‘Rape’ should not be tossed around as slang term

Google says rape is the “Unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent.”

Dictionary.com says it’s “Unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.”

What do these definitions have in common? They all imply that rape is an unlawful sexual activity that an offender does to a victim, definitely not a “cool’ phrase or word to say.

So why do so many people treat it like that?

I have attended many schools throughout my life, and as I got older, I began to notice something. Some people, especially young teenage boys, use the word rape as a joke.

I heard one student say, “If you all don’t shut up, I’m going to rape every single one of you,” to my friends and I, in a fit of rage. I looked him straight in the eyes and told him that he had better not say that again because rape is a very serious thing and should not be tossed around as a slang word.

“What? I didn’t mean anything by it,” he replied. “It’s just a joke.”

So, he basically told me that unlawful sexual activity being done to someone who is unable or hasn’t given consent to the offender, is a joke?

Out of every 1,000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will walk free.

This means that 99.4 percent of rapists will not be charged for their assault. Out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, only 344 will be reported to the police. Now there are many reasons for this, including they are ashamed/embarrassed, trying to protect the household/family/themselves from any further crimes by the offender or felt they were unsafe to do so, but the reason that most people don’t report it is that they aren’t always believed. If the police don’t believe they are telling the truth or the offender is a very good liar, the victim will be met with very unsettling questions such as, “What were you wearing?”

“Were you flaunting yourself?”

“Did you ask for it in any way verbally or physically?”

“Were you wearing anything revealing or flashy?”

“Did you lead them on?”

It seems that even in the law, rape is treated like a joke. Somehow no matter what happened, the court will always find a way to make the offender innocent.

Even just using the word rape in regular life to describe something good or bad happening to you such as, “Yes! I just raped that test!” and “Aw man, that test totally raped me,” should not be acceptable.

Rape/sexual assault victims are four times more likely to commit or attempt suicide than non-victims. Sexual assault is very scary and can leave life-long mental as well as physical scars on the victim.

“In the United States, approximately 16 percent of women and three percent of men have been victims of attempted or completed rape. Fifteen percent of sexual assault victims are under 12,” Huffingtonpost.com informs readers.

Again, rape is a sexual assault and a crime, so why would anyone especially kids and young teenagers want to associate anything with such a terrifying and negative word?

Using other words such as gay and the N-word can have the same effects.

Let’s take a look at the word gay. One of the first results on google is, “(of a person, especially a man) homosexual.” But the second definition is, “Lighthearted and carefree.”

One of the definitions on urbandictonary.com reads, “Often used to describe something stupid or unfortunate. Originating from homophobia. Quite preferable among many teenage males in order to buff up their ‘masculinity.’”

Huh? That last “definition” basically clears up why some people still use the word gay as an insult. Although society is getting a little better at accepting this word and people who are gay, it isn’t used much as an insult anymore except by homophobes or unintellegent teenagers and/or adults. But if you would take a second and look up what happened when the first gay people began to come “out of the closet,” I’m sure you can see what an effect it had when people didn’t support it/didn’t believe in it.

So let’s go back to the main question, why do kids think it is acceptable to use rape as a slang word? It doesn’t look like such a cool word now does it?

Perhaps it’s that most rape victims are put off by the court saying that what they were wearing was showing too much skin and it lured the offender on. Maybe it’s because the law and society itself treats rape like a joke. It could be because kids aren’t educated enough about how the law could one day let them down because of what they were wearing or doing one night a few years from now. Or maybe we just need to teach our kids the right and wrong of the world?

The truth is here. We need to teach our kids that if someone says “yes” at the beginning and starts to say “no” later, that one needs to stop. We need to teach kids that we could make this world a better place just by standing up and speaking out.

Rape is a very serious thing that should not be treated as a joke or a slang word. Rape is real, and it could happen to anyone regardless of age or gender.

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