This is rape culture, ladies and gentlemen

Kuttainen, Victoria (2017) This is rape culture, ladies and gentlemen. Etropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics, 16 (2).

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Abstract

2017 was a tumultuous year which unleashed revelations against sexual assault and harassment on a global scale, producing a social media campaign (#metoo) triggered by allegations against Hollywood director and producer Harvey Weinstein, and other public figures, and in which the JCU Broderick Review Report and the Australian Human Rights Commission Report on the nature and extent of sexual violence on Australian university campuses were both published. This research essay and accompanying story looks at the notion of "rape culture" on North American univesrity and school campuses and suggests that a renewed analysis of rape culture in the Australian and global milieu is overdue. In this, the story responds to Buchwald, Fletcher, and Roth’s call in Transforming a rape culture (1993, 2005) for new approaches to draw attention to sexual violence and its origins in everyday culture. It does so by seeking to refocus attention on rape culture in sensitive ways that might productively explore the complexity of normalised and socially pervasive sexual violence.

Research Statement

Research Background The term “rape culture” first emerged from feminist scholarship in the 1970s in attempts to deconstruct “rape myths” (such as prevailing notions about “stranger rape,” a stereotype of sexual assault that had predominated to such an extent that it hampered acknowledgment of more common forms of sexual assault and violence). Investigators of rape culture sought to expose the pervasiveness of sexual violence in some societies, in which rape is so widespread as to be normalised due to accepted social attitudes.
Research Contribution “This is Rape Culture, Ladies and Gentlemen” uses the affordances offered by multi-perspectival short fiction and thick description to re-centre attention on first-person experience and the “taken-for-granted” complexities of everyday life that are at the heart of rape culture. It attempts to highlight the “everydayness” of rape culture which makes rape almost invisible within a normalised milieu of predatory sexual behaviour. In this, it draws on sociological theories of the practices of everyday life (Lefebvre 1947; de Certeau 1974; Felski 1999), in which commonplace situations, mundane routines, and normal behaviours—that are usually taken for granted—are focalised.
Research Significance The story responds to Buchwald, Fletcher, and Roth’s call in Transforming a rape culture (1993, 2005) for new approaches to draw attention to sexual violence and its origins in everyday culture. It does so by seeking to refocus attention on rape culture in sensitive ways that might productively explore the complexity of normalised and socially pervasive sexual violence.
Item ID: 51778
Item Type: Article (Creative Work)
ISSN: 1448-2940
Keywords: rape culture, sexual assault, sexual harassment, universities, campus, human rights
Funders: Margaret and Colin Roderick
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 00:19
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 100%
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