Friday, March 22, 2013

Rape Culture

This just popped up on my Facebook news feed. It's just so ironic when someone proves the existence of rape culture while trying to claim that it doesn't exist...


  1. Wow. What a shithead. I really can't think of anything else to say.

  2. As an American woman in Japan, it is perhaps correct to say that Japan doesn't really have a Rape Culture. I can walk alone and at night in the middle of a big city with out any fears.

    However, to say that all or even most E. Asian women are "more feminine, less angry, and generally happier being women" is very untrue.

    From my own personal experience, women here in Japan don't have the same opportunities as men and many people in general are very unhappy. The majority of my Japanese Female friends either want to leave Japan or they want to marry a foreigner.

    I am not saying that is true of all women, but there is a reason that American men have good things to say about these women. They have their ego stroked by women who desperately want to believe that a foreigner will treat them like the American women they see in movies.

    1. @daunakate: That sounds like a "wrong side of the tracks" argument, e.g., if a man from the "right" side of the tracks (USA) goes with a woman from the "wrong" side of the tracks (E. Asia) then it indicates some flaw in said man.

      If someone finds happiness, I think that's great, regardless of what side of the tracks someone is from.

    2. (my 2nd post here) Actually, most of what daunakate's and Jeremy's comments were off-topic, as they seem to be debating the rightness or wrongness of Western men being with Asian women generally. I've weighed in on that topic already. Now, so as not to beat that dead horse, I will try to get back onto the topic of rape culture.

      I've lived in Asia but not Japan, and from what I'm hearing, Japan is quite a bit different from the rest of Asia. You can find an interesting blog post, just google "but rape culture is sexy nsfw" (with the double quotes; hint: you may need to hit Ctrl-A on that page in order to read the dark-on-dark text). The post is more about how Japanese are in their own culture (and nothing to do with Americans being there, which is what Jeremy seemed to be focused on). If that blog post is any indication, it would seem that there is, in fact, a rape culture within their culture, but the locals might not label it as such. It could be that both Japanese men and Japanese women think that it's ok, maybe even desirable, for men to be super-aggressive sexually, while not thinking of it as rape per se. While I personally wouldn't be interested in it, I guess I'm in no position to tell them that there's something wrong with what they're doing (just as with BDSM, I'm not into it myself, but I'm not going to try to stop others from doing it). My two cents.

  3. I wouldn't say Japan does NOT have a rape culture. Rape culture is not the prevalence of "stranger rape," although that can play a part in it. Rape culture is the system of beliefs, practices and attitudes that help facilitate and perpetuate sexual assault. The glaring example of "comfort women" (the systematic enslavement of women to "comfort" Japanese soldiers) from WW2 aside, part of the rape culture in Japan is that it's a taboo topic. The belief is that rape can, indeed, only be perpetrated by a stranger. If a friend or acquaintance rapes a woman in Japan, then it's not considered rape. Because she knows him, she must have led him on. If she didn't want it, then surely she would have fought back. This is why only 5.3% of 1578 participants in one study who answered they had been "raped at least once," reported it to the police.

    Granted, this study found lower numbers of women willing to admit they had been raped, but the survey used had very explicit language. Other studies have shown in the same survey that many will answer "no" to "have you been raped?" but "yes" to "has someone ever forced you to have sex after using drugs or alcohol?" Similarly, similar surveys have asked men, "Have you ever raped a woman?" (No), then "Have you ever used physical force to get a woman to have sex with you?" (Yes), or "Have you ever used drugs or alcohol to have sex with a woman who otherwise wouldn't have had sex with you?" (Yes). These kinds of attitudes of "that's not rape," or "it's your fault it happened, deal with it," are part of rape culture in Japan, and all over the world.

    I agree with you on the reasoning of Japanese women wanting foreigners, and foreigners thinking East Asian women are "better" than US/Western women. What the American soldier doesn't realize is that many (although not all) Asian cultures are much more strict in their gender roles than the US, and are socialized to be much more subservient. This particular soldier, however misogynistic he might be, still might represent values that are more liberal to women he meets, than those with which the women grew up...and those American movies definitely play into that perception. Unfortunately, after the "honeymoon" phase, many East Asian girls I know are often disappointed by how their imagined movie-tale relationships don't turn out the way they're hoped...and end up settling for a native from their own country who can at least share a mutual base of cultural understanding -- but might have been educated abroad so as to be more "liberal."

    I'd also like to point out all the traditionally matrilineal societies that flourished around the world before Western colonization utterly destroyed them...and also that I feel really sorry for that particular soldier. He might be "hardwired to lead" not because it's natural, but because someone painfully beat it into him starting from a young age...much like how the women in his family probably were beat into following...

    1. *Sorry, I just realized my statistic earlier was unclear and misleading:
      There were 1578 female participants.
      Of them 7.2% admitted they had been raped "at least once."
      Of this 7.2%, only 5.3% reported it to the police.
      This study was titled "Violence Between Men and Women," done by Japan's Gender Equality Bureau in 2006.