Instead of ‘Rape Culture,’ Try ‘Dick Culture’


Anyone who follows left-leaning pop-culture blogs has likely experienced "rape culture" fatigue. The well-meaning term is intended to link various cultural incidents (Rick Ross's blithe rape rap, Slate's victim-blaming) to the patriarchal norms that enable rapists (male and female) to get away with it. At the same time, conversations about "rape culture" can leave critics squabbling over song lyrics while disturbingly familiar rape cases continue to play out across the country. On Medium, Adult Magazine editor Sarah Nicole Prickett proposes an alternative. "No matter how many Americans are murdered every year ... we don’t talk of 'murder culture,'" Prickett writes. "We talk of 'gun culture.' Accordingly, when we talk about rape, we should rage not against 'rape culture' but against 'dick culture.'" By which she means:

The inordinate pride men feel in owning and wielding their dicks. The idiotic contests they hold to see whose dick is more powerful, can shoot off harder, go farther. The way both men and women will say “he was thinking with his dick.” The spasmodic reaction of a dick-bearing man when one suggests that, given the yearly number of dick-related injuries per capita, the use of his dick should be restricted. Every man with a dick believes he is a responsible dick-owner. Dicks don’t kill people, he says. You can’t take away our dicks. Yet there are always so many “accidents!” I am no handmaiden to the nanny state, but you have to admit: a ban on dicks seems like the most pragmatic solution.

I recommend reading the rest of Prickett’s wide-ranging essay, which includes personal narrative, media criticism, and an interview with Camille Paglia.