The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
4 Points

America Is A "Rape Culture"

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/30/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,178 times Debate No: 80337
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




Form of The Debate:

Round One will be the acceptance of the debate and explanation of your position as well as some introductions. Round Two will be centered around stating facts that would support your statement. Round Three will be responding to your opponent's facts. Round Four will be rebuttals of statements in Round Tree. Finally, Round Five will be closing statements and any other things you may want to address. This is a serious topic, so I'd like to keep everything respectful.


I think that we in fact do not live in a rape culture as many feminists or SJW's like to state. I'd also like to state that this is an ideal made up by progressive individuals searching for a movement to fight for. Thank you, and I look forward to the debate.


I accept the debate.

Wikipedia's page on the subject defines Rape Culture as:

"a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality.[sic]"

Personally, I think Rape Culture is a load of bunk. However, just for fun, I will present an argument that America indeed meets the above definition of a Rape Culture.

We now return to Con, so they can present their case.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks a lot for accepting the debate. I think I should also define culture, just to get that out of the way.
The definition of "Culture" is a refined understanding or appreciation of this. I argue that if something is deemed not socially accepted (ie can't do or say something without being ridiculed by the majority of people for saying or doing that thing) then it isn't culture.
Now since I'm attempting to prove a negative I'll have to use facts that go against my argument that I'll refute.
According to Marshal University, here are examples of Rape Culture. I've also excluded a few points made by the website that were centered around stereotypes of women and men, and since stereotypes of men and women are so blatantly incorrect (seeing as the majority of humans fall into those two categories) they wouldn't make much of a difference in culture. It should be also said that the same article is quoted saying " Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not. That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape." This never references male, transgender, or agender victims of sexual violence since apparently none of those individuals should worry about it.
My commentary will be in italics.
  • Blaming the victim (“She asked for it!”)
While blaming the victim is something that encourages rape and puts down the victim, people ridicule those that actually say things like that.
  • Trivializing sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!")
Same as above. It is a negative thing, but people that trivialize sexual assault are always labeled as regressive and idiotic.
  • Sexually explicit jokes
This one is just absurd. While jokes that actually trivialize rape ("It's not rape if you yell surprise" "rape is a struggle snuggle" etc) are actually pretty messed up and not funny, sexually explicit jokes that never reference a lack of consent wouldn't ever encourage sexual violence. I'd even say the jokes about rape wouldn't encourage rape either. More on that later.
  • Tolerance of sexual harassment
Again, this isn't something socially accepted and is also overly general. Since sexual harassment is illegal and can ruin a perpetrator's personal life as well as their career (see Sam Pepper, Bill Cosby, R. Kelly)
  • Inflating false rape report statistics
How this promotes rape, I have no idea. While inflating statistics is dishonest and terrible thing to do, I don't see how this could encourage sexual violence.
  • Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history
Once again, this isn't something that's socially accepted. The majority of people that hear someone saying that the victim's clothing meant they were asking for it would refute it, since it's idiotic reasoning.
  • Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television
I'm assuming this means violence against women in movies and television.
  • Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
This one is absurd, since rape accusations are portrayed in the media as rape prosecutions. Many people have been accused and found innocent, yet their lives are ruined by the ordeal. HG Legal Resources is quoted saying " ...the consequences of a false report of rape can be devastating to the life of the one accused. Often, the mere suggestion that a person has done something is enough to convict them in the court of public opinion. With websites that feature arrest mug shots and identify charges, there is no way for a wrongfully accused person to protect their reputation. This can have life changing effects, lead to loss of employment opportunities, public ridicule, and emotional harm." How are rape accusations not taken seriously in our culture if that's what happens to someone that's accused of rape and found innocent?
  • Assuming only promiscuous women get raped
Again, I fail to see how this could possibly be connected to encouragement of rape. It's indeed a misconception of rape, but not one that would make the crime seem any more appealing.
  • Assuming that men don’t get raped or that only “weak” men get raped
I find it interesting that they would include this, since earlier they said rape culture affected women substantially more than men. This is another legitimate point, but I don't see how this encourages the crime of rape or sexual harassment.
  • Teaching women to avoid getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape
This is the most absurd of all the claims made, since rape is obviously not accepted in any way. It's illegal! Not only that, but it's one of the most serious crimes someone can commit! Also, education isn't going to stop rape. If someone is the type of individual that would rape another person then they most likely aren't reasonable or empathetic.

Sadly, the Marshal University article was the only detailed description of rape culture that was a trustworthy website, not a Tumblr blog.

RAINN Article I used to fact check the Marshal University Article:
Marshal University article:
HG Legal Resources article I quoted:


Con has made some brilliant points, which I am now going to tear down. I will also consider their addendum in the comments section, and I ask the voters to do the same.

There's a principle called "Hanlon's Razor", which states: "Never assume malice until you've ruled out incompetence."

Most arguments in favour of "Rape Culture" rest on the assumption that RC is a malicious system, designed to oppress women and bolster men. Con has made a convincing case for why this is not so, but has failed (just like most RC activists) to consider incompetence as a cause. Incompetence and indifference can cause just as much harm as malice. Look at the Holocaust: most Germans weren't evil people, but their inaction allowed the Nazi party to commit atrocities.

My counter-argument to Con's points is that RC exists, not because people want it to, but because they don't do enough to stamp it out.

1. Blaming the victim.

People take offence when it's obvious, but they often don't pick up on subtle victim blaming. For example, a few months ago in Australia (I know this debate is about the US, but I'm less familiar with US news, and this example is just to illustrate what I mean), a teenage girl was raped by three guys on her way home from school. The mayor of the city said something to the effect of, "See? This is what I'm talking about. Teenage girls shouldn't walk home alone." While his comment was no doubt well-meaning, and teenage girls should absolutely take all precautions possible, think about it from the victim's point of view. She hears that, and she probably feels like sh*t. Maybe she's even blaming herself for the assault, thinking, "If only I'd not walked home alone." This is outrageous, since the rape was not her fault. Victim-blaming isn't just about what you say, but also how and when you say it, and how it could misinterpreted.

2. Trivializing sexual assault.

This may be frowned upon by society as a whole, but there are large, mostly online, groups within society that engage in this behaviour all too frequently. Again, the problem is not that society condones it, but that society doesn't stamp it out.

3. Sexually explicit jokes.

Con is right. There is no proof that rape jokes lead to rape. However, like all racist/sexist humour, they should be used with extreme caution.

4. Tolerance of sexual harassment.

Again, people tend to react to the obvious and ignore the subtle. Bill Cosby is demonized now, but he got away with his actions for decades.

5. Inflating false rape report statistics.

The notion that "[all] women lie about being raped" is often used to reinforce misogynistic viewpoints. While misogyny doesn't always lead to rape, it can be a contributing factor.

6. Publicly scrutinizing a victim"s dress, mental state, motives, and history.

It's increasingly less accepted, but it still happens far too often.

7. Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television.

Con is right, this one is stupid.

8. Refusing to take rape accusations seriously.

While this probably does happen on a small scale, it'd be impossible for me to prove/disprove with the tools at my disposal.

9. Assuming only promiscuous women get raped.

"If [promiscuous women] get raped, then it's okay to rape [promiscuous women]."


"Don't dress like a [promiscuous women], or you'll get raped."

Both are horrible and fallacious lines of reasoning, but they persist nevertheless. It's not socially acceptable to say it, but a lot of people still think it.

10. Assuming that men don"t get raped or that only "weak" men get raped.

Men are less likely to be raped than women, because men are bigger than women, men are less likely to say "no" to a woman, and most male rapists are straight.

11. Teaching women to avoid getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape.

Feminists present this in a fallacious way, but ideally we'd teach both.

To reiterate my previous point: rape culture doesn't have to be deliberately encouraged or accepted in order to be "pervasive and normalized", it just has to be ignored and misrepresented. RC activists are probably just as guilty of misrepresentation as anybody else. While I don't believe the picture of Rape Culture that feminists paint, and I really hate the philosophy because it's just inflammatory, there is no denying that rape is a serious problem and could be addressed better.

We now return to Con.
Debate Round No. 2


MattOptimus forfeited this round.


Con has forfeited the round.
Debate Round No. 3


MattOptimus forfeited this round.


Another forfeit.
Debate Round No. 4


MattOptimus forfeited this round.


Opponent forfeits.
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MattOptimus 2 years ago
When I was replying to "Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television" I meant to write a longer refutation. I meant to say this:
I'm assuming this means violence against women. The thing is, people can normally separate television, movies, and video games from reality. Because of that, people wouldn't see rape as more likely.
Posted by MattOptimus 2 years ago
When I was replying to "Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television" I meant to write a longer refutation. I meant to say this:
I'm assuming this means violence against women. The thing is, people can normally separate television, movies, and video games from reality. Because of that, people wouldn't see rape as more likely.
Posted by SM2 2 years ago
Whoops, didn't see your definition. However, since it's similar to the one I posted, I don't think it will be an issue.
Posted by MattOptimus 2 years ago
For this debate, the definition of "Rape Culture" is a setting in which rape or sexual violence on women is normalized through various forms of media. Hopefully someone will see this!
Posted by MattOptimus 2 years ago
For this debate, the definition of "Rape Culture" is a setting in which rape or sexual violence on women is normalized through various forms of media. Hopefully someone will see this!
Posted by Canuckleball 2 years ago
Defining exactly what you mean by "rape culture" would help, as a lot of people throw that term around pretty loosely.
Posted by samuelmcl368 2 years ago
It's not a rape culture, as rape is vilified by almost everybody.
Posted by DATXDUDE 2 years ago
Oh. I was about to tear that argument apart, until I saw that you were con.
Posted by MattOptimus 2 years ago
I'd like to hope that somebody will debate this. Hopefully not all SJW's are in complete echo chambers.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
SJWs don't debate, and if they do they're cowards and avoid debating SJW things
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture