Rape Culture as a Weapon of Collective Control

Amanda Taub of Vox has just published a piece entitled "Rape Culture Isn't a Myth". The post explores the definition and history of rape culture as well as it's impact on the every day lives of women and men. 

The overall result of rape culture goes beyond the damage done to individual victims. It becomes a method of control to limit the freedom and progress of all women by forcing them to trade security for opportunity.

Rape culture pressures women to sacrifice their freedoms and opportunities in order to stay safe, because it puts the burden of safety on women’s shoulders, and blames them when they don’t succeed. As a result, certain opportunities are left unavailable to women, and still others are restricted by expensive safety precautions. That amounts, essentially, to a tax that is levied exclusively on women. Over time, the cost of that tax adds up to opportunities lost and progress not achieved. When women give up social and economic opportunities in order to stay safe, that affects their progress overall, which in turn affects society’s progress overall.
— Amanda Taub

Rape culture, like racism, is difficult to extract from society because it is a tool of power and power is a fundamental goal of human interaction. As Robert Greene details in his book The 48 Laws of Power, those who have power in a particular setting won't give it up without a compelling incentive. Self-interest trumps morality on both the individual and group level.

The problem with this collective logic lies in its misguided goal. The control of women through threats of violence hinders rather than promotes human progress. We are acting against our own self-interest when our social, legal and political institutions punish women for the destructive sexual greed of men. When women have to live in fear, we limit their potential and our own progress. So until we find a social tool more powerful than rape culture, our society will continue to suffer.