Silence Feeds Rape Culture

Award-winning slam poet Guante talks about how the things we don’t say are the things we should have said.

This poem makes me think of one sentence, one I’ve heard and spoken more times than I can count.

“I don’t want to cause drama.”

It’s true, I don’t. Most of us don’t. But sometimes I wonder how much rape, how much bad behavior, how much evil has been casually empowered by that sentence. It can mean a lot of things, but one of the things it frequently means is “I know something is wrong, but I’m not going to speak up about it.”

The problem is that we’ve come to use “drama” to mean “people being upset.” That’s the trap we fall into, because yes, it is often a good idea to avoid people being upset. But sometimes being upset is appropriate. Sometimes being upset is the right reaction. Sometimes being upset prevents a bad thing from happening.

That’s what Guante’s talking about when he talks about silence. He’s talking about all the times we just decide not to talk about it, all the times we successfully avoid causing drama.

About Noah Brand

Noah Brand is a writer and editor, and quite possibly also a cartoon character from the 1930s. His life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. He is usually found in Portland, Oregon, directly underneath a very nice hat.


  1. Len Firewood says:

    All my life I have resisted the current to be a “good sheep” so I guess I should like this video. I don’t however because:
    1 There is no such thing as rape culture in the West.
    2 There are many other issues where it is important to speak up and stand your ground to single just one out seems overtly political.
    I try to stay in touch with my sense of humanity and that is where I get “real” from. Women need to do this as much as men.
    Rape is one of the most despised crimes not only legally but also socially as we can see from those lives ruined by mere allegations alone.
    “Rape culture” is a myth promoted by gender\radical feminists in an attempt to keep alive the false paradigm of radical feminism’s “women = victim, men = perpetrator” lie.

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