I am Lauren Southern, the girl who held up the sign at the Slut Walk AMA!

Okay, I’ll bite, but I am sure Laura will probably be able to provide you with a much more researched and well versed answer.

“Despite a strong intolerance for rape, the notion of active consent is rarely an active discussion topic; in books about how to teach your children about sex, teaching them about the importance of consent is often not a strong priority.”

This is probably true, but you also have to remember that the U.S. is still stuck teaching most school children about abstinence being the best policy, so the idea that there isn’t enough discussion about active consent seems to be just a small grain of sand in the beach of our country’s sexual education misgivings. To put that in perspective, if the U.S. used the same policy it uses to teach sex education to teach health class the message would be “don’t eat any food ever and you won’t get fat”. So, yes, there is a lot of work that needs to be done here.

“Despite strong explicit views about rape, when high-profile cases of rape occur, sometimes individuals are quick to excuse the rapists for other reasons (e.g., celebrity status; sporting achievements; academic tenure; notions of the victim "deserving it" because of clothing choices, intoxication, or past sexual promiscuity).”

Rape is one of the only crimes in the world where it is considered unacceptable to associate any sort of blame with the victim. If was robbed while walking in Compton at midnight with a $5,000 Rolex, brand new Jordans on my feet and tons of cash in my hands, people would probably associate some of the blame for the robbery owith me. If my car was stolen while left unlocked with the keys in the ignition, I could possibly face problems when trying to make an insurance claim. There are definitely things that people can do that make them easier and more accessible targets for rape and yet teaching people to avoid these behaviors is instantly branded as victim blaming. Furthermore, these idea that you can’t take steps to avoid your own sexual assault belittles women into feeling like helpless damsels in distress and deaminizes men as characters only able to act on their most basic desired. Furthermore, there has been a recent rash of high profile false rape allegations that have garnered a ton of media attention. The UVA rape case, the Duke Lacrosse rape case, mattress girl (who recently released a Prono reenacting the traumatic event that caused her to carry her mattress around campus despite a lack of evidence for her claims and the fact that the alleged rapist still attended school there NSFW )

“Strong cultural norms regarding relationships and sex teach women to play "hard to get" (i.e., say "no" when they mean "yes"), and teach men to ignore initial negative responses to persuade women to say "yes". As a source, watch virtually any romance movie ever.”

This is absolutely true, however I don’t see this as a key identification feature of a patriarchy controlled Rape Culture. Romance movies aren’t typically created for men’s enjoyment and women have been genetically trained to be more selective in their mate selection than men for thousands of years. Men, typically, prefer more chased women and women, typically, don’t say yes to every man they meet. How is this evidence for rape cultures? If anything this is an artifact of the selective breeding instinct that has allowed the human race to survive for so long.

“Despite the fact that most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, rape is often portrayed in a "stranger-in-the-bushes" kind of way. This allows individuals who violate consent to consider themselves "not rapists", because they are not specifically targeting strangers.”

I feel like it is a pretty well-known fact that most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows but, even so, a violation of someone’s consent is rape regardless of what the violator thinks. Such violations, if proven in a court of law, are punished harshly and, given the current situation on college campuses across the U.S., only require a preponderance of evidence for a conviction. In what “rape culture” would we allow a tribunal of college representatives to punish someone, without legal representation, based on a lower standard of evidence required in a criminal court solely for the purpose of curbing rape and sexual assault on our college campuses?

/r/IAmA Thread Parent