How To Do Rape Awareness Right

**Trigger warning for survivors of rape and sexual abuse.**

Reader Petticoat Philosopher just sent me a rape awareness ad aimed at teenagers. It’s an excellent example of what rape awareness campaigns should focus on, rather than on things like how women dress.

Petticoat Philosopher shared her thoughts as follows:

There isn’t anything about this that isn’t perfect. Why can’t we have campaigns like this!? I love it because, for one thing, it’s targeted about people who might rape not people who might be raped. And the victim violates every “legitimate rape” rule: She’s at a party, drinking. She willingly goes upstairs with him. She willingly kisses him–they may be involved or have had sex before. She breaks ALL the rules and it still says “this is rape.” And it also doesn’t represent the rapist as this drooling sociopathic monster. This is just a regular guy.

I would make one additional point. The idea that men are supposed to pursue and women are supposed to be pursued continues to permeate our culture today. It can be too easy for a guy to end up thinking that a girl’s “no” actually just means “try harder” or “convince me.” This game we play doesn’t foster either good communication or respect, and it’s one more thing, in my reading at least, that this ad seeks to address.

Talking to Our Sons---and Daughters---about Rape
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The Lesson of the 2013 MTV VMAs: Being Sexual While Female Is Worse Than Being Rapey or Racist
The Real Victims of Sexual Assault in the Military ... Men's Careers?!?
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • lucrezaborgia

    Wow…really powerful advert.

  • JennyE

    This is pretty close to what happened to me (minus the party downstairs). Though difficult to watch, I found it empowering to see this situation clearly labeled as “rape” and have the message aimed at the rapist, not the girl. Because of the prevalence of the “you shouldn’t put yourself in a bad situation” type of rhetoric, I didn’t even know how to classify what had happened to me for months afterward, let alone report it or get counseling about it. This needs to be all over CW and ABC Family and NickTeen. I wish I could have shown this at the rural high school where I used to teach, but I’m pretty sure parents would have thrown fits.

  • Danielle

    JennyE. Totally agree. I had the same experience – not knowing for months that that is what had happened to me.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Heh. Ditto on the not being able to name the experience for months, Danielle and JennyE. A lot of elements of this scenario are very similar to what happened to me too, especially her reaction–she’s not screaming and struggling (another “legitimate rape” rule that she’s breaking). She looks more stunned–how can this be happening? To ME? With HIM? Who I trusted enough to be intimate with?” It’s hard for your mind to switch gears that quickly from “I am with someone I like and trust and am having a good time” to “I am with someone who is hurting me and I need to protect myself now!,” especially when it is the SAME SOMEONE from one moment to the next. So I’d imagine the response for a lot of women who experience acquaintance/partner rape is to just be stunned, to let it happen, to check out, shut down, whatever. And this is what I did. It’s just too much to ask of your brain, too much to process in a moment and that makes perfect sense in hindsight. But it’s not a reaction I could have imagined before it happened, which is why I think it took me so long to finally get to “I said “no.” He didn’t listen. It was rape.” For months, I still struggled with “Well, it’s not like I fought it, really.” I was a full-fledged feminist at the time this all happened and I never would have imagined that I would struggle with these kinds of retrograde thoughts after experiencing rape. But I did. We grow up in the same culture as everyone else after all, and who wants to think of someone they once liked and/or trusted as a rapist? Everything in you–at least everything in me–fought that knowledge. I’m glad other women are seeing themselves and their own experiences in this PSA too and are feeling empowered by it. Thank you, Libby, for helping it to reach more people.

      • ScottInOH

        Thank you for sharing the video, Petticoat Philosopher. Your description of how stunned you were is also very powerful, and I’m grateful that you posted it. I think it’s common for the brain to overload in an unexpected situation, and the more people think about it ahead of time (men as well as women), the better they’ll be able to recognize it and react to it when it happens.

      • Bix

        Freezing and disassociating is a very common defensive response to assault. Being assaulted is a huge psychological shock, and even people with extensive self-defense training frequently freeze. Unfortunately, most people are still stuck thinking that it’s either fight or flight, and that leads to a lot of victim blaming, and a lot of self-blaming, too.

  • Christine

    Are you familiar with the concept of “enthusiastic consent”? I love it. It’s basically an attempt to create a culture where people are actually honest about what they do and don’t want sexually, and to ensure that yes actually means yes and no really does mean no. Because it’s a lot easier to get that message out if we can get rid of the idea that men should pursue and women should reluctantly acquiesce.

    • Jayn

      I’ve heard it said that we’re at the point of moving past ‘no means no’ to ‘yes means yes’, and I think that’s something we need to think about in all areas of our lives. Some people take the absence of a no to mean yes, while others take the absence of a yes to mean no, when things perhaps aren’t clear. I tend to prefer the latter approach because if I have a definite ‘yes’, then I know I’m not overstepping a boundary somewhere.

      • Azura

        In Canadian law, it’s a “yes means yes, and if she doesn’t say yes it’s a no” type situation. I obviously don’t think we avoid rape culture, but it’s a great step forward that the law focuses on the possession of yes, not the absence of no.

      • Christine

        Azura, unless, of course, your case ends up with the judge who feels that the perpetrator could reasonably assume that the clothes you were wearing & you having been out at the club, and agreeing to leave with him, meant that you were obviously agreeing to sex. (I assume that the Crown appealed, but I can’t remember enough Google-able details to find anything on this. It may have been in Manitoba?)

      • Christine

        @Azura: Unless, of course, your case ends up with the judge who feels that the perpetrator could reasonably assume that the clothes you were wearing & you having been out at the club, and agreeing to leave with him, meant that you were obviously agreeing to sex. (I assume that the Crown appealed, but I can’t remember enough Google-able details to find anything on this. It may have been in Manitoba?)

      • Judy L.

        The idea of teaching boys and men that they should wait for a YES rather than waiting for a NO is definitely the right way to go.

    • Julian

      Just to add a point of information regarding the idea of enthusiastic consent– I’ve heard a number of people who identify as asexual raise the point that some of them are able under certain circumstances to consent willingly, but not necessarily *enthusiastically*, to sex and that therefore they and their partners are ambivalent about promoting the concept as an absolute. That’s not to deny its usefulness in any way, but rather to make the point that as appealing as it is to try to find straightforward and universally applicable approaches to establishing consensual sex, the very fact of the diverse and complex nature of sexuality can make that significantly difficult to accomplish.

      • Noadi

        I think that’s a problem of how do you define “enthusiastic”. My idea of the concept is that it is willingly given consent versus consent obtained via pressure, coercion, or use of substances to lower resistance. Enthusiastic may not be the best choice of word since people often assume it to mean someone is excited to and turned on to have sex while it’s possible to willingly consent for reasons that don’t include being turned on.

      • Julian

        Yes, the objection I’ve heard is specifically to the use of the word “enthusiastic” with all it implies. The underlying imperative of consent is always there, but the ways people express that consent necessarily vary, so the idea that consent must be enthusiastic in order to be real makes some folks uncomfortable.

        Although as far as I can see, if someone says Yes with less than full enthusiasm and it requires a little extra communication between partners to establish that consent has indeed been given, that doesn’t really seem like a bad thing!

      • Christine

        I had also seen “enthusiastic” as the choice to counter the idea that women are “supposed” to be shy & reluctant. You can very enthusiastically be willing to do something that you’re only lukewarm about, because you value the outcome.

      • lucrezaborgia

        It’s still way better than “no means no” and is easy to describe to and impart upon youth. There will never be a perfect solution. At the same time, this is a much needed step up.

  • Caramello

    This ad is amazing. By aiming at the rapist not the victim it exposes the victim-blaming culture like nothing else I’ve seen yet. To focus on women’s personal safety is like saying “Try not to drive around Christmas, because other drivers may be drunk”, instead of “Don’t drink and drive” – but although I’m a feminist I’ve only just seen how crazy that is. I imagine and hope it will prompt some thinking and mark a long overdue change in social attitudes. I love the yes means yes idea too!

  • luckyducky

    I thought these ads were great and I think they present a more complete portrayal rape and (some of) those who commit it. I was recently involved in a discussion with someone and they were insisting on condemning all people who commit rape as evil monsters (my hyperbole, not her’s) and those who were trying to argue for more nuance were rape apologists.

    The point I was trying to make it that it doesn’t matter why a rape took place (he is an evil manipulative monster or he bought into a certain cultural script in which he did something he and others wouldn’t necessarily have thought him capable of or whatever, really), if there was no consent, it was rape. (I will use “he” below because most rapists are male. Not all rapists are male and not all victims are female, it is just shorthand).

    However, if we are going to assert that the reason that rape happens is because rapists rape people and we are interested in reducing the incidence of rape, it would help to know why. And, once you start examining why, particularly when you get into “gray” situations (I am not arguing that there is much “gray” about rape — no consent, no sex), it becomes a little more difficult to honestly paint all rapists as irredeemable sociopathic predators.

    I don’t say that to excuse them in the least or make any claim that what they did and the effect they had on their victims is any less than what it would be otherwise. I am making a sort of “banality of evil” argument. We all have a certain capacity to harm others in us (some have greater capacity than others) and we keep that in check by developing empathy.

    Yes, some rapists, particularly those who commit most rapes (most rapes are committed by a few repeat offenders), are sociopathic predators. However, if we manage to be successful at expanding the commonly understood definition of “rape” as sexual acts that occur without the express consent of both parties, we may find that that equation changes: that there are a lot more one-time rapists out there who did it, regret it, and never would again. What do we do about that?

    Also, is that going to be a barrier to expanding the understanding (and hopefully decrease the actual incidence of rape)? As the thinking may go: if that is rape then Jimmy is a rapist and all rapists are sociopathic predators. Jimmy is not a sociopathic predator so he cannot be a rapists so that is not rape. I think it is also limiting in terms of our ability to prevent rape — if rapists are sociopathic predators, that they are that before they rape and because we cannot identify and prevent them from moving in society, it is highly unlikely that we would be about to prevent him from eventually raping someone…

    This is a little bit of a sidetrack (sorry!) but that was one of the things that I found most disturbing when I was first introduced to fundy/evangelicalism at 12 (grew up Catholic) when we moved to the Bible Belt– it was this portrayal of evil as wholly outside and separate from us with the literal personification being Satan. I remember going to a bible study as a teen with a boy I was dating* and then going home to my mom and saying that they are so consumed with the idea that Satan is going to do some evil in their lives that they are not taking into account that they themselves are pretty capable of doing it without his help.

    I really think that capacity is born primarily out of forgetting/ignoring the humanness of others, also known as a lack of empathy. That can been an inherent personality trait (sociopathy), learned, or something we haven’t unlearned (yet). And this is relevant to the rape ad because it show a young guy to either learned to ignore or hasn’t learned to pay attention yet — probably heavily influenced by a culture and peer pressure — to the humanness of the young woman he’s with. But that can be addressed as a matter of prevention and, possibly, afterward.

    *The bible study “date” was a one time thing – I had a bad reputation for being Catholic and a feminist. I was so well behaved, did well in school, was in all sorts of extra-curriculars but I was not a girl parents wanted their sons dating… The bible study venture was an effort to demonstrate I was not that threatening. It was not successful except at demonstrating I really didn’t even want to be dating their sons.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      I’m with you completely, luckyducky. That’s why I so appreciated that this PSA portrays the rapist as just a “regular guy.” I think a lot of people think they are doing the right thing by loudly shouting about how awful rape is and how ANYONE that could commit such an act is a monster. But like you say, thinking about it that way gives people a comfortable psychological distance from both rapists and from their own capacities for harm and even the ways in which aspects of their own behavior and beliefs might promote rape culture. The truth is far more difficult to process–rapists are NOT monsters. You can’t pick them out easily by their horns and tails. You might know a rapist. You might LIKE a rapist. And you won’t necessarily know it. Plus, as you say, it results in suspicion being cast on rape victims when they speak up. “Well, THAT guy’s not a monster. So there must be some other explanation. I’m not saying she’s LYING, necessarily, but, you know, maybe there was some misunderstanding blah blah blah…”

      The thing I find most innovative about this PSA is that not only does it depict the rapist as a regular guy but with it’s “if you could see yourself” message it also appeals to the good in men. It’s saying “Look, guys. You know right from wrong and you know this is wrong. So don’t do hurt someone in a way that you can never take back or change, don’t do something that will torture your conscience forever because WE KNOW YOU HAVE A CONSCIENCE. And we know you have the ability to think past whatever assumptions or feelings of entitlement you have that could make you think for a minute that this is okay. Because you have those too. But you have the power to think differently. Do not be this guy.”

      And, sure, some rapists really don’t know right from wrong. Some really don’t have empathy and really don’t care about hurting other people. But a lot do. And more importantly, a lot of men who might potentially commit rape but haven’t yet do. If they got messages like this more often, maybe they’d be more likely to think harder when they’re in situations like this and rise to their better selves.

      • Basketcase

        ” It’s saying “Look, guys. You know right from wrong and you know this is wrong. So don’t do hurt someone in a way that you can never take back or change”
        This was totally the take-home message I got from the video.
        Along with feeling bad for the girl, I felt bad for the “good side” of the bloke, caught behind the glass, trying to get his drunk/horny self to stop.
        I definitely think more people should see this video.

      • Bix

        I think this is a tricky subject to talk about–and I’m guessing we’re alluding, in part, to the recent blow-up over the Good Men Project. I’m glad that people are emphasizing that “regular guys” commit rape, not just sociopathic strangers in bushes. And I’m also glad that the ad makes an appeal to conscience, because I think that’s a good way to contribute to the narrative that rape is an intentional decision made by the rapist, not an accident that just happens, and holds rapists accountable for committing rape. And luckducky, you make a good point about portraying rapists as sociopaths as a method of distancing ourselves from our own capacity to do violence.

        But here’s the thing: you don’t have to be a conscienceless monster to be manipulative or narcissistic, and even saying, “Oh, but I didn’t realize it was rape and I’m so devastated about it” can be an example of manipulation and narcissism. Someone might be a “regular guy” but that doesn’t make them a good person who made an honest mistake, and I think talking about rape in those terms is a dangerous road to travel. I think rape is a tough subject to study, but recent research (Lisak, in particular) suggests that only a very small percentage of the population commits rape, most rapists are repeat offenders who either realize they’re committing rape, or provide lots of justifications for why they’re a good guy and it wasn’t really rape, and that most rapists actively seek out victims and create opportunities to commit rape.

        I guess I’m trying to say that there’s a difference between recognizing that rapists aren’t always unmitigated evil monsters, and extending empathy to people who commit rape. Because I would guess that they usually know that’s what they’re doing, and they override whatever part of their conscience is telling them it’s not okay.

      • Christine

        The problem with the research that you’re citing is that it relied on men answering “yes” to an anonymous survey that asked if they’d ever raped. It’s going to miss a lot of the guys who have convinced themselves that there was consent. And if we can prevent those rapes then we can definitely help stop rape culture: a man who really doesn’t want to be a rapist will have more incentive to try and find excuses for inappropriate behaviour if it’s similar to what his was in the past.

      • Bix

        @Christine, that’s why rape is a tough subject to research–it deals with a mostly hidden population. But I think the researchers were also surprised at how many men (still a minority, but significant in this respect) admitted to behaviors that were legally rape, even if they also made excuses for why it wasn’t rape–which suggests that they knew it was rape. Then again, the study cites previous research that found that many men who committed rape didn’t consider themselves rapists, because they didn’t fit the stereotypical “stranger in the bushes” rapist, so they thought that what they did wasn’t rape. But I also think that attitude suggests severe entitlement–”Of course I didn’t rape! I’m not a rapist!”–and that someone who has to work hard at convincing themselves there was consent probably realizes that what they did was wrong. I do think that targeting people in the latter category is important, I just don’t think they’re especially deserving of empathy. Explanation, yes, but not empathy. That’s my issue with this whole kerfuffle.

      • Christine

        The important thing about the questions in the study is that it was very clear that they were explicitly asking about situations where there was no consent. I believe that’s a large part of why the researchers were so shocked. To answer “yes” to that requires that you be aware that there was no consent. This is a large part of the harm (to my mind) that rape culture has done: in trying to erase the line between consent and lack of consent it has confused some people (particularly teens, whose capacity for critical thought isn’t fully developed yet) who might otherwise genuinely wish to make sure that there is consent. As jose says down a few comments, some people might, because of this ad, realise that what they did was rape. I’m not saying this excuses them: you have a duty to learn about what consent is before you start having sex. That’s why this campaign is so amazing: in addition to calling BS on rape culture and helping to break it down, it helps to teach what consent is to people who honestly don’t know but would like to.

      • Bix

        I understand your point and I hope that the ad campaign is effective as well.

      • Bix

        I would just add that, while we don’t always do a good job educating people about consent, we need to talk about it in a manner that doesn’t further enable people to get off the hook for “misunderstandings”, because I think a lot of rapists depend on societal support for that. It’s an issue of how we talk about it, and the language we use. Obviously I’m still trying to work that out for myself.

      • luckyducky

        @Christine, that was the point I was so inexpertly aiming toward and I was thinking that this PSA could go a long way toward improving teen sex!

        The biggest difficulty when it comes to this discussion — I think — is what to think, say, and feel about those murky incidents — murky even or especially for those involved — between teens.

        But, I don’t think attempting empathy even for (some) perpetrators is a bad thing — empathy is understanding how someone things/feels/went totally of the rails as they understand it. It doesn’t mean you condone, agree with it, or forgive them, just that you have a good sense of why they did what they did. For one, it can help those who are in a position to do so call BS on self-deceptive thinking. And you are never so ineffective at changing behavior when you don’t know why people are doing what they are doing. I will save my sympathy, or empathetic concern, for the victims though.

      • luckyducky

        @Bix, I appreciate where you are coming from but I think that is quite consistent to separate intent from outcome and deal with them separately. Rape is rape is rape…. there is no justification, no getting off the hook because, as Christine says, if you are going to have sex, you are required to get consent. Why you failed to is relevant but it doesn’t make you any less responsible for not having gotten it.

        It is like driving a car — if you are going to drive, you have to know the rules of the road — ignorance is no defense. Once you’ve failed to do that, you don’t deserve the same level of trust. And because we think responsible driving (sex) is important, we prioritize teaching drivers (sex) ed – even remedially – and we teach very specifically what the expectations are (enthusiastic “yes!”) and how to go about fulfilling them.

      • Christine

        @Bix There we go! You figured out why I like this so much (thank you, I couldn’t). This campaign makes it more difficult for, as you say, people to get off the hook for misunderstandings.

        And I have to agree more with Luckyducky: we can never reach out to people who do wrong and even horrible things to get them to stop doing these things if we don’t try to emphathise with them. It doesn’t require sympathy, but starting with “wow, you’re a monster” pushes them closer to the MRAs.

  • ScottInOH

    The idea that men are supposed to pursue and women are supposed to be pursued continues to permeate our culture today.

    To me, this is the very definition of “rape culture.” It’s not just a world where rape is frequent, helps keep women “in their place,” is hard to report, or anything like that. It’s a world where the difference between rape and consensual sex is hard to see because of the language we use to describe both of them.

  • smrnda

    This is great because for once, it’s not the woman’s fault and it’s not her actions being critiqued.

    Plus, it’s meant to depict behavior done by a man and say “this behavior is rape.” Given that the basic rape trope that is always pulled out is some stranger jumping out at a woman from the bushes or in an alley, that probably gives lots of men the idea that what they are doing isn’t rape. This isn’t to excuse them since anything short of an enthusiastic yes isn’t consent (I add enthusiastic since it is possible to pressure people into saying yes.) It’s just that when you internalize the idea of what a rape is supposed to be, you can look at your own actions and say “well, I’m not doing that, so this isnt’ rape.” It’s kind of how there’s this idea of a racist as a member of the KKK or a neo-Nazi, so an ordinary person full of prejudice thinks “well, I’m not one of them, so I can’t be a racist.”

    Whether rapists are sociopaths is something that I’m not qualified to comment about. I mean, in a sense they fit the profile of a social offender in that they commit rapes, but tend to appear ordinary, just like everybody else, and probably rape after a degree of conscious planning.

    I also think that it’s important to think about how rapists aren’t isolated, atomic individuals – the way men get socialized can be a big part in perpetuating rape culture.

    • LeftWingFox

      It’s so weird that this is revolutionary.

      You don’t see MADD focussing their campaigns on how to avoid drunk drivers, you don’t see the MPAA warning filmmakers how to prevent piracy.

      Yet until recently, rape campaigns always aimed at victim prevention, not rapist prevention, and that seems “normal”.

  • jose

    I wonder how many people will realize they have raped somebody because of the ad.

  • Custador

    As an abuse survivor, I have to say that absolutely NOTHING is as upsetting to me as somebody making a massively big deal out of it by slapping “TRIGGER WARNING!!!11!!!!1″ all over something. Fucking self indulgent bullshit. You know what surviving abuse and rape is? It’s ordinary. One in five of us do it. And I’d be the last to say that’s okay, because it isn’t, but when you slap a “trigger warning” on something, the majority of people who get upset by the content are God-damned liars. Fucking arseholes who think there’s something cool about it. You know what? I’ve been raped. And I don’t need a “trigger warning” slapped on shit, and I’d bet Dollars to Pesos that if you claim you do, you’re a God damn liar. You know what surviving that shit teaches you, real young? To FUCKING SURVIVE. Like WORDS can hurt me now! Please!

    • deepasducks

      You are doing what you need to survive as you. That’s not self-indulgence. Other people doing what they need to do is also not self-indulgence. You don’t need to prove that everyone else is lying about their experience to prove that your experience is real.

    • J. J. Ramsey

      If you don’t personally need a trigger warning, then good for you. However, you alone are not representative of all rape survivors. Unless you’re some psychic who can claim Randi’s prize, you can’t read the minds of those who claim to need a trigger warning and know that each of them is a “God damn liar.”

    • Kate

      A lot of people appreciate trigger/content warnings. There have been some that have made me roll my eyes, but I just scroll past them to the content because I realize they aren’t meant for me.

    • JennyE

      I’m sorry that the trigger warning bothers you. We all deal with trauma in our own way. Is it because you feel as though you’re seen as fragile or helpless because you’ve been victimized? Totally guessing, but I sometimes feel that way…like people who know look at me differently, think of me as a perpetual victim. It sucks.
      Just so you know, I am also a survivor, and I find the trigger warning helpful, because some days I feel like dealing with the reliving, the second-guessing, the reassuring, and some days I just don’t have time or inclination to deal with all of that.

    • J-Rex

      I haven’t been raped, but I have enough experience with phobias to understand why people might need a trigger warning. I have an obscure fear of clusters of holes, especially in someone’s skin (it’s called trypophobia). If I were to Google Image that word, the pictures would set off something in my brain and body that I can’t control. There would be a spasm of terror, my muscles would tighten, I would shake and cry and not be able to stop thinking about it for hours. I might even have nightmares. If I can have such a horrible response to something that’s not even that scary to most people, it is perfectly believable that someone could respond to something that is scary, dangerous, and has actually happened to them in the same way.
      If that was the type of thing someone commonly blogged about, knowing that many people reading the blog have this fear and that some people might have horrible reactions if they watch it, not knowing what it is, then it’s just a courtesy to put a warning first.

    • Custador

      Uh… Sorry guys. I’d had a couple of drinks because something had wound me up earlier in the day, and it culminated on that inapropriate rant. I’m not saying the phrase “trigger warning” doesn’t bug me (it does), but I appreciate that it might help others. So yeah. Sorry.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      What the hell? Custador, I am the reader who sent Libby this video. I have been raped and I am not a goddamned liar. And I myself SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED that Libby post a trigger warning for it, although she had already thought of it herself. The first time I watched this video, it was powerful and validating but it also upset me very much. Although it did not quite cross over into “trigger” territory to me (because the bad feelings were mitigated by the power of the message for me), other things certainly did and I could see how this video could be one of them for other people. I have definitely been triggered by things before and there are definitely things I have seen on the internet that I would have avoided if I’d been warned. Simply giving a warning of rough, disturbing content ahead to people who could potentially be very sensitive to it is respectful. Trigger warnings can be overused sometimes, I think, but they are NOT bullshit as a concept. If you don’t feel that they are helpful to you that’s fine. How about I respect your feelings and you respect mine and others’. The last thing people who have experienced these things need to be doing is policing each other about the “right way” to handle their experiences emotionally. Sheesh.

  • Falls Apart

    Why, why, why aren’t there more ads like this? It honestly baffles me. For crying out loud, we have ads targeting illegal downloaders! You know, the whole, “Illegal downloading IS stealing” thing. There’s no videos telling corporations to get better copyright protection. And yet there are a million pieces of “don’t let this be you, don’t dress like a slut” directed towards women. It’s sick.

    We, as a culture, focus more effort on telling people not to download a freaking movie than we do on telling them to respect other people’s consent. And that’s just sad.

  • WMDKitty

    *stunned silence*

  • Random british atheist

    It’s weird to see this advert praised. When it came out on TV (it’s been out for months) I found it uncomfortable to watch, but not exactly ground-breaking. It’s sad that adverts like these are necessary.

    I wonder what you think of the website linked to the ad:

    • lucrezaborgia

      Most official rape advocacy here in the US is directed towards women, not men.

  • Ismenia

    I saw that one when it was broadcast on UK TV. It is powerful and pretty shocking to see unexpectedly. I was pleased that they had an advert aimed at young men. There have been others. There was one that showed a group of young men looking at an attractive woman and making comments. One says something like, “she needs a good raping”. Then a statistic for just how many women are raped appears. I didn’t see it but it was praised by feminist writer Joan Smith.

    • Jaynie

      There was also one (again UK, I think Scotland) that had a woman shopping for a shirt, looking specifically for one that would say she was asking to be raped — then she turns to the camera and says “as if! No one asks to be raped!” or something to that effect. This seems to be a recent trend which I hope catches on in North America. I have seen enough “don’t wear a ponytail and a miniskirt while jogging drunk at night in a parking lot if you’re conventionally attractive” campaigns for one lifetime, thanks.