How To Do Rape Awareness Right

How To Do Rape Awareness Right December 12, 2012

**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.

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