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Women's group speaks out against "rapeface" Internet meme

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – When did an awkward smile come to be known as a “rapeface?”

The Canadian Women’s Foundation is speaking out against an Internet meme that has been making the rounds.

You may have seen photos on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms with the hashtag #rapeface.

Sandra Diaz with the Foundation noticed her 12-year-old son and his friends using it and was appalled. “He and his buddies initially thought that it was hysterical and didn’t see what the big deal was.”

“They said, ‘It’s just a word; it actually doesn’t have anything to do with rape and nobody’s intending to rape someone by using the word.'”

Diaz worries it contributes to what she calls our rape culture, “where words and jokes and music and TV and advertising are very prevalent in our language and in our country so that people believe that rape is a laughing matter and it begins to trivialize and desensitize.”

She says parents should warn their children that their words do have consequences.

She also points out “rapeface” first surfaced in 2008 to label the expression on the face of a man before he is about to rape a woman.