#RapeCultureIsWhen Trends on Twitter and Is An Amazing Discussion of Some Truly Awful Issues

I notice often that people get confused when I try to talk about rape culture, which actually is probably a symptom of rape culture in and of itself when you think about it. If you are one of those people who are still a little confused about what rape culture is, checking out the #RapeCultureIsWhen hashtag can probably provide you with more examples than you ever wanted to know existed. The hashtag, which was started by writer and political activist Zerlina Maxwell, is full of women (and men) providing everyday instances of rape culture, from sexist double standards to their own experiences surrounding sexual assault.*

The fact that we live in a rape culture really should not be up for debate. And yet, somehow, we see people disputing it over and over again, including recently when Zerlina Maxwell went on Fox News to make the apparently controversial argument that the best way to protect women from rape is to train men not to be rapists — and was met with not only ignorance from the pundits but rape and death threats from (often racist) viewers.

So clearly, our society has a lot of work to do. But with any luck, hashtags like #RapeCultureIsWhen will help raise awareness and slowly but surely bring change.

It all started with Zerlina Maxwell's first few tweets:

And soon more and more people were chiming in.

And, because this is the Internet, it didn't take long before the ignorant idiots of the world came out to play, too.

But most people were having none of the attempts to derail.

And the discussion continues, with people still posting today, over 24 hours after Maxwell's first tweet.

*Note: Out of respect for survivors' right to share their stories when, where, how and to whom they choose, our round-up does not include tweets detailing personal experiences with sexual assault. To see those (very powerful) tweets, we refer you to the hashtag itself.