In today’s Vagina News, a flashing-neon-holy-shit example of what we mean when we talk about “rape culture.”
“Rape culture” is one of those phrases that elicits all kinds of big reactions. Some people insist it’s a meaningless propaganda tool, some people accuse others of participating in it without understanding what it means, some people hear it and scream “FEMINAZI” and spin in circles like wind-up toys.
All it really does is describe a variety of societal conditions that empower perpetrators of sexual assault and disempower victims (and as always, “victims” here refers to those a crime has been committed against; it is not a value judgement.)
So what does rape culture look like in the real world?
I try to stick to domestic Vagina News, but this story about Hong Kong’s chief prosecutor BLEW MY MIND, and it’s too perfect an illustration of rape culture to ignore.
This schmuck thinks victims of sexual assault should have compassion for their attackers if it’s their first offense. Why?
“Men will actually respect women more if they see women showing compassion to them and realising they are better off without a conviction… There’s this boy-girl thing in life… You have young men and women out there interacting socially. And when an incident happens and a man gets carried away … is it social misbehaviour or is it a crime?”
Imagine being a sexual assault victim in Hong Kong, and realizing that this is the person sitting at the very top of the legal system you’re relying on for justice.
Now imagine the headlines this story would be making in the US if he were talking about crimes targeting not women, but Christians or Africans or homosexuals.
THAT, my dear friends, is rape culture.