RAP(E) CULTURE: An Analysis of Eminem's Role in the Cycle of Rape Culture in the United States

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Arts and Humanities | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | History | Music


Martha Tomhave Blauvelt, History


The issue of sexual violence is one that has plagued society in the United States for centuries. The prevalence of sexual violence today is in part due to the "rape culture" that is present in our society. The presence of a "rape culture" has allowed for attitudes and imagery supporting physical violence, sexual violence, gender inequality and misogyny to become mainstreamed and accepted. In order to understand the "rape culture" phenomena, this project examined the antifeminist backlash of the '70s and '80s, explored the role of media in socialization utilizing Social Learning Theory, and analyzed the lyrical imagery of popular rap artist Eminem. The prevalence of "rape culture" in the United States was found to allow for the popularity of these images, particularly in popular culture and the media. These same images reinforce the same ideals and attitudes encompassed in a "rape culture" through their role in desensitizing individuals to and normalizing the acts of sexual violence. Until this cycle is broken, therefore, the presence of a "rape culture" in the United States will persist.