As part of a Master’s dissertation through Auckland University, I studied publicly available stories and news reports to gauge how the range of language enables rape culture.
The conclusions I drew were of no surprise to me, or to anyone who works in this field. The concept of power and who wields it was interwoven through all examples. In every theme I discovered and unpacked, you see a power inequality. The inequality ensures that there is often little that can be done to redress the opposition.
Even when discrimination has been outlawed through legislation, without an underlying societal change, it often continues with impunity.
Finally, the tragic conclusion of a ‘harmless’ everyday sexism is the ease at which we also excuse sexual harassment and sexual assault. The same societal constructions which excuse gendered marketing is used to normalise assault.
You can read the whole dissertation here.
If you wish to cite it, please use the following:
Chandra, B. (2016). From catcalling to rape – a study of everyday sexism (Masters dissertation).