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Rape culture, rape jokes, “make me a sandwich” jokes, calling men ‘girly’ to be meant as an insult, labeling women who choose to explore their sexuality as ‘sluts’ – THAT is all rape culture.

And it should be acknowledged, and changed. We all need to wake up.

I often get asked what the phrase “rape culture” means. And while, honestly, the answer is no further away than wikipedia, it’s sometimes easier to grasp a concept by observing it in the wild.

Ben Roethlisberger is the Super-Bowl-winning QB of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Last summer he was in Lake Tahoe for a celebrity golf tournament. While there, he flirted up a female host at Harrahs, the casino hotel where he was staying. Whether or not she voluntarlily flirted with him is unknowable – as a rich, high profile celebrity, he knew that it was her job to flirt with him, and so did she. That’s rape culture. When men make choices about what women do with their sexuality, that strengthens the idea that men can control women’s bodies.

The following night, he called her to say his TV wasn’t working – would she come take a look? She…

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