See these (not-so-recent) articles about rape culture and the myths behind it (monster and otherwise) that are by women. One Mohadessa Najumi, Two Laurie Penny (in 2012!), Three Clementine Ford, Four Chimene Suleyman, Five Steenfox, Six Everyday Sexism.
Now that you've done that.
Read these two articles: One Musa Okwonga, Two Tom Meagher
Last week, Tom Meagher wrote about rape culture and the 'ordinary' rapist. Today, Musa Okwonga has written an even better article on it, in light of the ha-ha-funny-hip-rapist confessions of a rich street-art hipster DC.
The articles are not easy to read. But they're good.
When I was reading Musa's article, two things he alluded to jumped out at me. I want to extend them a little here:
Where rape culture hangs out.
Both these articles reminded me (and should remind you) that rape culture hang out where ordinary culture hangs out.
It's something that women have been saying for ages, but perhaps now that men are starting to see that there's an assumption of 'it's not men like me' - it will make sense.
The kind of mentality that Musa highlights - the silent or awkward compliance, partly what sociologists call the Spiral of Silence, and the kind of 'norm' of it all - it hangs out in the media.
On TV, radio, films, books, magazines, music, blog posts, facebook and twitter.
It's the same kind of thinking, writing, imagery (that's what culture is), that says 'tits on page 3 = ok', using women's body's to sell shit = ok. using an app to tell you when in the movie to put your arm around a girl = funny, getting drunk at the weekend and pushing that little harder for the girl to fuck you = maate, posting pics of girl's bits on your twitter page because pussy = fine, fuck your masseuse because she got your hard, even when she didn't want it and because it's for tv = ha!, damn, fucked a woman and bashed her head in because i was horny = oops, rapist/paedophile but he makes art = ok*.
There is a reason why women have problems with page 3, FHM, lads' mags and vice. And all the ways that excuse the kind of behaviour that David Choe boasted about. Because they are stewing pots for the kind of boys will be boys, women-as-mine culture that stews this kind of mentality.
And that kind of mentality is the one that prompts men to rape women.
It's not just those mags, but the frustration is that it's that they are considered norm. Just media. Just part-of-the-wide-range-of-available-things-to-read-and-that-your-choice-is-your-choice. Fuck you and your choice.
And before you all roll your eyes at the kind of ban-everything suggestion that you've already assumed, it brings me to my second point:
You might need to give some things up.
You can't say 'I don't want women to be raped but i still them to be at my disposal.' Or 'I don't want my daughter to be raped, but I still want Terry Richardson to be photographing bitches for Vice'.
It's the slow wearing down of women's esteem and place in the world. The slow ramping up of the 'i'm a man, so i get to..'
When you buy those things. Pay money for them. Give men like this money, you are literally buying into those ideals.
It is compliance.
Guys, change means you might have to not-have some things. You might have to feel 'hard done by' for a while. You might not get to have all your toys. You might have to sulk for a while, because actually, you quite liked the occasional joke or ad at the expense of women. You didn't see the harm in it. Hey, i've got mothers, sisters, wives, female friends too. Perhaps it made you feel like part of the human race.
And this is why rape culture perpetuates. Because men confuse the right to this kind of culture with the freedom of speech: it's humiliation in small, tiny increments.