6Rape Culture

In the world today, there’s absolutely no doubt that rape is still a very real problem. In countries like Saudi Arabia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali, women are subject to rape on a regular basis. Even worse, although these countries have laws against rape, they’re not specific

enough and are rarely enforced. In fact, in Pakistan women are subject to gang-rape as punishments. These facts paint a dim picture of reality: that in the world today, millions of women are subject to rape in countries where the act is considered acceptable and even normal.

However, feminists are still split on whether rape culture is still a problem in Western countries. Feminists on the opposing side argue that rape in the West is not only illegal but also frowned upon by the large majority of people. For example, if anyone was convicted of rape where I live in British Columbia, that person would face a hefty fine, lengthy jail sentence, and become alienated within the community - and rightfully so. Now these points aren't to ignore the reality that women can still be subject to the odd look and whistle on the street, but it is to ask a question: when we live in a world where particular countries consider rape normal and where women are publicly punished for being raped, is it not trivial to suggest that women being whistled at in countries where rapists are despised is a product of rape culture?

Overall, all feminists agree that rape culture is an issue that must be addressed immediately - especially in particular developing countries. However, feminists are certainly split on whether rape culture exists in the West.

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