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What’s the Deal with Rape Culture?

According to Wikipedia, rape culture is a sociological concept for a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality.

Some of the behaviours included in that are victim blaming, slut-shaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by sexual violence, or some combination of these things.

The term itself came about in the 70s and was meant to show the ways in which society blamed the victims of sexual assault and normalized sexual violence. Again according to the wiki, at the time most Americans assumed that rape, incest, and spousal abuse were rare. The concept of rape culture made the claim that rape was actually common in American culture and that it was one of the ways that societal misogyny and sexism were revealed.

Two main books came out at the time that discussed the topic Noreen Connell and Cassandra Wilson wrote Rape: the first sourcebook for women and Susan Brownmiller wrote  Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape. These books included a number of first hand accounts of women who were raped and had the intent to show that rape was far more common than was generally believed.

There was also a film in 1975 titled Rape Culture that discussed rape of men as well as women, contained interviews with victim and rapists and examined the medias impact on societal attitudes towards rape.

So, rape culture is essentially a culture in which rape is excused in a number of ways. Victim blaming, focusing on false accusations, accusing all women of making false accusations, and calling rape “rough sex” are all examples of how rape culture excuses the act of rape. Victim blaming can also take a variety of forms including calling attention to the victim’s past promiscuity, pointing out what the victim was wearing, claiming that the victim didn’t fight back enough,  or claiming that the victim shouldn’t have drank so much. There’s also the tendency for some people to just call women who come forward liars or some people just claim that they deserve it for some reason.

Susan Brownmiller brought up 3 ideas in her book Against Our Will that helped bring awareness to some of the myths about rape. First, she pointed out that any woman can be a victim of rape. Victims aren’t tied to any specific age, size, ethnicity, or status. They are not bad or misbehaved women. There is no personal characteristic that leads women to be more likely targeted for rape.
Second, she pointed out that any man can be a rapist. Not just evil men or the mentally ill, which feels ableist just saying it. Men of many different stripes are rapists and as much as the crime of rape is evil they can be just another normal dude who feels entitled to women’s bodies. They can even be supreme court justices.
And third, rape can occur in many different ways and doesn’t always fit the violent forceful rape in a back alley type model that we were kind of taught about for much of the past. We can now say that this can include things like date rape, or situations where someone is too inebriated to consent, or situations where things start off with consent given but change and consent is revoked. They can also include spousal or partner rape which is something that at one time was considered not actually rape.

One of the ways that rape culture is perpetuated is by various acts of sexism which reinforce norms that may foster disrespect for women or disregard for their well being. This can include things like sexist jokes aimed at making all women seem dumb or sexually promiscuous, or it can include slogans of fraternity like “bros before hos” that place the status of one’s male friends above the dignity and well being of women.

There are different takes on what causes rape culture with some claiming that it is about power and dominance while some others disagree and claim that there is no single cause but that it can be rooted in other social aspect of culture. This idea wasn’t fleshed out entirely in my reading, but it may tie to the previously mentioned acts of sexism in which some men consider themselves entitled to women’s bodies or they have such a denigrated view of women that they barely consider them to be people with autonomy. This seems to be something I’ve seen in something called bimbo culture in which women are considered to be nothing more than sex dolls with no personality or autonomy of their own separate from the men they are meant to give pleasure to.

Rape culture is considered always changing and adapting so that it will be considered legitimate. Currently much of rape culture is filtered through lenses of gender roles and heteronormativity but that could change if it suits those who commit rapes and are in positions of influence over culture. An example might be when someone like Donald Trump who has pretty massive influence says that he doesn’t believe someone who has come forward as a victim of sexual assault then a lot of people will start talking about not believing victims of sexual assault.

­That’s all I have for now but I think that’s enough

RESOURCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture

http://www.wavaw.ca/what-is-rape-culture/

https://www.marshall.edu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/

https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/9/27/17906644/sixteen-candles-rape-culture-1980s-brett-kavanaugh

https://everydayfeminism.com/2014/03/examples-of-rape-culture/

Website: Episode #028: Falsifying Christianity (w/ David Madison)

#028: Falsifying Christianity (w/ David Madison)

In this episode I welcome David Madison as my special guest. He is a former Christian minister who is now an outspoken atheist, author of the 2016 book Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief. He earned a PhD in Biblical Studies from Boston University School of Theology in 1975 and for nearly a decade served as pastor for two liberal congregations in Massachusetts. His lifelong interest in the Bible was eventually overshadowed by the kind of skepticism that an impartial consideration of serious historical and textual scholarship tends to foster. David joins me to discuss his transition from devout Christian minister to the vocal atheist and formidable critic of Christianity he is today, as well as to discuss a handful of the most devastating problems Christianity has tried and failed to answer.

Doubter of the Week: Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899): The nineteenth-century lawyer and orator known as the “Great Agnostic” who was the leading voice of the “Golden Age of Freethought” in the American Midwest.

Links:

David Madison’s book: https://www.amazon.com/Problems-Christian-Thought-Belief-Minister-Turned-Atheist/dp/194289712X.

David Madison’s website: http://www.tentoughproblems.com/

“Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief” Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/10-Tough-Problems-in-Christian-Thought-and-Belief-402023826512153/?fref=nf

 

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt.

Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

#027: Women versus Religion (feat. Karen L. Garst, PhD)

#027: Women versus Religion (feat. Karen L. Garst, PhD)

This week I am very excited to bring you an interview with Karen L. Garst, PhD. She writes for the Faithless Feminist blog and website and is the editor of the book Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion(published in 2016). She has also edited a new book which has just been published, titled Women v. Religion: The Case against Faith – and for Freedom.  She joins me on this episode to talk about the intersection of atheism and women’s rights and to make the case that religion is the last cultural barrier to gender equality.

Doubter of the Week: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902), the first woman to call for women’s suffrage in the United States and pioneer of feminist biblical criticism.

Links:

Karen L. Garst on Twitter: https://twitter.com/karen_garst

Karen Garst’s Faithless Feminist website and blog: https://faithlessfeminist.com/

Karen Garst’s new book Women v. Religion: The Case against Faith – and for Freedomhttps://www.amazon.com/Women-v-Religion-Against-Faith_and/dp/1634311701.

Karen Garst, “From Goddess to God: Eliminating the Feminine from the Divine,” Freethought Arizona, January 2017 lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DclnBR8Msqw.

Karen Garst, “The Snake: From Goddess to Devil to Doctor,” Freethought Festival 6 (Madison, WI), March 2017 lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRCTVT5PgKA.

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt.

Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

Episode-020_-Zerin-Firoze-Ex-Muslim-Atheist-and-Asylum-Seeker

#020: Zerin Firoze, Ex-Muslim Atheist and Asylum Seeker | A Leap of Doubt

 

 

On this episode, I speak with Zerin Firoze, a courageous young woman and ex-Muslim from Bangladesh, a country where many atheist and agnostic bloggers have been murdered by fundamentalist Muslims in recent years. She is currently living in the US as an asylum-seeker and describes herself as an atheist, feminist, NASA geek, and aspiring doctor.

Zerin has talked and written about her transition from Muslim to atheist feminist in other places. From a young age, she started questioning the Islamic faith of her community and school. When she first learned in school about the Battle of Badr, fought by Muhammad in 624 CE against the Pagan tribes of Mecca, she started to think about how morally backwards it is to praise the exploits of a religious warrior spreading his religious dogma by the sword. As an apostate in Bangladesh, boldly and openly taking the “leap of doubt” after being exposed to information on the Internet critical of Islam, she faced death threats from the same people who murdered atheist bloggers in that country who made themselves even more visible.

In our discussion on this episode, Zerin talks about her day-to-day life in the US as an asylum seeker and full-time nursing student, how she has managed the transition from one culture to another, and how that process has shaped who she is today and her love of science, medicine, and progressive humanist values.

Links:
Zerin M. Firoze, “Journey of a Bangladeshi Woman from Islam to Atheism,” Faithless Feminist, https://faithlessfeminist.com/blog-posts/journey-bangladeshi-woman-islam-atheism/

Zerin M. Firoze, “Journey of an Ex-Muslim Atheist from Bangladesh to the USA,” Faithless Feminist, https://faithlessfeminist.com/blog-posts/journey-ex-muslim-atheist-bangladesh-usa/

Zerin Firoze at the American Atheists 2017 National Convention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93h0fO78Gcw

This week’s shout-out: Guy P. Harrison, author of the new book “At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life” (https://tinyurl.com/y7qgmfys).

Check out the interview I did with Guy last year on the Trolling with Logic podcast: http://www.trollingwithlogic.com/055-race-even-real-guy-p-harrison/

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt
Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt

Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.
The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: http://reasonrevolution.org

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution

Support Us By Becoming A Member:
https://donorbox.org/support-reason-revolution

Become a Patron:
https://www.patreon.com/reasonrevolution

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reasonrevolutionorg/

Website_ EPISODE 19_ EMPATHY, ENGINEERING, AND FEMINISM

#019: Empathy, Feminism, and Mechanical Engineering (feat. Sarah Nicholson) | A Leap of Doubt

In this episode, we tackle the issue of sexism in STEM education, both in the past and in the present, and the important yet seemingly counter-intuitive roles emotional intelligence and empathy play in the way scientists, technologists, and engineers design and build for people. My guest for this episode is Sarah Nicholson, who has recently graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. She is also a freelance graphic designer and activist who writes and speaks about feminism, environmentalism, and emotional intelligence. Fun fact: Sarah is also the one who designed the image graphic and logo for this podcast.

In our discussion, Sarah describes the research project she has undertaken to develop an evidence-based method for how engineers might go about including scientifically valid biological differences between men and women in their designs in a way that is non-sexist. And how should engineering students and educators go about identifying those different capabilities and needs in the first place?

Links:

Sarah Nicholson’s website: http://sarahnicholson.co/

Sarah Nicholson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahnicholsons

Paula J. Caplan, et al., “Gender Differences in Human Cognition” (Oxford University Press, 1997; Oxford Scholarship Online, 2012), https://tinyurl.com/y9fuu86h.

Angela Saini, “Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story” (Beacon Press, 2017), https://tinyurl.com/y9a6fr79

 

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt.

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.  The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Website_ EPISODE 13_ PASSIONATE ATHEISM

#013: Passionate Atheism (feat. Sally Hunt) | A Leap of Doubt

On this episode, I speak with Sally Hunt, atheist activist and author of the blog and YouTube channel The Passionate Atheist. According to her website, she “advocates for the separation of church & state, comprehensive sex education, sex-positivity, feminism, social, racial, & economic justice, and equal human rights for all.” She is the Public Relations Director of The Original Motto Project, which seeks to replace the divisive and discriminatory U.S. motto, “In God We Trust,” with the original – and rightful – U.S. motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” (meaning “From many, one”) or the first three words of the U.S. Constitution, “We the People.”

Sally and I discuss her public, peaceful opposition to the huge “In God We Trust” display emblazoned in the town hall meeting room of the Board of Aldermen in Wentzville, Missouri, and of her experience being cut off and kicked out of the meeting. We discuss her appearance on Fox News’ show “The Ingraham Angle” following that event, where she faced off with Ingraham and MO State Senator Bob Onder. We also talk about the failure of abstinence-only sex education and Sally’s campaign against Thrive’s “Best Choice” program, a curriculum written by Christians with an agenda to insert religious doctrine concerning sex into public school classrooms.

Links:

Sally Hunt’s website and blog: http://thepassionateatheist.com/author/sallyhunt/

Sally Hunt YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/sallymander44

Sally Hunt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sallybhunt

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/passionateatheist

Expose Thrive website: https://www.exposethrive.com/

Hemant Mehta, “Atheist Kicked Out of MO Town Meeting After Criticizing ‘In God We Trust’ Sign,” Friendly Atheist, February 16, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y7jlmchl.

The Original Motto Project’s video of Sally Hunt speaking at the Wentzville, MO council meeting opposing “In God We Trust”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la7TJKVSwsM

Sally’s appearance on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzunZpw-jv4

Sally’s commentary and analysis on her Fox News appearance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYpfG506JmY

 

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt/

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, and Chris Watson for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Episode 38 | A Conversation with Hypatia Alexandria

This episode, Justin spoke with author and activist Hypatia Alexandria. They talked about her Catholic upbringing, her path to atheism and humanism, issues within the Latino community and their relationship to religion, and how political activism and secular humanism can resolve some of these issues. A special thanks to Karen Garst for making this conversation happen.

Contact Hypatia: hypatia@arauco.com

Get her book: https://amzn.to/2KIXYRF

Check out our website: http://reasonrevolution.org

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reasonrevolutionorg/

Support Us By Becoming A Member: https://donorbox.org/support-reason-revolution

Become a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/reasonrevolution

Theme: “Jon’s on Fire” by Silent Partner

 

Website_ EPISODE 7_ ABORTION IS A HUMAN RIGHT

#007: Abortion is a Human Right | A Leap of Doubt

In this episode, we explore the issue of women’s reproductive rights. The historic 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade upheld women’s dignity and placed constitutional protections around women’s freedom of choice and right to control their own body by making abortions legal in the United States. But this human right has been under constant attack by the anti-choice movement in the four decades since. Dr. George Tiller, the late-term abortion provider who was murdered by a gunman in a church in May 2009, often made the statement that people need to listen to women and understand what they are going through. I’m doing my own small part in this discussion by speaking with two women in this episode for whom abortion and reproductive rights is important.

In the first part of this episode, I speak with Amy (the one with a ‘y’), one of the two hosts of the Secular Soup podcast, who shares her perspective as someone who worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic. We discussed what Planned Parenthood actually does (including all the basic care services that do not include abortion), her experiences with protecting patients from protesters, what life was like for women before Roe v. Wade, the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that have been quietly put into legislation by anti-choice lobbies, and why the pro-choice side should be unapologetic about upholding abortion as a human right.

In the second part of this episode, I interview Jen of the Not Another Atheist Podcast about her own personal experiences with the abortion procedure and how to effectively debunk myths associated with it, including the myth that most women regret their decision to have an abortion.

Secular Soup podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/show/secular-soup

Not Another Atheist Podcast: https://notanotheratheistpodcast.podbean.com/

Recommended resources:

Dr. George Tiller clip: “I’m a woman-educated physician”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V52JQ4Z3rjs

Documentaries:
Soldiers in the Army of God (HBO, 2000)
12th & Delaware (HBO, 2010)
After Tiller (Doc Club, 2013)
Trapped (Roco Films, 2016)

Ann Fessler, The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade (New York: Penguin Books, 2006)

Susan Wicklund, This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor(New York: PublicAffairs, 2007)

Dr. Willie Parker, Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice (New York: Atria Books, 2017)

Ruth Graham, “The Myth of Abortion Regret”: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2016/10/the_myth_of_abortion_regret.html

“Appeals Court Won’t Reconsider Tennessee Abortion Measure Decision,” Tennessean, February 28, 2018, https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/02/28/tennessee-abortion-laws-case-amendment-1/383251002/

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at https://www.facebook.com/groups/alopdiscussion/

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, and Torsten Pihl for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.

Episode 17 | The Interview: Karen Garst

This episode, Justin sat down with Karen Garst (@karen_garst), founder of the Faithless Feminist blog and editor of the new book, Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion.

They discussed her path of our religion, how her feminism informs her views of politics and atheism, her newest book, and her recent trip to the controversial Mythinformation Conference in Milwaukee.

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