“Rape is part of our culture. It’s normalized to the point where men who are otherwise decent guys will rape and not even think that it’s wrong. And that’s what terrifies me.” —Jessica Valenti, describing the theory of rape culture
"These are clearly not individuals who are simply in need of a little extra education about proper communication with the opposite sex. These are predators." —David Lisak, co-author of Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected RapistsIn Meet The Predators, Thomas tries to merge predator theory with rape culture theory by advising, "We need to revoke the rapists’ social license to operate." But where is this social license? People who are not rapists know that "no means no"—and so do rapists. That's why they lie about their rapes. The ones who get people too drunk to resist don't talk about getting people drunk; they talk about getting drunk and having wild consensual sex.
Let me stress this: There is no social license to rape. I've lived in many parts of the US and have had friends from many social classes. Not one has indicated that they believe in a social license to rape. Statistics strongly suggest that some of the people I've known have raped someone at least once in their lives—but not one has ever suggested they've been involved in nonconsensual sex.
Now, I'm in many ways anomalous, so perhaps I'm anomalous here, too.
But our society's take on rape is clear: No means no.
Valenti, without evidence, says the solution to rape is to change our culture. Lisak, with a great deal of evidence, says the solution is to aggressively prosecute rapists.
I'm with Lisak.
• This post is a followup to seven problems with "rape culture" theory.
ETA: There's been a little discussion about this on G+. To stress a point: Predators know how to act to hide the fact that they're knowingly raping people. Teaching them about "rape culture" would only change their buzz words.