COMMENT: Are we truly surprised by this promotion of rape culture?


In a year which saw the criminal actions of a convicted rapist appear to pale in significance to his prowess on the university swim team, it's no real surprise that a sports bar in Perth deemed it appropriate to advertise a New Year's Eve frat night with banners advising the public 'You teach her morals, We teach her oral."

In a year when a presidential candidate can admit he grabs women 'by the p*ssy' and still secure himself a place in the White House, it's hardly shocking that a random bar thought it was OK to assure the public that while their couches may pull out, they sure as hell don't.

I mean, it's just how we roll these days, right?

In a move which many found abhorrent and countless others saw as nothing more than locker room banter, Perth's Brass Monkey Hotel considered the promotion of rape culture a fitting indication of what the final night of 2016 may bring their patrons should they decide to cross the treshold.

Hanging banners from the building's exterior, staff perfectly illustrated that no matter how many cases of rape culture are brought to the public's attention day in and day out, there will always – always – be another one waiting just around the corner.

While the hotel's banners have, indeed, made global headlines today and the establishment in question has issued an apology, how many of us can say we're truly shocked by their initial actions?

Yes, we're outraged that they considered it an accurate representation of the night to come, we're sickened that they were apparently unable to see the implications of their words, and we're utterly appalled that they could use sexual violence against women as a method to promote their business, but are we truly shocked that yet another rape culture case has emerged?

Unfortunately, not.

Earlier this year, three studies were conducted among men in an effort to see how many were able to differentiate between 'jokes' featured in so-called lad's mags, and remarks made by convicted rapists.

And the answer? Well, it's worrying… but is it surprising?

The findings, published in the Psychology of Men and Masculinity, established that hundreds of those surveyed were unable to decide whether remarks normalising – and indeed condoning – the rape and sexual assault of women were actual testimony or fodder found in magazines aimed at men.

When a young man's swimming times appear to take precedence over a young woman's right to bodily autonomy, is a banner outside some backward pub Down Under going to leave us reeling?

When the future President of the United States of America can admit to sexual assault and still get voted in, will the actions of a few hotel staff thousands of miles away really leave us shellshocked?

And when Facebook users applaud the actions of the Brass Monkey Hotel by writing "I saw the signs and I laughed my ass off', are we really going to be scandalised when a similar case emerges next week?

Regrettably, no.

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