Victim-blaming. It's ugly, it's hurtful, and it's doing nothing to stop people from raping other people.
In the aftermath of the Steubenville rape trial, in which two teenage men were convicted of raping and humiliating an unconscious teenage woman, it's time we had another look at what these supposedly-helpful ads are saying.
Using some of the post-verdict, victim-blaming Tweets compiled on Sociological Images, I've twinned the infamous ads with their real-life counterpart messages.
The ad above is from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. I wrote about it on Osocio, and it was all over the mainstream media. The ad was pulled from the campaign.
This one is from West Mercia police. When called on it by British feminists, they refused to apologize.
This one isn't even about drinking. It's a "safe taxi" campaign by Transport for London, and note that it has the Mayor and the police endorsing it.
To quote You Are Doing it Wrong:
Christ. Did anyone pause for even a milli-second, and think, ‘Gee, maybe it’s NOT such a good idea to equate not booking a taxi with certain rape?’. Or did the advertising agency just convince Cabwise that it would provoke attention, and controversy?
MADD - Unbuttoned from Esparza Advertising on Vimeo.
Interestingly, when the message is being preached to men, the danger isn't being raped but rather having unwanted sex with somebody unattractive:
There is hope, however:
|Sexual Assault Voices Edmonton, via Osocio.|
|Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, via Osocio|
|Via Men Can Stop Rape|
Teach your children well.