurrence (Buchwald et al., 2005, p. 92).