Rape culture is real, alive in Manhattan

Meredith Comas, Opinions Editor

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In the world we live in today, rape culture is everywhere. From the movies we watch, to the magazines we read, the jokes we hear, even the people we meet.

In a college town in eastern Kansas such as Manhattan, it can be easy to develop the idea that things such as racism, sexism and rape culture doesn’t exist — hat is unless it’s in the movies. This is a deeply flawed idea.

In a time where Manhattan and Lawrence are under attack by a serial rapist and just last week an attempted rape was reported at University of Kansas, now is the time more than ever to be aware of the things we put out there and how rape culture continues to have a major impact on our society.

In high school, it’s not uncommon to hear over-sexualized jokes and comments in the hallways from peers. On the streets of Manhattan, especially around campus, it is not uncommon for cat-calling, unwanted attention or conversation, etc. to be heard and experienced by so many girls — adults and minors.

For example, last week, on the corner of 17th and Poyntz avenues, Kansas State University students chose to hang signs on their porches and yards, displaying vulgar massages such as “Freshman girls drop-off,” and “Hope you’re 18!!”

It is the agreement of The Mentor editorial board that, yes, rape culture is very much real, and very much alive in the Little Apple. It’s always been here, but due to the difficulty of a conversation about rape or rape culture, it’s been ignored, and at times, the problem has been diluted to almost nothing because of unwanted, negative attention.

Being around a college campus, and with the way social media is today, there is almost no escape from rape culture. However that does not mean we should continue to let it live in the shadows because either it doesn’t affect us, or it is too hard of a conversation to have.

Especially as those who experience the majority of it, students should be able to rely on the world’s educators, both teachers and parents, to spread awareness and educate youth on the effects and psychological damage rape and rape culture causes. Yes, some adults are those inflicting damage,but this is all the more reason for others to step up and give awareness

There will never be an end to this social act that can be so damaging if the fact that it is here is never addressed — if the behavior is never corrected.  

As the next generation of leaders, students should step up and be the generation who begins the end of rape culture. Even if it’s in “a totally joking way” just like domestic violence, suicide, etc., it’s no joking matter. For someone this is real, and for someone, it is horrible. Students should step up and be the person who makes a difference, who influences a wave of reform and change.

The city of Manhattan is a student-based community. There is a 6A high school, 12 middle and grade schools, and a state and technical college. Why should there be so many students allowed to feel as if there is a constant threat at every party or dance they attend, at every corner they turn down in Aggieville on a Friday night? Why should students continue to feel terrified to walk alone down the streets lest there be a predator on the next sidewalk?

As students, as a city, as humans in a time of unrest, spreading awareness of the effects of rape culture has never been so important. People should be educating their communities on the dangers of rape culture in society, and understand what they are up against is no longer just in the movies. Wake up Manhattan: it’s real, and it’s affecting you.


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Rape culture is real, alive in Manhattan