Rape culture is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s. It was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence.
Many feminists have provided great definitions of what rape culture is and how it plays out everyday. Emilie Buchwald, author of Transforming a Rape Culture, describes that when society normalizes sexualized violence, it accepts and creates rape culture. In her book she defines rape culture as
The website Force: Upsetting the Rape Culture explains how rape culture is the images, language, laws and other everyday phenomena that we see and hear everyday that validate and perpetuate rape.
Melissa McEwan, the founder of the political and cultural group blog Shakesville, provides an extensive definition of rape culture that answers the questions What does Rape Culture look like and sound like and feel like? It is an excellent definition that provides various examples of Rape Culture, and it can be found here.
Furthermore, WAVAW itself did a comprehensive blog piece on Rape Culture just several months ago, titled “Rape Culture is Real—And Yes, We’ve Had Enough”, which included citing recent current events that exemplified Rape Culture: