Romina Murguia Covarrubias
4 June 2019
How News Impacts Rape Culture vs. How Social Media Impacts Rape Culture: An Outline
A. A brief summary of what rape culture is:
How rape culture came to be a normal dynamic in society. And how it is seen and
discussed in the news and social media. Plus the differences and impacts that
come with those said main ideas.
B. A brief discussion of what creates rape culture in society:
News media and press tend to sympathize with accused rapist, choosing to say
things like, “he had such a bright future ahead of him, such a shame.” While
social media points fingers to the victim and blames them for the action, claiming
it was the victim’s fault.
C. Thesis Statement:
In many instances, social media has had a impact on rape culture in terms of
empowering victims and survivors, whereas, news media tend to isolate victims
and promote sympathy for the accused perpetrators.
II. Body Paragraphs
A. The academic source speaking on women experiencing more sexual harrassment online
1. Women are more seeked online by men sexually than the other way around. They
are seeked as much online as in person. It is no accident that this ends up going
further than just online. Expand more…
2. Social media can either be a place of comfort to survivors. Or it can be a place
where perpetrators look for their next victim. Whether women do or do not get
seeked out online has nothing to do with them, it has to do with the men.
B. One of the #MeToo sources showing social media’s good side
1. #MeToo is a hashtag that was created to support as a community rape and sexual
assault survivors. For those that wanted to create hate and victim blame, there
would be an army of supporters ready to backup the survivor in warding them
away. It has been a way that other quiet survivors are able to share their stories for
the first time and feel supported and validated.
2. The hashtag had only resurfaced recently after all these celebrities were coming
out with their silenced stories from over the years. It has helped millions of
victims/survivors to know that they are not alone. Because even though news
media and the rest of the world may not believe them, the small community on
their social media platforms do.
C. News media is complicit in spreading and normalizing rape culture.
1. News media tends to have sympathy for the “accused” rapists. The simple word
choice of “accused” already gives the audience a sense that the reporter doesn’t
believe the claims against the perpetrators etc. Which then makes the audience
come to the conclusion that the victim is lying or that it’s her fault for ruining the
2. The conversation around whether news reporters should talk about people that
have had a experience with rape should be called either victims or survivors. The
word victim sounds negative, while survivor sounds more positive. Every little
word choice matters, especially when one is on the world stage talking about an
issue that many people have a lot of different feelings about.
D. There is also room to talk about real rape vs myth rapes that influence rapeculture.
1. Rape myths are where if women’s stories don’t consistent of what society thinks
rape looks like, then their story isn’t true. This has stopped so many women from
coming out of the shadows and telling their stories and “accusing” their
2. It sometimes even goes as far as to negatively impact court cases where the
jury/judge are uneducated on rape myths and the reality of real and that causes
them to give a lesser sentence for example. Rape myths also give more room for
victim-blaming to happen on social media
E. Talk about how where there is more rapeculture in local news coverage, there’s more rape.
1. Studies recently done have shown that more rapes tend to happen where there is
local news that do cover rape but sympathize a lot with the accused perpetrator.
Meaning that it won’t be taken as seriously by police to really do their best work.
2. With that being said, there would be more rapes because rapists will then feel that
the system is “protecting” them in more ways than one. They’ll probably get a
lesser sentence, or patrol, and they’ll get sympathy from news which influences a
lot of people into thinking a certain way.
1. Speak on making recommendations to make news media better when talking
about rape. Restate and make clear that social media is more on the right than
news media is. Only because social media is more community based and
interactive, while news media is more one-sided and isolated. Rapeculture is
something that is human-made, therefore, it can be deconstructed by humans.
Rape culture is a societal construct that is built to breakdown rape victims and uplift their
perpetrators. There are a lot of factors that go into rapeculture but here is the bottomline: It is
when victims are not believed or validated when sharing their stories, or are being blamed
because it’s believed they’ve brought those actions upon themselves, among a few to name.
These points have been actively influenced and have been added onto by popular social media
platforms and news media outlets. In different ways, both have impacted societies views and
attitudes towards rape negatively or positively. In many instances, social media has had a
positive impact on rape culture in terms of empowering victims and survivors. Whereas, news
media has had a negative impact on rape culture because it tends to isolate victims and promote
sympathy for the accused perpetrators. Victim-blaming, perpetrator sympathy, and rape myths
and how they impact and are impacted by news and social media are more of what will be
uncovered more here. Overall, social media is better at resisting the normalization of rapeculture,
while news media is better at inflicting rapeculture onto society. There are methods to handle and
fix this madness but first, one must assess the damage that’s been done.
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