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Rape culture




Every morning I get an email from The Nib, sending me political comics about mainly American issues. Sometimes I read them, sometimes I don’t, but mostly I pick one that appeals to me stylistically the most. (I always read my Kupu o te Rā but only sometimes remember what it was a few hours later.) Comics are a very powerful medium for politics, but sometimes they lack complexity. I hesitated about posting this comic because it oversimplified the issue. Or perhaps it didn’t. I really enjoyed this blog post by Bernard Beckett, which seemed quite a lot more nuanced, and something I’d like my son to read. I also really liked this article by Emma Kelly, putting the onous on men to change things. And this powerful piece by Emily Writes. But since things seem to crazy right now, since the world feels like it’s in crisis, I feel obliged to hold up my little mirror to it. It’s so crap that young women today have to deal with the same issues


60 Comments leave one →
  1. 16/03/2017 8:33 am

    we are ashamed that men feel the need to rape. when our president is a misogynist, it makes it even worse for the victims, both future and past. we are sorry women have to deal with this. Our world has gone to sh______.

    • 21/03/2017 1:48 pm

      You are way, way off. Trump was a businessman, not a “lady doctor”. Jeez, do some research first.

    • 22/03/2017 10:47 am

      No proof of your president being misogynistic.

    • 22/03/2017 5:56 pm

      So then we need to do something about it! There is a systematic culture in this country that needs revision.

  2. 16/03/2017 9:12 am

    I’ve written something about this too Sarah, and it’s interesting because the editors chose to use the term ‘rape culture’ but I didn’t. I’m not sure the term is useful, but the discussion is, and your comic is too – how to talk to young men about this in way they will hear? I’m also envious because you can draw and get to choose what images are used with your text, whereas I can’t and they chose a picture I really don’t think helps the issue either. I’ve even read the comments, some of which are a bit freaky, and some quite balanced I think. What a messy world it is, as you say. Sometimes I just want to throw my hands in the air and say Pwah!!!

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      16/03/2017 9:21 am

      Your article was really great, Emma! I will update my blog and include a link to it. I wrote it yesterday and scheduled it for this morning. I suppose I called it that because I didn’t want to write “trigger warning” and I figured the title alone would alert people to its content. But yeah, it isn’t helpful – it’s kind of reinforcing. I loved your points about how it should be men’s responsibility now to do the work, and how women shouldn’t have to recount their experiences all the time to provoke an empathic reaction. And yeah, comments are scary.

      • 16/03/2017 9:49 am

        That’s another interesting discussion, ‘trigger warning’ – I read a piece the other day from a man who said ‘I don’t believe in trigger warnings’. I thought ‘then you don’t have any experience of trauma’! ‘CN’ is the term now apparently (Content Notification). Thanks!

      • 22/03/2017 6:01 pm

        I like your page design & the fact that you’re takeling such challenging topics… this is why I decided to follow.

  3. daveyone1 permalink
    16/03/2017 12:09 pm

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

  4. Hera permalink
    16/03/2017 12:20 pm

    Tino pai to mahi Sarah, a conversation I need to have with my sons soon (nearly 11 and nearly 8 – can definitely start talking to the older one and plant the seed).

  5. 19/03/2017 7:56 pm

    It’s sad that this is a conversation that we will need to have with all our children – not just our sons. Promoting a culture of consent and respect across gender is a positive way to combat the pathetic excuse that this is a rape culture issue.

  6. 20/03/2017 1:19 am

    This is a serious issue that definitely needs to be talked about Sarah. I have written about Rape culture on my blog too. I hope you like it.

  7. 22/03/2017 8:13 am

    Reblogged this on indiataylorblog.

  8. 22/03/2017 8:22 am

    Great article

  9. 22/03/2017 8:59 am

    Comics has a great influence on mankind, that’s true.
    This is a fact that when a girl or women is drunk ,men things that it’s a better option to rape or sex and this also men call it sometimes as “enjoyment” .
    And after all sort of things it becomes normalized as you said.

  10. 22/03/2017 9:04 am

    Reblogged this on Jai'nanigans and commented:
    This was a really wonderful piece, especially after experiencing something similar very recently. IT IS NOT OK!

  11. gradlon11 permalink
    22/03/2017 9:16 am

    I’m new to WordPress, congratz for the blog!

    I think the core problem is that in the modern society we tend to over-complicate sex as it is: just a penis in a hole.

    We are fed up of stories of “love”, which is not what really love is but a very romanced-version of it, and of “sex”, which is not really sex but an over-animalized version of it.
    See porn and telenovelas as an example: this stuff always existed, but began to be more and more popular amongst people just over the last 10 years maybe.

    This happens because people, especially very young ones, are confused and lonely: a 15 yrs old kid might see a porn where a muscled man jumps over a tiny blondie woman doing this and that, and he will believe that’s how it works.

    A sexual education is very necessary way before puberty, so they are better prepared to understand sex and affective relations and distinguish between reality and fantasy!

    PS: sorry for my English

  12. The Smiling Pilgrim permalink
    22/03/2017 10:20 am

    A very interesting topic

  13. 22/03/2017 12:32 pm

    Reblogged this on Mind The Riot.

  14. 22/03/2017 12:38 pm

    I’m in the process of drafting a blog post on the topic here in South Africa, thought if anything I should do is get awareness on such a topic.I’ve other similar topics on feminism, from a South African male feminist perspective.anyway superb stuff 🌻

  15. 22/03/2017 3:36 pm

    Such a informative post !

  16. thankyoupuppy permalink
    22/03/2017 3:50 pm

    Great article

  17. trendsandrelations permalink
    22/03/2017 4:03 pm

    i can’t agree more with how insane it is that we’ve normalized so many dangerous behaviors- great article

  18. ransomlinder permalink
    22/03/2017 5:34 pm

    I’m having a hard time understanding what rape culture is. Is it the idea that people are condition to think rape is okay? I’m pretty sure our society condemns rape. In fact, I would say our society—me induced—view it at the same level as murder. The only time our society tends to believe it rape is condonable is when a woman rapes a boy: when a boy is laughed at, and called gay for not enjoying being raped. Because, after all, our society assumes a male will always want sex—as if consent is even more than default for a male. Is it the idea that rape is normal? From my experience, the left tends to believe that rape occurs more frequently than the right, some even calling the right and moderate left misogynists/rapists for being skeptical of any new statistic. Is it the idea that if we tell our children before they’re men rape is wrong, it will stop, or at least decrease dramatically? I wouldn’t tell my children “don’t kill people,” so I wouldn’t tell my children “don’t rape people.” I expect better from them than to have to say that. If anybody would have to be told something as square one as that, they are likely insane. Is rape culture the idea that men aren’t told what qualifies as rape? I don’t think any rapists are “just negligent.” If someone doesn’t know for sure is the other wants it, they know, deep down, that even if they do happen to want it, it’s as good as rape. They know. They don’t need someone to tell them. They know.

  19. Tareau Barron permalink
    22/03/2017 5:46 pm

    Great story and way to shine light on this. I’ve also written a piece on this. Please feel free to check it out. Here is the link

  20. ﺄبو نمر للمعلوميات permalink
    22/03/2017 9:13 pm

  21. 22/03/2017 9:56 pm

    A post so true and timely. No it’s not ok, no woman deserves it

  22. 23/03/2017 12:44 am

    Nice article

  23. 23/03/2017 1:03 am

    Rape is a horrendous crime of violence but unfortunately in some societies and cultures is under punished or completely unpunished. Male supremacy in some countries like Nepal DO have such a culture which is wider in its subjugation of women, forced marriages, slavery, trafficking, no citizenship rights, no property rights. Similar in many African and Middle East countries, and THIS is where protests need to be directed by all human beings across the planet, not just by a certain segment of women in USA because they don’t like their president.

    • 23/03/2017 12:15 pm

      There are so many such places. It is directly connected to culture and history in those societies – a real rape cultures. People protecting immoral traditional values are the great part of the problem. Culture is boundary.

  24. 23/03/2017 1:15 am

    This is sad. I do wish rape culture was taught more. It’s sad that women all over the world go through this day in and day out. They never tell men anything! Something needs to be done!

  25. mvidyashree permalink
    23/03/2017 1:38 am

    Great article

  26. sarahpradolin permalink
    23/03/2017 12:18 pm

    This was a fantastic post! I never see many like this that illustrate the horrific rape culture through illustrations. Effective to highlight the issue in society.

  27. 23/03/2017 2:53 pm

    Well done!! People of the world should become more aware of this, as there is such a major increase in rape cases around the globe.


  28. 23/03/2017 10:06 pm

    Brilliant article – Made me very emotional, if I’m honest.

  29. 24/03/2017 1:23 am

    Yes it is crap

  30. 24/03/2017 5:32 am

    Nobody deserves rape. Great post xx

  31. 24/03/2017 6:02 am

    In my own opinion, I think the inconsistent definition of “rape culture” is the biggest issue. When I think rape culture I think of the Middle East where women are seen as property or as a household appliance.

  32. Daramemon permalink
    24/03/2017 8:15 am

    Irony of life

  33. 24/03/2017 12:27 pm

    An interesting topic. What gets to me on this rape issue is how the culprits usually male always blame the victims for their actions- ” you dressed so provocatively” ” You asked for it; you wanted it”. “You lured me into it.” The whine goes on and on. If only they knew the magnitude of the psychological damage, rape does on the victim. They would rethink such animalistic behavior. The penalty for rape offenders in a court of law should be the same as those meted to armed robbers/ cold-blooded murderers.

  34. 24/03/2017 8:25 pm

    Beautiful.Our society has normalized issues and centred them to be a woman issue.It’s always the woman’s fault.Either her dressing,the time she chooses to be really tackled it majorly

  35. 25/03/2017 12:28 am

    Very interesting and brilliant comic. I like how you stylised it. I’ll be posting something related soon so keep an eye out on please!

  36. typicallyinlove permalink
    25/03/2017 9:39 am

    Enjoy the post. A new story about sex, passion and love. Share it with yout friends!

  37. 27/03/2017 6:57 am

    Very interesting post and style 🙂

  38. 30/03/2017 6:38 am

    Some men just don’t know how to treat women

  39. 02/04/2017 7:53 am

    Dear Ma’am (I didn’t catch your name), my name is Andrew, 19 year old dude and future rockstar (we all had dreams at 19, right?) I just read your article/cartoon, and while I thought it was really good, I also came away thinking that so many women have a really low opinion of guys. Not that I really blame them, as there are a lot of dudes who are complete jackasses. But as for me, I’ve always hated being lumped in with those jackasses. I’m no prude, and there are times where I’ve (ahem) looked longingly at my empty bed, but I have never, EVER, thought it was OK to rape a woman. I’ve never felt there was any justification for it whatsoever. I’ve felt nothing but pure hatred for those who are rapists. I genuinely like and respect women. Some of the wisest people I’ve ever met were women. And after listening to rock bands like Evanescence, Arch Enemy and BabyMetal, I firmly believe that women are total badasses. What I’m trying (and I’m probably doing a bad job of doing so) to say is, please know that there are guys, like me, who love and respect women. Who would take a baseball bat to anyone we knew that was guilty of rape. Thanks for reading and rock on 🤘🏻

  40. 05/04/2017 10:31 pm

    Thank You sarahelaing
    Fantastic blog
    Good luck

  41. Skylar♡ permalink
    05/04/2017 11:08 pm

    I love how you used comics

  42. Dave Dally permalink
    12/04/2017 8:15 am

    That looks great! Congrats!

  43. 12/04/2017 2:53 pm

    Now talking about rape culture I had the thought about this,
    More people are concerned with why women stay in abusive relationships, than,
    Why men abuse women?!

    It’s time that changed, right?

  44. Austryker permalink
    15/04/2017 6:39 am

    I think this post is a little arrogant, and has a very loose definition of what constitutes as “rape.”

  45. 15/04/2017 7:41 am

    I don’t know about society mind why they cant able to change there thing and give the space and respect to girls

  46. 15/04/2017 11:15 am

    A creative way of putting down your thoughts, I love it.

  47. 16/04/2017 7:03 am

    I’m a victim of rape, it’s life-changing. Through time I have been trying to heal but it will always haunt me, no matter what. Why? Because it happened from someone I trusted. This issue is getting out of hand, by the years the number of rapists are increasing and no one can say why. A lot of them are not even victims of abuse. They just enjoy the thought of forcing someone into submission and do whatever they want. People even make rape jokes like it’s nothing. It’s just sick.

    I wrote about being raped in my blog, I just started blogging to put down my thoughts because if I didn’t I think I would blow up with no one to share to.

  48. 20/07/2017 5:49 am

    i like your point about rape needing to be taught in schools. I am a college student and my professor wanted to talk about cause and effect. He is a very traditional style of teaching and he is very candid about female objectification. So of course, he used a male and female example. What struck me about the lesson was that he talked about a female wanting attention by the clothes she wears and the male wanting to get her attention. In the bar scenario he used they both are the cause and the effect towards each other. All of this was well and good, but I kept thinking about the girl. What if she just wanted to dress nice to boost her self esteem? Why can’t she be like everyone else and have a drink in peace in order to get through a hard day, albeit a hard month? Maybe she just wanted a conversation with someone, because she was tired of binge watching game of thrones in her apartment all by herself? At any rate, this lesson sounded like a warning to young girls about what they wear.

  49. 26/07/2017 10:46 am

    Very sad but brilliant blog. Horrific. Check out my blog on rape culture and hypersexuality if you get a chance


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