How does the prevalence of rape myths affect society and our appreciation of art? Why is statutory rape—sex with a partner who is not of the age of consent—viewed differently than other kinds of sexual assault? And what does it say when society champions the work of an artist whose personal deeds most would condemn when confronted with them?
Annmarie van Altena is a sociologist who teaches at Loyola University Chicago and specializes in issues of gender, work, media, consumption, and subcultures. A former riot grrrl, she also volunteers with Rape Victim Advocates.
Here are some of the highlights of van Altena’s interview:
"That he was acquitted we seem to believe means that he was innocent… Only three percent of rapes actually result in a prison sentence."
"It’s a responsibility of us as a society to know the truth, and if people are being victimized, it’s up to us to raise that awareness."
"Music is an extension of a lot of our core beliefs, really, and it reflects our culture and how we think... Music is never just music."
"As far as the artist goes, everybody is human.
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