Living in an era dominated by social media and technology, it’s incredibly easy to claim that word travels fast. With the click of a button, one’s words can appear on the dimly lit screen of another, and then another, and then another. Stories covering politics and worldwide news seem like relatively neutral topics, however, a growing topic that seems to uncover more as the days pass are the rising stories of individuals coming forward in reference to rape, sexual abuse, or harassment.
Why are people not talking about it?
Why are people not taking rape and harassment cases seriously?
Why are people getting less time for rape, than those with minor drug charges, or being at the wrong place, at the wrong time?
I think the answer to all three questions is fairly simple, and far from being the correct one: rape is heard of so commonly now, that it is considered to be “normal.” It sickens me to know that rape and harassment are still so vividly present. For example, within the past six months in Hollywood, there has been a total uproar within several marriages, show casts, and movie sets, with individuals coming forward with their stories. These stories appear on news feeds, timelines, and web pages around the world, and because of this, I believe the concept and repercussions of rape are not taken as seriously as they should be.
If a “yes,” isn’t said, there is NO consent. If someone is intoxicated, or under the influence of any kind, they are not in their right mind to make any conscious, intelligent decisions, and therefore, no consent can be given. Finally, being in a relationship is not considered to be automatic consent of any kind. Love doesn’t equal consent. The only thing that could ever amount to agreeing to consent is having open communication, and responding to one another’s needs and desires.
Too many individuals are getting away with a crime as vicious and cruel such as rape; talk about it. Speak up. Please inspire those around struggling with their internal demons to share their stories; they are not alone. Normalizing things as dark and repulsive as rape, harassment, and abuse will pave the wrong path for the coming generation; these things are wrong, and NOT meant to be tolerated.
There should never be “too many people screaming rape,” rather, it should be considered too many individuals are coming forward and something must be done.
I am a sophomore at the University of Central Florida, majoring in Health Sciences. My true passion lies in mental health awareness, being a self-love advocate, writing, music, and helping others. Mental Health and Feminism editor for SASP Chapter.