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Reflection on Rape Culture: Opinion Essay

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I personally am against the term rape culture, since it validates and normalizes rape which is wrong and must not be promoted. Rape exists and happens a lot however, nowadays people are falsely making accusations, makes it difficult to identify between the victims and the rapist, therefore, it is important to identify the factual data to make accurate judgements. Celebrities and different brands that are using sexual assault to market their products, which is wrong, such as a Guardian Angel Necklace that is being sold on Amazon, is meant to combat sexual assault, as it sends help for women by pressing a button on the necklace, or the chastity belt that protects women from getting raped, are all wrongful means to gain profit. The pendant basically proves that women are vulnerable, and all men are hostile, while naturalizing the problem.

People are being taught to avoid a problem, instead of planning to completely fix it. Also, implementing that rape is gender based is not right, it is true that it mostly happens to women, but men can also be victims of rape, and they feel more insulted to come out due to the idealistic societal expectations. The case on Aziz Ansari further contributes to the term rape culture and normalizing it. Since, Aziz Ansari may not be a rapist but must certainly be blamed, as he fails to notice the hesitation and nonverbal cues of a girl with provocative sex. However, the story makes it difficult to differentiate between a bad sexual experience and sexual violence. Since, the victim Grace does not verbally tell Aziz Ansari to stop, instead tells him to chill on the couch with clothes on, while he consistently keeps asks her for consent throughout the sexual intercourse, that is evident in her interview. Even when Grace texts Ansari and confronts him for her uncomfortable experience, he clearly apologizes for understanding that their sexual encounter was consensual. Throughout her sexual encounter, she neither resisted, nor left his apartment, instead kept debating on whether she felt she was being assaulted.

Grace clearly keeps blaming Ansari for her hesitation, when she does not want the wine of his choice or is not comfortable to be in his apartment. It is easier to interpret that Grace is in a powerless state and does not have the freedom to go against a powerful celebrity, as a matter of fact, Aziz Ansari is more vulnerable than her, which is clear when he asks her not to tell the uber driver his real name. Being a man of colour, Aziz Ansari overcomes the racial stigma to prove himself in the entertainment industry and paves a path for other South Asian men by becoming a great comedian. His involvement in the feminist movement and using his platform to address sexist issues is commendable. Therefore, the allegation is more likely to harm Aziz Ansari’s image than the victim’s as she kept her identity anonymous. Moreover, Grace does not file a report against Aziz Ansari, and she did not make any further interviews. The website that published Grace’s story is not completely believable, since it was not well known before publishing the gripping interview of accusing an actor, who had won a Golden Globe award for best actor in comedy for Netflix’s Master of None less than a week ago. Grace does not only keep her name anonymous, but she also decided to reveal her story to a website that does not have much popularity, while she could have contacted CNN, New York Times or other agencies that would make her position stronger. It is difficult to understand the reason that influenced Grace to reveal her incident to a website that neglects critical issues, since Babe has a video that is titled as; “Can you if this famous guy was Me Too’d based on his quotes?”. It interviews different people and turns the me-too movement into a joke, as the interviewer makes fun of people and laughs on the answers given by people, undermining the importance of the movement.

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The website suggested that it addresses issues unfiltered and uncensored, while it clearly does not value people, also the most recent article posted on the website has been from February regarding Aziz Ansari’s case, it is one of the few articles that addresses the issue of sexual conduct on the website, and is present in the tab lust, while others are about Instagram and celebrity lives with inappropriate titles. Babe has gender discriminative videos, as one of them is titled, “I straight up asked guys if I looked fat?”. Additionally, every single comment on the articles of the website is from spam accounts marketing their products or websites. Overall, the story whether is real or not, harms the victims and people that are involved in the me too and time’s up movement, making people doubt their accounts of sexual assault. The Hunting Ground is a documentary based on the statistics of increased rape cases in colleges and universities, exposing the hidden truths and the administration’s failed attempt to take any action against rapists due to several reasons. It highlights the topic, of universities receiving profits from the fraternity systems, and protecting the sexual predators to have a low crime stat, so in future parents are not hesitated to send their children in a college infamous for its sexual assault crimes. The documentary also uses rhetorical questions to appeal to the audience, as a young man speaks to a reporter saying; “Because you had sex and a woman said no, are you a rapist automatically because of that?”. Despite, presenting all the facts with statistics, the documentary Hunting Ground only focuses on one side of the story, it can be true but not necessarily, it only interviews the victims as they explain their incidents, while not telling the side of the story of the other person.

The Hunting Ground being a great documentary may have been biased due to the failure of telling the story of both sides, while easily humiliating prestigious universities and colleges. The Hunting Ground also plays a major role in spreading myths and is prominent because it highlights the two major high-profile celebrities that were convicted of rape. One of them is Winston, who was accused of rape, and presented as a beast in the documentary. Being a person of colour, his life was on hold and he was defamed. Since, two separate toxicology reports proved that Kinsman’s claim in the film of being drugged was false, as the filmmakers omit the factual data that compromises their viewers for the documentary. Kinsman keeps shifting her account of the incident in separate interviews, while not revealing the entire truth to the audience, as the nurse that examines her does not mention any bruises that could have proven her statement according to the National Review. The Hunting Ground cannot be considered a documentary, since it only presents the audience with one-sided story of the accusers, while completely ignoring those who are accused, it does not provide them with the platform to express their concerns. The only sexual perpetrator that gives an interview, is anonymous that is convenient, who addresses people that he learned from his mistakes and people must not commit such acts. In my opinion, rape has not only been an increasing problem, but people have also gained awareness over the years with technology and have realized to speak against it, that is great progress towards building a safe environment. It must be taken seriously, and reported, false accusations based on racial stigma, jealousy, to achieve fame or other gender-based stereotypes, can make people more skeptical of the real victims.

Factual evidence is important for rape cases, since merely using the term rape cannot be justified to blame someone. It is not easy to stand against someone who is considered a victim of sexual assault, therefore most individuals either oppose the person accused or decide to not participate in the case. For example, in to Kill a Mockingbird Atticus makes a difficult decision, while risking his status and family, and being the target on criticism he supports Tom Robinson, who was accused of rape for being a person of a different color, therefore I feel that a person must not be wrongfully blamed until proven guilty, since it can affect several lives. Recently, a famous Pakistani actor and singer Ali Zafar was accused of sexually assaulting a female singer Meesha Shafi, who were close friends. She was not as popular as him, however her accusation and constant tweets helped her achieve fame for a brief period, although Ali Zafar was proven guilty and supported by Pakistani media fraternity he did suffer. He was insulted during concerted, and also has a family that may have been negatively impacted. Meesha Shafi acted exceptionally well and victimised an innocent man to achieve temporary fame, while also risking the reputation of all those individuals who suffered because of their sexual assault and have received a platform through the different movements to ask for justice. In conclusion, I feel by wrongfully convicting people of rape, the real victims are being trivialized, while destroying careers of several people such as Aziz, Winston and Ali Zafar.

Work Cited

  1. “AAU Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct (2015).” Association of American Universities (AAU), 3 Sept. 2015, https://www.aau.edu/key-issues/aau-climate-survey-sexual-assault-and-sexual-misconduct-2015.
  2. Brawley, Lucia. “Let’s Be Honest about Aziz Ansari.” CNN, Cable News Network, 19 Jan. 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/17/opinions/lets-be-honest-about-aziz-ansari-brawley/index.html.
  3. Bunch, Sonny. “Opinion | Babe’s Aziz Ansari Piece Was a Gift to Anyone Who Wants to Derail #MeToo.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 28 Apr. 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2018/01/15/babes-aziz-ansari-piece-was-a-gift-to-anyone-who-wants-to-derail-metoo/.
  4. Framke, Caroline. “How the Aziz Ansari Story Deepened a Crucial Divide in the #MeToo Reckoning.” Vox, Vox, 18 Jan. 2018, https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/1/17/16897440/aziz-ansari-allegations-babe-me-too.
  5. Gayla, Marella. “Aziz Ansari and the Problem with #MeToo Redemption Stories – The Boston Globe.” BostonGlobe.com, The Boston Globe, 19 July 2019, https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2019/07/19/aziz-ansari-and-our-metoo-ambivalence/olh8TaeI9ZwRYby1kBdBCK/story.html.
  6. Jr, Stuart Taylor. “The Cinematic Railroading of Jameis Winston.” National Review, National Review, 2 Nov. 2016, https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/03/filmmakers-omit-inconvenient-facts-about-campus-rape-allegation/.
  7. Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird: Harper Lee. Spark Publishing, 2014.
  8. Nicholas, Elizabeth. “Why Critiques of the Campus Rape Documentary The Hunting Ground Only Prove Its Point.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 20 Nov. 2016, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-critiques-of-the-camp_b_8607618.
  9. North, Anna. “Aziz Ansari Has Addressed His Sexual Misconduct Allegation. But He Hasn’t Publicly Apologized.” Vox, Vox, 12 July 2019, https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/7/12/20690303/aziz-ansari-sexual-misconduct-accusation-right-now.
  10. Robertson, Adi. “Companies Are Using Fear to Market Lifestyle Accessories to Women.” The Verge, The Verge, 30 May 2014, https://www.theverge.com/2014/5/30/5764794/stop-making-cute-anti-rape-technology.
  11. The Hunting Ground. Directed by Kirby Dick, The Weinstein Company, 13 Mar. 2015, http://thehuntinggroundfilm.com.
  12. Way, Katie. “I Went on a Date with Aziz Ansari. It Turned into the Worst Night of My Life.” Babe, Babe, 1 Feb. 2018, https://babe.net/2018/01/13/aziz-ansari-28355.
  13. Way, Katie. “Aziz Ansari Talks about the Sexual Misconduct Allegations against Him for the First Time.” Babe, Babe, 13 Feb. 2019, https://babe.net/2019/02/13/aziz-ansari-talks-about-sexual-misconduct-allegations-for-the-first-time-86929.
  14. “What Is Rape Culture?” WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre, 19 Mar. 2019, http://www.wavaw.ca/what-is-rape-culture/.
  15. Yoffe, Emily. “The Many Problems With Campus Sexual Assault Surveys.” Slate Magazine, Slate, 24 Sept. 2015, https://slate.com/human-interest/2015/09/aau-campus-sexual-assault-survey-why-such-surveys-dont-paint-an-accurate-portrait-of-life-on-campus.html.

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Reflection on Rape Culture: Opinion Essay. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 5, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/reflection-on-rape-culture-opinion-essay/
“Reflection on Rape Culture: Opinion Essay.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/reflection-on-rape-culture-opinion-essay/
Reflection on Rape Culture: Opinion Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/reflection-on-rape-culture-opinion-essay/> [Accessed 5 Oct. 2022].
Reflection on Rape Culture: Opinion Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2022 Oct 5]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/reflection-on-rape-culture-opinion-essay/
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