“Rape Culture” is a Red Herring

rape culture

Does America have a rape culture problem? Are our young ladies at risk of harm because of prevailing cultural attitudes that disrespect their physical integrity? Or is so-called rape culture just a myth?

To tell you the truth, I don’t care. Fighting over cultural semantics is the last thing that’s going to keep women safe. Worse, it’s a huge distraction from focusing on what really matters: safety and self-defense.

Whatever the nuanced situation about rape culture may be, certain bare truths still hold: rape is illegal and absolutely condemned by society. Rapists don’t do their awful misdeeds because no one properly educated them to as to the finer points of respecting the fairer sex. They got the memo. They just don’t care. Rapists rape for two reasons: because they’re monsters, and because they can. There isn’t much we can do about the first reason. Let’s take away the second reason by equipping women to defend themselves against these villains.

That’s what I do for a living. I teach good people to break the bad people that would do them harm. Solid unarmed self-defense skills are a crucial last line of defense in personal safety. Carrying a firearm sure helps, too. Most important of all is situational awareness: stay in public lighted areas as often as possible, keep your eyes open to potential threats, be careful you don’t ingest any consciousness-altering drugs, and carry yourself with an overall air of calm, quiet confidence. That alone should be enough to avoid the vast majority of attackers. Those you can’t avoid are in for a nasty, painful surprise.

So go ahead, debate rape culture without end. All you’re doing is diverting attention from what really stops rape: self-defense. My conscience won’t allow that. I’m going to do my very best to ensure that women have every chance on the world of being safe from violence of all kinds. I suggest you do the same.

Joël Valenzuela, the editor of The Desert Lynx, is a 3rd degree black belt in the American Taekwondo Association and a full-time martial art and self-defense instructor.

Comments

  1. Joel – -
    You hit on several good points. A basic idea of how not to look like the ‘weakest of the herd’ will assist women in their public image and not be victimized.
    I cannot emphasize (to women) enough the importance of taking a self defense course. These courses are specifically designed to give ladies impromptu fighting skills should an attack situation arise.
    GOOD ARTICLE … hope all is well in N.H.

    • LynxFreeorDie :

      Thank you for the kind words! I would absolutely recommend everyone, not just women, do their best to educate themselves for survival.

  2. I have thought about this for awhile and agree with your assessment. I am a firm believer that if more ladies were empowered to be independent and had confidence in their own strength and were not conditioned to be dependent on men for protection it would help the situation. I tend to focus on those that find themselves in abusive situations. A large percentage unfornately end up dealing with that in their lifetime and it is avoidable to some extent with impowerment from a young age.

  3. Joel, hopefully you’re enjoying your freedom in N.H.

    This is a great start, however the statistics are greater for a female to be raped by someone she knows or is acquainted with through other friends, work, etc. Stranger rape represents less than 30%, imagine that a woman is raped every 3 minutes in the USA. You’d think it was a 3rd world country. Less than 10% of rape cases make it to court and a very small number are actually convicted.

    Having been a victim of an attempted stranger rape and an actual brutal beating and rape by an acquaintance, I agree with Joel, learn how to defend yourself because she will not come to your rescue and the police are too busy passing the donuts.

    Trigger Safety Not Trigger Happy!

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