You Want to Fight Rape Culture? Great. Teach Chastity.

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To say our culture is sex-saturated is the understatement of the century.

By Jennifer Hartline, a Senior Contributor to The Stream, Oct. 23, 2017

The massive numbers of women saying “Me too” is heartbreaking.

Jennifer HartlineTo say our culture is sex-saturated is the understatement of the century. Sex is used to advertise everything from detergents to cars to cheeseburgers to toilet paper. Almost every magazine in the grocery store checkout lanes features barely-clad women with a pouty, come-hither look, and headlines about how to have the most mind-blowing orgasm ever. Teen Vogue is selling sodomy to our daughters as a “safe” way to have great sex.

Popular music today blasts sexually-explicit, vulgar lyrics set to a mind-numbing thumping of bass and synthesizer. A movie without nude sex scenes, or nowadays a homosexual sex scene, would be downright puritanical. Instead, bestsellers glorify and celebrate sexual violence and manipulation. Look at Fifty Shades of Grey.

The rates of sexually-transmitted diseases are exploding. The culture’s answer? “Here’s a condom, kid. Be safe out there.”

Contraception must be free, and distributed like candy. When the contraception fails, abortion must be free and on demand.

Drag queens in full getup are reading stories to 5-year-olds at the public library. Perverted sexuality in live, technicolor, frightening display is now considered appropriate for kindergarteners.

Pornography is the most destructive epidemic in human history. Most sickening of all is the pervasiveness of child porn. Porn more than anything illustrates how truly depraved and wretched our culture has become.

What ought to be the beautiful intimate union of a man and a woman as husband and wife is treated as it were nothing more than two animals grunting and groaning. We are suffering, in our minds, bodies, and families all the pernicious effects of our sexual immorality — even those of us who try to keep ourselves unstained by the world as St. James tells us.

We are all reaping the terrible crop our culture has sown. Anyone who dares point out the debauchery will be viciously mocked and heaped with scorn for being judgmental and uptight.

That’s the culture that helps explain why so many women say “Me, too.” Yes, some men have abused women since the beginning. But a culture that treats sex as a right and a leisure-time activity is going to have the exploding rates of rape, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse we’ve seen. That’s the rape culture.

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Virtues Require Cultivation

In this corrupted environment, people tell men to denounce “rape culture.” They demand that all men list the tangible things they commit to doing in order to end sexual violence. But tell me, how is a boy who:

  • grows up without a father, or grows up with a small parade of boyfriends in and out of Mom’s life;

  • has marinated for years in sexually-explicit “entertainment”;

  • has never been told he is capable of saying no to his groin-area urges;

  • sees virginity mocked, while “getting laid” is not only a badge of honor but a part of normal life;

  • has never heard the word “chastity” or seen restraint shown as heroic;

  • listens to “music” that routinely calls girls “bitch” and “ho” and sees the males who produce this garbage rewarded with fame and fortune,

Please tell me, how is this boy supposed to have the slightest idea how to treat a woman with respect and dignity, or even why he should? Especially that he’s now an adult male?

Further, how is he supposed to have a clue what it actually means to be a real man?

Do you actually expect him to know it’s harassment to make crude jokes about a woman’s body to her face, or with his buddies? You think he ought to know that it’s wrong for him to grab her breasts, or grope her uninvited?

You honestly expect him to be a gentleman? You think he should just understand that his crass comments, and use of manipulation or outright force to get what he wants is unacceptable?

From where, from whom was he supposed to have learned this?

You want men to reject the rape culture? Great. So do I. It’s not enough to simply put the onus on men to solve this. Men are not guilty simply for being male. It’s the whole of our sex-saturated, depraved culture that needs purifying.

Let’s start with chastity education rather than sex education. Make the sexual act the marital act again, as it ought to be. Do everything you can to teach and model virtue again. Restraint, chastity, respect, and honor are virtuous behaviors that don’t materialize from nothing. Virtues require cultivation and careful tending. That means a moral and societal code of behavior that reinforces, not contradicts virtuous living.

Is that really so hard to understand?


Jennifer Hartline is a Senior Contributor to The Stream. She is a proud Army wife and mother of four children. She writes passionately on the issues of Life, faith, family and culture, and has been published extensively at Catholic Online and at Catholic Stand. She is currently pursuing a degree in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. She runs on dark chocolate and peppermint mochas.