Rape Culture

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Many students were in outrage over the article in the Oct. 27 edition of The Pacific Index. This article, an opinion piece, served to express the frustration of one student over the backlash following the arrest of former Pacific student and football player Kasen Kunishima-Takushi for rape and sodomy. A group of students wish to provide some insights and knowledge on the subject of rape culture for those students who are misinformed. First of all, clarification of the term rape culture is quite necessary. I would also like to note that it’s not “rape culture,” it’s rape culture. It’s a noun and it exists throughout the United States. The Oxford Dictionary defines rape culture as: a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse. 
Rape culture is not something that is found only in athletic departments, it is a culture, it’s part of our society. Constantly hearing and seeing all of the acts and consequences, or lack thereof, of rape culture is an issue because, for survivors, it tells them that their sexual assault is something that is not a problem in the greater society. It tells them that the abuser’s problems are more important.  They are forced to hear things that remind them of that moment all the time. That can be really mentally and emotionally exhausting, and in many cases horrifying.  The immediate desire to defend the athletic department against this case is another example of how rape culture is prevalent. To hyper focus on the individual who committed the act, rather than take a step back to see the entire picture is a privilege. The NFL and other sport associations like to play the “one apple” scenario because they want to isolate this person and take no responsibility for how their actions may have affected the result.    
This generalization does not mean that all athletes are rapists or assailants. 
It means they are also part of the rape culture that is rooted in power and privilege, things that are all connected to sexual assault and rape. There’s a common misconception that rape and assault is about sex when really it’s about power. When you tell a person that they are “leaders of the school”, build stadiums, Jumbotrons, have pep rallies, etc., you are telling them they are powerful. Brock Turner is an example of this culture. Many examples go unreported because of the stark power difference between the victim and abuser. We agree that no one should be discriminated against based on who they are. However, there are some misconceptions about how this plays out.   Athletes can take their jerseys off. Athletes can decide to stop playing the game. If you do not introduce yourself as an athlete, you do not have to be seen as one.  This is not the same for people of color, members of the LGBTQ 
community, or in this case, women. At no point can a woman decide that she will not be seen as a possible rape victim. At no point can a woman decide she will not be seen as another possible statistic. 
If you truly care about ensuring discrimination is not faced by anyone at Pacific, stand up against these issues. Stand up for the women who are made victims of abuse and rape.  Lastly, this opinion piece tried to denounce the importance of this situation. 
Yes, the author feels like the whole football team is in trouble for this which, may be true. But when issues within rape culture happen so often and no one within the football team is saying anything against what happened, it is another perpetuation of rape culture. 
Negative publicity is no comparison to what the victims of this crime have to go through, not only in the process of reporting it, but in dealing with the memory of the incident haunting them for the rest of their lives. 

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