'Culture' is used to indicate something being normalized. For example: "rape culture"

Is there a word/phrase or anything to describe the opposite of this? Is there a word/phrase that I can put after a word to indicate that it's frowned upon, forbidden, condemned, the opposite of 'culture'?

None of the results from my googling have a punch to them or sound just as good.

The best I can come up with is 'hysteria' - "rape hysteria"

  • "Crime"? As in "rape crime". That would appear to be the opposite of "culture", in the sense of "normal and approved practice".
    – Steve
    Apr 22, 2021 at 15:56
  • The opposite of culture? Unacceptable practices, acts or actions.
    – Lambie
    Apr 22, 2021 at 16:16
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    Labeling something an XYZ culture doesn’t mean it’s been normalised. It’s just a label for those behaviours etc. You can make value judgments either way about them. E.g.: XYZ culture is accepted here but condemned there.
    – Lawrence
    Apr 22, 2021 at 16:26
  • 1
    A cultural taboo is something a culture abhors, or claims to be shocked by. Apr 22, 2021 at 16:29
  • 1
    The opposite of "rape culture" would be "consent culture." Not everything has an antonym, especially when the would-be opposite is simply nothing, the non-existence of the thing. In this case, though, I agree with what @BhaavyaArora said. If you didn't want to say "consent culture" as the opposite, you'd say "rape taboo" instead (e.g., "The university has a long-established rape culture." vs. "The university has a long-established rape taboo."). One would hope rape being taboo would be the norm, but we're finding out more and more that all too often, it's not. Apr 23, 2021 at 6:28

2 Answers 2


Words like "culture" don't have antonyms.

Given that "rape culture" is a culture in which rape is considered normal or acceptable, the opposite would be "anti-rape culture".


Culture is defined on the Wikipedia to include this concept (emphasis added): “Humans acquire culture through the learning processes of enculturation and socialization, which is shown by the diversity of cultures across societies.”


An “antonym” to culture could be constructed from the idea of “unlearning”, which could be forgetting or rejection in favor of something else. To get something with punch, however, it’s best to look to politics and political messaging.

A war culture is opposed by war resisters, or more generally by a war resistance or anti-war resistance.

The problem with this approach is that the resisters end up identifying themselves by the opposite of what they seek to promote. The stronger opponent to a war culture is not an anti-war movement, but a peace movement.

So although rape resistance can use resistance to signify a kind of anti-culture, a better expression might be sexual autonomy.

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