Opinion

Why Rape Culture Starts in the Locker Room

It doesn't stay there.
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano
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In our country, one woman or child is raped every hour. That means that every single hour, there’s a man who makes the conscious decision to violate another human being. It’s easy to dismiss them as isolated cases that don’t reflect on our culture as a whole but deep down you might realize that rape culture isn’t just an abstract concept. It’s something that starts in locker rooms, continues in board rooms, and happens in dorms as well as marital bedrooms.

Even as an evolved male you’ve likely engaged in banter with the boys, told a rape joke or made a regrettable sexist comment while knowing better. While that alone doesn’t lead to violence against women, it signals that women can be treated like objects and reaffirms attitudes which down the line may lead to violence against women.

The below graphic by 11th Principle: Consent, founded by members of the Burning Man community after sexual assault issues at the event, visualizes how violence against women becomes entrenched in our culture. Crossing the barrier from locker room banter to taking non-consensual photos may seem far off for you, but for certain impressionable, moral compass-lacking young men, it could be just another step towards even more serious behavior. If anything, it’s good to be aware of the impact our speech and actions have on others.

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