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Rape Culture #17: A Sense of Entitlement

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Part seventeen of a series by Joy Pedrow Skarka

In rape culture, the more power a man has, the more sexual assault he can get away with. Powerful men live in a cloud of entitlement. Rich men, such as Harvey Weinstein, can sexually assault numerous woman for years, get a slap on the wrist and a fine, and walk away. But losing loose change is nothing compared to the pain suffered by the victims. 

Hollywood often weds power to a sense of entitlement. Gatekeepers are given, “Get Out of Jail Free Cards.” For example, Harvey Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with different women. One person he abused said, “I am a 28-year-old woman trying to make a living and a career. Harvey Weinstein is a 64-year-old, world-famous man, and this is his company. The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10.” Vulnerable women have hoped to make it …

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Rape Culture #16: The Problem Is Bigger Than We Think

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Part sixteen in a series by Joy Pedrow Skarka 

Rape culture is not happening only in America; it is happening around the globe—and has been since the beginning of humanity. Rape is a weapon that affects victims, their families, and their communities. Here are a few examples:

  • Rape is common in patriarchal societies. Japan is a very male-dominated society, making it difficult for victims of rape to come forward. Because of this, research shows that fewer than 5 percent of women raped in Japan report it. Why not? Social pressures, cultural taboos, women not being believed, and rape not being talked about—all respects of rape culture. For more information on rape culture in Japan, watch the documentary, Japan’s Secret Shame, featuring one woman’s struggle against the hostile environment for women reporting assault in Japan.
  • In India rape culture deeply affects girls and women, and it can even lead to death. An
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Rape Culture #15: Rape Culture and #ChurchToo

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Part fifteen in a series by Joy Pedrow Skarka 

In January 2018, Andy Savage received applause from his church after confessing and apologizing to his church for sexually assaulting a teen twenty years earlier while serving as a youth pastor. At the time, Savage had asked his victim, Jules Woodson, who publicly told her story, to perform oral sex, and she had complied. In an interview that followed, Woodson said, “Compliance is not consent.” (Check out Part 4: Rape Culture and Consent.) As a young girl, Woodson had trusted her youth pastor, and he used his position and power to take advantage of her. After much controversy, Savage stepped down from his position, having realized that he needed to make things right with his victim herself. And that, indeed, compliance (especially when there is such a power differential) is not consent.

The month after the #MeToo hashtag went viral, the …

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