Description of the Project

I decided to do my project on Rape Culture so that’s what I titled it. The issue I wanted to address is Rape Culture as a whole in our society and how it affects women’s’ daily lives because of how much it’s alive and thriving today.

List of Ideas

Idea #1: Rape Culture- In Oakland, California, a third police chief has resigned in just over a week because of a massive scandal in which three police officers are facing allegations of  rape and human trafficking after having sex with an underage girl who was working as a sex worker. People are just finding out about the situation because these men are police officers and everything they do is always right and validated. Right?  “No one wanted to see this police station for what it actually was…a ‘frat house.’”


Idea #2: Double-Standard- Talk show host Rush Limbaugh calls a student reproductive rights activist a “slut.” He says “She’s having so much sex, she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.” She was barred from testimony at an all-male panel on contraception.  He later says how guys aren’t going to stop having sex.


Idea #3: Dominant-Aggressive Assumption- 23 year old Indian student boards a bus, as she tries to ignore 5 men making aggressive sexual remarks. She is gang raped by all 5 men and needs a gut transplant. Eventually she dies from organ failure. The men eventually get arrested.


Idea #4: Rape-Free Societies- A writer who goes by “Bloom” talks about how they spent approximately twenty- four months (extended over a period of fourteen years) doing ethnographic research among the Minangkabau, a rape free Indonesian society. “The Minangkabau are the largest and most modern matrilineal society in the world today. Women play an undisputed role in Minangkabau symbol system and daily life, especially in the villages.” Missing from the Minangkabau conception of sexuality is any show of interest in sex for the sake of sex alone. Sex is neither a commodity nor a notch in the male belt in this society. A man’s sense of himself is not predicated by his sexual functioning.


Idea #5: Blaming the Victim- Jackson Katz talks about how people constantly question women once they’ve been sexually assaulted. He says, “People question what was she wearing? Why would she go out drinking with guys? She should’ve known.” “This is victim blaming.” “Our cognitive structure is set up to victim blame.” People will constantly question women and their choices.


Idea #6: Virgen/Puta Double-Bind- Monica Lewinsky talks about how when she was 22 she made a grave mistake of having a scandal with the president at the time. Voice recordings of their conversation was taken to the public without her consent and she was then receiving messages saying she was a “whore”, “slut”, “disgusting”…etc. However before this time she was seen as a prude when a 27 year old man hit on her at the age of 41 and she declined.


Idea #7: Sexual Harassment- In 2005 a recording is released by “Access Hollywood” where Trump is recorded saying, “You know attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they’ll let you do it. You can do anything.”


Idea #8: Deniable Victimization- Because they did not have to deal with the victims themselves, players in the NFL were getting off almost untouched for some of their domestic violence cases. The NFL has been working to increase the awareness of domestic violence in their field by treating players much more severely. The lack of enforcement on these cases such as Ray Rice’s domestic violence charges retaliates against the purpose of informing individuals that work to assist these victims. “The NFL’s first response was to suspend him for 2 games.”


Idea #9: Cause-Effect Phenomenal Separation- “Anita Sarkeesian, an active feminist standing up against the misogynistic behavior online, has been forced to cancel a lecture that she planned on speaking at in Utah due to the negligence of the campus police and the incompetence of the individuals against her.” This is not the first lecture that she has been abruptly forced to cancel. She preaches on the topic of how video games are seen in a male’s perspective, as well as how men can virtually get away with the sexualization of women on something as widespread as the internet, which in turn, has received many publications of negative feedback from individuals who do not support her ideology of reprimanding women in the online culture. This further proves the thesis that men are separated from women in the sense of judgement and that the cause and effect of a minor threat could indulge in shutting down an entire lecture, which is not fair.


Idea #10: Doing Gender- In St. Louis, Trump was confronted by co-moderator Anderson Cooper of CNN. “You called what you said ‘locker room banter.’ You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?”

“No, I didn’t say that at all. I don’t think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.”   Trump talks about, “this is just what guys do.” “Locker room talk” happens among all guys and it’s okay, Trump believes.


How did you make it?

How I made this piece was by (for the background) tearing apart a book I seemed fitting for the idea of Rape Culture. I chose “Knit Two” because it has a sisterhood with women “for women” and since the term “Rape Culture” was made by feminists, I decided to go with this book to use. So I ripped apart the pages and painted them on with puzzle glue and then painted over the pages with the same glue so they would stick well. Then, I drew the outline of a woman’s body and began to fill in any place that was sexualized with names women get called for being sexual. i.e. “slut” “whore” in my work. I chose to make “whore” a necklace, symbolizing what she’d be “branded” as. I also chose to put X’s over her nipples indicating how it’s okay to show your breasts as a woman, just not your nipples; however, for men it’s perfectly fine. And finally I decided to run down her body all the names that women constantly get called on a daily basis for either having sex or choosing not to. I would say the art style was inspired by “Trash Polka”, a “style of of tattoo art that began at Buena Vista Tattoo Club in Würzburg, Germany by Simone Plaff and Volko Merschky. The style resembles fine art collages in that in combines realistic images with smears, smudges, and kinetic designs that generate a discordant, chaotic look to the piece.” ( My piece I wouldn’t consider Trash Polka but the design was inspired from it.

Advice to Others

If you’re wanting to make a piece like this (or more chaotic) I’d recommend possibly looking into different styles to get inspired by such as Trash Polka, Geometric Design, collages in general, etc… Even scorching the ends of the pages before applying them could definitely add nice contrast to the piece. Adding scraps of things like metal and fabrics could give a very nice textural look or using different mediums. (