Discussing Depictions of Rape in Popular Culture With Your Teen Daughter
Trinity Teen Solutions is a faith-based residential treatment center for troubled girls. We understand that some self-destructive behaviors are directly related to overwhelming experiences of exposure to abusive power, such as rape or sexual abuse. We offer an environment that is physically and psychologically safe and focus on dealing with all aspects of the trauma-sensitive issues. Our curriculum and daily activities are developed to promote each student’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. The therapeutic approach supports a student’s participation in their own progress through spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological development. For more information, call Trinity Teen Solutions at 307-202-8400.
Depictions of rape in our culture is represented in many ways and across a number of different media, from mainstream Hollywood movies, television and independent cinema to broadcast, literature, popular press, print news and pornography. The term “rape culture” is more about the imaginary status of rape within the American culture than about the state of real rape.
When a boy continues to pursue a girl after being rejected, if a boy will not take no for an answer because he feels that he is “meant to be” with a certain girl or if a boy says things, like “girls just like to play hard to get” and “girls don’t know a good thing when they see it” as reasons why they persist after being turned down, this is rape culture.
The Normalization of Rape Through the Media, Erodes the Agency of Young Women
When we discuss rape culture, we usually talk about the more obvious issues, such as victim-blaming in cases of sexual assault or the fact that it’s still considered to be a girl’s responsibility to avoid rape, rather than a boy’s responsibility not to commit it, or the fact that some people still think that rape jokes are funny. This kind of talk is what usually comes up in a discussion about rape culture but what we don’t often talk about are the ways that rape is normalized to erode the agency of teen girls. When a boy takes away a girl’s agency in anything that involves relationships, dating, or sex, that is rape culture. Unfortunately, our media makes it perfectly clear that rape culture is acceptable culture.
If we want to raise a generation of young people who don’t have distorted thoughts about what dating is really like, then we need to make big changes to how this is portrayed in the mainstream media. Unfortunately, there are not any quick or easy fixes. As a society, we need to give teen boys better examples of how to treat girls and we need to give teen girls stronger, more empowering role models. We need to put a stop to all the ways, that rape culture shapes how teens view themselves by being more careful about what teens see through the media.
At Trinity Teen Solutions, we encourage acceptance and belonging in order to break the cycle of self-loathing that is common in struggling girls who are dealing with trauma. Please call 307-202-8400 to speak with our Admissions Specialist.