I on the other hand, am repulsed.
This ad is borderline soft-core rape porn that adds almost nothing positive to the discussion about rape culture. (I mean hello! Why are they only showing heterosexual rapists and only female victims? But that’s for a whole ‘nother time, so let’s move right along.)
The women in the ad are completely helpless; hopelessly drunk, shy to the point that a rub down in the middle of a crowded office doesn’t make them get up out of their chair, and in the end still not capable of even telling anyone what happened.
I am aware of the statistics. I know that women will often choose not to report their own assailants, and that a big part of that is knowing those assailants will not serve a day in jail. BUT, and this is a big but, I think the message that relying on other people to do the talking for you is a dangerous message to spread to these vulnerable women.
This ad takes the power away from women by making them victims in the worst way. And, it doesn’t offer any information on how to help in any of the listed situations other than, maybe at some point, when you get around to it, you could tell someone. Not who to talk to, what to say, just go out and brag to your buddies over a beer that you saw some chick get felt up at the party last night and you’ve basically followed through with this ad campaign’s message.
Women have been talking about how awesome it would be to go to parties and get drunk without getting a dick stuck somewhere on or in their person since the invention of booze. They have dreamed of walking home from work after the sun goes down without fear of assault since the invention of streetlamps. And yes they have dreamed of an amazing era where they can send their significant others erotic pictures of their bodies without those pictures then becoming available to everyone on the planet. But you know what all this talking has really gotten done? Not much. Because you know who rapists and predators DON’T listen to? Women. And people who talk about the rights of women. So who is this campaign talking to? The bystanders? The people in the crowd who, in an ideal society, would recite “and then they came for me” as they boldly walk up to
(y’know, whomever, because the ad doesn’t mention who would best diffuse any of these situations) a brave hero, or the young damsel and speak the truth of this reprobate’s uncivilized behaviour? Sure. But this isn’t an ideal society. This is a society where the Bystander Effect exists. A society where people who stand up to bullies are often ridiculed, pushed back down, or ignored (3:14 of this awesome video deals with that.) It’s even a society where a woman will choose to hide the fact that they were accosted, molested, raped, etc. out of sheer EMBARRASSMENT.
My point is, this ad sucks for a lot of reasons and I don’t care that it’s heart was in the right place. It gives no information or support for people who want to help. It takes away a woman’s voice. It does not include all of the people and/or signs of molestation for people to look for. It does not even have a list of resources at the end for victims or witnesses to seek out help.
For other articles on this insanely complicated and dodgy subject, follow the links below to form your own opinions.