So I was, as I do, reading through my twitter feed and I noticed a screenshot on my friend L’s timeline with a tweet that showed total disgust. The disgust was extremely valid and I can’t deny that I’m sitting here in absolute horror that a well known musician could send out a tweet like the one below and not get called on it.
This is a musician who has over 200,000 followers on twitter. Who young people look up to and he doesn’t apparently see what’s wrong with the above statement. And that’s not just it. The tweet has been retweeted, and not just a couple of times either. At the time of posting this it’s been retweeted far too may times. 3,896 to be precise. And on top of that, it’s has 1,097 favourites. The mentality in the favourites and retweets is excitement.
James has sent out a message that says it’s ok to participate in rape culture, that rape is no big deal and he’s sent it out to many impressionable young people. That is not ok. EVER. And before you tell me to get over it and it’s not that big of a deal, let me explain something to you. Rape victims seeing that status are likely to feel belittled. Rape victims feel like they are pushed into silence by comments like this. Because it all contributes to the rape culture that we live in. Where rape victims have been taught the best way to avoid being raped and rapists have been given a sense of entitlement to their victims.
The BBC reported in January that up to a third of all reported rape cases in the UK are dropped. An article in the Guardian recently has told us that if we’re looking at universities we need to check the campus rape statistics – something I never even considered when I was looking at universities fourteen years ago. Earlier this month the Independent talked about the fiddling of crime figures leading to under-reported cases of rape and other serious crimes. And all of these can be found by doing a quick Google search, along with American statistics and those for other countries.
When victims are too scared to report rape, ashamed and scared of the ridicule of those who should be bringing their attackers to justice, when public figures make comments like James Bourne’s tweets, is it any wonder that there’s a call for this rape culture to stop? It’s time to name and shame those who continue to feed into it and don’t see a problem with the flippant use of the word ‘rape’, and time we raised our children to respect each other not expect things from each other.