Rape Culture

Encounters on sexual assault are never taken seriously in this male-dominated world and its victims are silenced. It can be seen today in schools or workplaces that females are told not to worry, or not to make a big deal out of things when their personal space had been burst. In The Tempest, Shakespeare wrote that Caliban attempted to rape Miranda when they arrived on the island. In Act 1, Scene 2, Prospero’s claims, “…till thou didst seek to violate the honor of my child,” indicating that Caliban was trying to sexual assault and probably rap her. When our lecture professor spoke about the incident in lecture dismissed the attempt of rape and seem to avoid to talk about the event in the play. Later my seminar professor addressed the event and clarified that Caliban was probably trying to rape Miranda.

This was just one of the many examples that in today’s society any victim of harassment or sexual assault is suppressed or not taken seriously. We live in a society of rape culture, where sexual violence is normalized and excused in media. Recently Hollywood stars have exposed many elite people in the industry for sexual assault on women working in Hollywood. Once the celebrities started coming out on their attack the public began to notice. Actors were exposing their attackers on National television, in award shows, and on social media. Soon people began to feel more comfortable with telling their sexual assault experiences and the media started to actually write about sexual violence.

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Harvey Weinstein is an example of a man taking advantage of his position to expose young females. He has mentioned that his past behavior has caused pain, but still denies any wrongdoings. Rose Mcgowan is the most vocal of the accusers and denied a one million nondisclosure settlement with Weinstein to publicly display her assault. This action would lead to waves of actresses confronting their sexual assault experiences and lifting the silence. Big stars like Salma Hayek have come forth with their encounter with Weinstein.

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Often when a victim does speak out about their incidents they are victim blamed, where other distant themselves from the victim saying, “It won’t happen to me because I’m not like them.”  In order to prevent rape culture, people need to avoid using language that objectifies any gender. If one does hear an offensive joke it is always okay to speak up and confront the person. Also, defining one’s own manhood and womanhood allows for growth within oneself, where you don’t let stereotypes shape how you are. I think more public areas should acknowledge rape or sexual assaults and not pushed aside like my English professor did with Miranda’s assault. Caliban persuades Stephano and Trinculo to attack Prospero by objectifying Miranda and saying, “she will become thy bed and bring thee forth a brave brood.” He is already seen as disgusting in the play, but the more we know about his actions with Miranda adds to the audience’s hatred towards Caliban.




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