Editorial By Wendy McElroy
at The Daily Bell
The first rule of the politics of fear is that if you want to make something sound scarier than it actually is, you add the word ‘culture’ at the end of it. – Brendan O’Neill, Editor of Spiked
It is the c-word*: culture. Depending on the political agenda of the alarmist du jour, we live in a rape culture, a gun culture, an abortion culture, a culture of racism. A standard definition of culture is “the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.” When a specific adjective is used to define a society, it means the adjective captures a dominant attitude and behavior that characterize the society.
But a culture does not rape, buy guns, have abortions or express racism. Individuals do. In some cases, like rape, the individuals engaging in the activity are a small percentage of the population. This is especially true today when incidents of rape have fallen dramatically. According to both the U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victim Survey 2008-2012 and the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN) – the largest anti-sexual assault organization in America – sexual assault has decreased by more than 50% in recent years. Why, then, are we hearing so much more about a rape culture?
(Please click here to see the rest of this article. Well worth the read.)