Field of Science

Rape Culture and Parenting

Enough with the rape threats already.

As the father of a pre-teen I have concerns about the internet and online trolling/cyber-bullying. Well those birds have finally come home to roost. Today I get a report from the school that in an online chat room (associated with an extracurricular activity my kid is involved in) the following chat was sent to my son:
fuck you racist bitch you rape your fucken mom.
There were associated smileys, which I omitted. Unfortunately I first had to deal with my son's responses to CatiousHair and had to discuss online etiquette. This was not the first time, some of these issues (of online etiquette) have come up, but now I had tangible data to use. After that was dealt with and several hours and dinner had passed, we were able to once again discuss the chat room discussion from the standpoint of rape. Because there's nothing I wanted to do more than talk about rape, what rape is, what it means, how rape affects people, the commonality of 'rape' in online trolling. We got to talk about what it means to be in a community, how hard it is to avoid the online rape culture, how easy it is to exclude entire swarths of humanity based on your behavior.


Not an easy discussion when the protagonist is prepubescent and knows about the parts and how they are supposed to work, but little else. But we had the discussion. Sadly, I know we will have to have this discussion many more times over the next few years. Thanks humans and while you're at it, fuck off.