This is Rape Culture, Ladies and Gentlemen

Victoria Kuttainen


“This is Rape Culture, Ladies and Gentlemen” uses the affordances offeredby multi-perspectival short fiction and thick description to re-centre attention on first-personexperience and the “taken-for-granted” complexities of everyday life that are at the heart of rape culture. It attempts to highlight the “everydayness” of rape culture which makes rape almost invisible within a normalised milieu of predatory sexual behaviour. In this, it draws on sociological theories of the practices of everyday life (Lefebvre, 1947/1991; de Certeau, 1974/1984; Felski, 1999), in which commonplace situations, mundane routines, and normal behaviours — that are usually taken for granted — are focalised. My story takes place on a college campus in North America, and involves a pivotal conversation between a homosexual man and a heterosexual woman that draws attention to the different ways in which rape is visible or invisible depending on characters’ (and readers’) positioning in relation to hegemonic social norms.


rape culture; universities

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