Rape Culture in Black America

Editor’s Note: Recently, Dr. Boyce Watkins made some very silly statements in one of his articles discussing rape (read it here). Rather than dissect his statements, we here at TIOMAR are of the opinion that and education on the subject of rape and “rape culture” is greatly needed. I suspect that Dr. Watkins himself can use an education on the subject. But, don’t tell him I said this.

If there is one thing that shakes me to the core is the prevalent rape culture that permeates in America. Let me make it frank: there is a rape culture in our nation. Rape culture is a concept that links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, and even condone rape [1]. Looking at that definition, there really is no argument. In short, rape culture is prevalent in America and it is a problem.


Boyce_Watkins_Rape_Culture_640xOh, and for the non-believers, I have some examples for you.

Rape Culture As It Exists

There have been plenty of instances in which rape culture has been promoted ad naseum within the “land of the free”. Shannon Ridgway wrote this extensive, and informative, list of rape culture examples that included the following:

  • Journalists who substitute the word “sex” for “rape” – as if they’re the same thing.
  • Mothers who blame girls for posting sexy selfies and leading their sons into sin, instead of talking with their sons about their responsibility for their own sexual expression. [2]

There were many other examples (about 22 more), but I will leave that up to the reader to examine. Yet, we should note that 31 states have it where convicted rapists can sue for custody [3]. Therefore, if a person does not believe rape culture exists then they have been living under a rock.

rape culture 2

And I am not talking about a pebble. I’m talking about an Easter Island statue sized rock.

Rape Culture in Black America

With all of these statistics ever present in America, it is no wonder that rape culture firmly exists within the throngs of Black America. Is it all of Black America? I hope not. However, there are some keen examples of hit existing in hip hop music. Ironically, the music I love has artists that promote a culture that I readily loathe.

This, in all shapes and forms, is pure bullshit.This, in all shapes and forms, is pure bullshit.

When it comes to rape culture, there are some artists that actually promote said foolishness. It is bad enough that Rick Ross made the “molly statement of the year” in 2013 off of Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O”. Meanwhile, Lil Reese was caught on tape beating up a woman a year or so ago. Added with the madness of the visuals shown in plenty of videos that are, but should not be, watched by young men AND women, and you have issues at hand. America is synonymous with baseball, apple pie, and the objectification of female sexuality; hip hop music can sometimes exacerbate this fact.

The problem with this is that much of this music is listened to/financially supported by women. This has help harness something author Kirsten West Savali has noted:

Violent words — hit, bang, beat, cut, smash – have been re-appropriated to refer to pleasurable, consensual sexual activity. It is not surprising, then, that sixty percent of Black girls have experienced sexual abuse before the age of eighteen. The Beat Bang Theory (double entendre intended) dictates that masculinity be defined by the authority — indeed, the right — to objectify, dehumanize, violate and destroy women, all while rocking a microphone. [4]

Do all rap artists do this? Naw. However, plenty of them do. And the ones that do this seems to be, at times, the most popular artists out right now. And these popular artists fill the clubs,Beats by Dre headphones, and car stereos of not only men but women as well.

rape culture 4

Then, there are the thoughts of King Noble, a Youtube troll that advocates the raping of black women as some sort of “revolutionary act against capitalism” (I can’t make this stuff up).


Rape Culture Needs to Be Eradicated

The rap culture that exists in America has made it logical and “acceptable” for the Elliot Rodger of the world to make manifestos of sexual entitlement filled with a lack of maturity and conscience. Even worse, it has infiltrated Black America and made the objectification ofBlack women a common place cultural aspect. If this continues, then there won’t be any turning back. Rape culture has evolved into something too sinister, and illogical, to allow continuance. It has been past time to protect our mothers, sisters, nieces, daughters, and significant others from this societal succubus.

‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!