Rape Culture – Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology

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Rape Culture

Joyce Williams

Extract – Rape culture is a concept of unknown origin and of uncertain definition; yet it has made its way into everyday vocabulary and is assumed to be commonly understood.

The award-winning documentary film Rape Culture made by Margaret Lazarus in 1975 takes credit for first defining the concept. The film’s narration relies heavily on jargon such as “rapism” and “phallocentric society” and is more illustrative than definitive in dealing with rape as depicted in movies, music, and other forms of entertainment.


So it appears that with a clear conscience – some have been saying “unknown origin“, “uncertain definition” and “The award-winning documentary film Rape Culture made by Margaret Lazarus in 1975 takes credit for first defining the concept“.

Now why do so few people know that?

Is lack of knowledge caused by Ignorance, or because the people central to the film were men, or prisoners, or dealing with rape in prison or because they were men of colour?

Maybe it’s all of the above?

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