The fabric holding this nation together wears away with each passing second. What used to be the thread of principle is now replaced by consumption and consumerism.
Such claims are not foreign to Dr. Kumi Silva, Assistant Professor of Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill. These statements were the topics of UNC’s roundtable discussion, (How) Can We Talk About Rape?. Silva argued that consumerism and consumption allow society to thrive on a relative culture. Relativity hinders our ability to recognize the current state of rape discourse – which says that strides have been made, but fails to recognize that there are more to be made. Women and their sexual autonomy have progressed; yet, language and actions continue to reinstall their marginality in today’s media. Silva presented several advertisements from the last decade to illustrate her point. Each of these advertisements serves as a reminder that sexual violence is as prevalent in today’s media as it has been in the past and that these depictions are casually accepted as much today as they were back then.
So, how is this possible? Dr. Barbara Friedman, Associate Professor at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, suggests the news plays a large role in sustaining the relative culture.