Reading List: The Reality of Rape Culture

Emily Perper is a word-writing human working at a small publishing company. She blogs about her favorite longreads at Diet Coker.

As long as society in general and the American legal system in particular continue to perpetuate rape culture, cases like the horrific events in Maryville will keep happening. Educate yourselves.

1. “Nightmare in Maryville: Teens’ Sexual Encounter Ignites a Firestorm Against Family.” (Dugan Arnett, Kansas City Star, October 2013)

A well-written, well-researched primer on the events surrounding Daisy Coleman’s rape, how the charges against her attacker were dropped, and the environment in which the Coleman family found themselves after the attack. Their house was burned down, for one thing. Mrs. Coleman lost her job. Daisy tried to commit suicide twice. Her brothers were subjected to abuse from other students. The horrific usual.

2. “I’m Daisy Coleman, The Teenager at the Center of the Maryville Rape Media Storm, and This is What Really Happened.” (Daisy Coleman, xoJane, October 2013)

Daisy Coleman is a hero. She’s only 14 years old. She allows her name to be used in media accounts of her rape, even though she is a minor. She came forward with her story in xoJane. The comments have been shut down.

3. “Rape Myths.” (Beverly Donofrio, Slate, July 2013)

Another evil facet of rape culture is that is encourages us to make assumptions about rape culture and its victims. Here, Donofrio opens up; she was raped at 55 years old. She exposes the double standard inherent in the way we blame victims, rather than perpetrators.

4. “He Would Say ‘I Cried Rape’: False Allegations and Rape Culture.” (Defeating the Dragons, July 2013)

“… we live in a world where false allegations are the dominant narrative. Because false allegations are a nearly-universal part of any conversation about rape, when a woman says that she is a rape survivor, one of the first things that becomes a part of that conversation is suspicion, cynicism, and dismissal.”

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Photo: David Eulitt/Kansas City Star

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