Rachel Hunter, writing for Varsity, Cambridge’s student newspaper, explores the online attitudes that are undermining rape:
‘Facebook Rape’. The phrase, bandied around constantly and certainly in my circle the most common use of the word ‘rape’ contains connotations of entertainment, pranks and boredom.
‘Fraping’, especially since the increased ownership of smartphones and tablets, hit my newsfeed hard the moment my friends and I left for university, and yet very little consideration is given to the term itself.
For what is essentially harmless and trivial fun regarding a social networking site has been branded with a word which contains every contrary connotation: the crime of forcing one person to have sex with another.
US Senate nominee Todd Akin’s statement that ‘If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down’ appalled the media and world alike.
Such ignorance was shocking, but revealed a telling stereotype of the action of rape: a man attacking a scantily clad woman, previously strangers, in a darkened alleyway: heterosexual, unforeseen and unaccountable; the responsibility of the perpetrator and not of society as a whole. It is this view of rape, or sexual harassment in general, that is the issue.
Full article here.