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Welcome to the ‘Theatre’s Rape Culture’ Series

May 31, 2010

Rape culture is a term that has always been difficult to define. Usually, it is seen as the culture in which certain definitions of rape or sexual violence are repeated so much that they become the definitions that the members of this culture can walk away with. Because of this repetition of rape and sexual violence, a climate is created in which they can become minimized, normalized or even encouraged—building the misconception, when these acts are constantly associated to women, that this is the normal (or staple) culture for women. But that hardly scrapes the surface; my fellow editors have written far more in depth articles on the rape culture that are well worth reading.

Has anybody seen Observe and Report? There is a scene where the main character takes the romantic opposite back to his house (well past the wasted stage) and proceeds to have sex with her while she is passed out and has vomited on the pillow. Eventually, he notices that she isn’t moving and pauses. She wakes up for an instant and asks him why he stopped. Cue audience laughter. When date rape is being used as the punchline to a joke, then one can see how serious this type of culture has become.

This series will explore instances in which rape is used as a trope (a creative device) in performance arts but it will also explore ways in which performance arts can be used to combat rape.

This series ran on May 31st and June 1st. Click on the links below to see the posts featured in the series!

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