YOUNG VOICES: Rape culture has evil effect on teens

2013-11-04T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Rape culture has evil effect on teensBy Gina Twardosz
November 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

It seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new story. Fourteen-year-old girl raped in Maryville. Sixteen-year-old girl raped in Steubenville. You wonder how anyone could see rape in a positive light. How they could find no fault in a rapist ruining the victim’s life.

Rape has become commonplace in our society. Not only has the act itself been happening more frequently, but the culture of it has also followed us into stores and into our homes.

Teens are getting more and more comfortable with throwing around the term “rape” and referring to it incorrectly. Society teaches them rape is the norm. They see "lighthearted" jokes made about rape and objectification for promotion of a product. It’s everywhere.

Rape and rape culture needs to be slammed down. It shouldn’t be looked on as natural or a joke. Rape culture needs to be stopped.

You have grown, married men like Robin Thicke gallivanting around, eyes gleaming with the thought of sexual assault, saying that essentially consent is a blurred line, and teens eat it up.

It’s not entirely the fault of teenagers, though. Some media parade around making mockeries of the rape victim’s family while they idolize the rapist. They say things such as, "Oh that poor boy getting thrown in jail because of that girl." Or "she was wearing a short skirt; it was a go."

How do we expect teens to treat rape maturely when adults can’t even do so?

We as children are afraid of the monsters under our bed. When we grow a little older, we learn the monsters are not under our beds but out in the world. And apparently nowadays people are starting to believe these same monsters are just misunderstood.

No. Monsters are monsters. They should not be idolized.

This positive perpetuation of rape needs to stop because it’s wreaking havoc on impressionable teen minds.

Rape is a serious thing. It is not a hot new marketing craze, it’s not a joke you can make to your friends; it’s an atrocity that occurs when a person is sick in the head.

I think it’s time everyone sat down and had a talk. To all the teenagers, children and adults: Rape is not an adjective for domination, and all the jokes, memes and extraneous side comments are not guff. They’re not acceptable.

As a teen myself, I can say we’re susceptible to a lot of things, but I can’t and won’t stand for our society to start condoning rape. What’s next? Promoting rape?

Rape culture is a negative influence on teens. We need to stop the media’s perpetuation of it and raise awareness about how detrimental rape actually is.

Gina Twardosz, of Valparaiso, is a sophomore at Valparaiso High School. The opinions are the writer's.

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