Rape Culture in the Age of Trump
Goal: RIGHTS AND WRONGS: A CONSTITUTION AND CITIZENSHIP DAY CONFERENCE AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY 2017
Paper Proposal: American Rape Culture in Education during the Age of Trump
Irma Garcia & Lisa Parham, San Jose State University
In the past several years, the rhetoric of rape culture and the discussion of sexual assault has spiked. In the age when the country’s highest-ranking “leader” spouts misogynistic rhetoric and high-profile sexual assault and rape cases flood the media, it becomes undeniable that America suffers from a rape culture epidemic. However, how are the increasing number of sexual assaults being combated? Is it enough for colleges to install emergency call buttons and have students undergo online sexual assault awareness trainings? Or is college too little too late? What constitutional right is being infringed upon on our campuses through the increase of sexual assault? How do we fix the conversation about sexual violence and rape culture? We argue that the conversation of rape culture needs to start much earlier, at home and in elementary schools. If a 12-year-old New Jersey girl can be married off to her rapist in order to avoid a statutory rape case, why can’t a 12-year-old be taught the difference between rape and consent? According to Asking for It author Kate Harding, this idea has been met with open controversy because it instills a defensive attitude from those who feel their precious child could never grow up to be a rapist. However, now more than ever, all of us are being exposed to poor treatment of women and the rhetoric of rape culture. If we are to address American Rape Culture, we must address hateful rhetoric early on through education.