In a community where we are not only restricted by ethics and social norms, but sometimes by religion as well, we are still extremely ignorant towards rape culture and its outcomes and influence on the Muslim youth.
Being exposed to rape culture has been overly normalized by the Muslim community due to the cavalier attitudes of people towards the matter. The blame is often placed on the female simply because slut-shaming the victim is the shorter way to avoid the whole embarrassment of the topic.
Gender objectification in a conservative society that cherry picks from religious texts, defining what is suitable for its enclosed mentality towards sexuality and gender makes it even harder to deal with the problem in a direct and rational way.
False consciousness is what drives some in the Muslim community to neglect the problem, under the pretext of protecting girls by teaching them – since childhood – how to close their legs, how to dress, how to speak in a low voice, and how to not attract attention from the other gender, because that would bring them shame and embarrassment.
On the other hand, we don’t teach the male population that whatever the female is wearing, or however she is talking is not an invitation for anyone to invade her personal space by any kind of sexual harassment. This false consciousness makes it blurry for people to take into consideration the gravity of certain acts that are related to rape culture besides rape itself; meaning that some of Muslim society gives so much importance to the act of rape, and not so much to catcalling, sexual abuse from husbands, and all the sexual harassment women deal with on a daily basis. The denial of this widespread issue, and the refusal to acknowledge the harms of rape culture on the physical and mental aspects of the victim, has made the whole situation even more complex, and disastrous.
Acknowledging rape culture is a duty for both genders, and misinterpreting religious texts in order to justify blaming the victim is the wrong way to deal with this issue. As a community, we should understand that the matter falls on the shoulders of every person who is concerned with making a positive change, especially when it comes to the safety and prosperity of the community.