I want to talk about rape culture. Not only do I want to talk about it, but I want everyone to talk about it. When I was 18 a guy tried to but his hand up my skirt at a party. When I said no his response was “why do you look so hot then?”. This guy was a friend, someone who would be labelled a ‘nice guy’ by everyone who knows him. He probably didn’t even see the issue in what he said. Recently I was listening to one of my favourite singers while out on a run and a song started playing that I hadn’t heard before. “You said you only had time for one drink, But that dress that you're wearing says a whole 'nother thing”, “And tell me how am I supposed to keep my hands to myself… when you look like that?”. The similarities between what he was singing and what had been whispered in my ear 4 years ago stopped me in my tracks. And there are so many other songs like this, so many songs in which the way a woman looks, what she’s wearing or her behaviour are taken to be portraying her consent. When the only exposure to sex for young people is porn, films, songs and exaggerated stories told by their peers, of course we’re going to pick up what we see and hear. Of course we’re going to echo what the attractive guys on Netflix and Spotify say, of course we’re going to mimic the pretty, sexual objects that women are depicted as. If we’re not enjoying something there must be something wrong with us, cause the woman in that video on Pornhub seemed to love being choked so why am I not enjoying it with this guy who never asked me if he could? When sexual violence is presented as so normal in so many different media forms we have to acknowledge that this is not okay. Talk about it with your friends. Talk about what rape culture is, what the misconceptions are. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, educate yourself. If you’re comfortable, talk to your friends about what in your opinion constitutes good sex, what constitutes bad. Because when the most we’ve been taught about sex is to look for that yes, we desperately need to open that conversation up much wider.