Wednesday, 5 May 2010

This is not an invitation to rape me and election ramblings

Back when the TFL campaign telling women to not become a rape victim this Christmas it was generally mooted on the F Word that we create our own bus ad campaign that put the onus of preventing rape on men. So I thought I would come up with some slogans as that's my day job.

This is what I came up with:

[Headline] MEN! Don't drink and date rape
[subhead] Many rapes happen when the rapist is under the influence of alcohol. Don't let it happen to you

[Headline] MEN! Confused about consent?
[subhead] It's easy! Just remember, no means no whether said before or during intercourse.

[Headline] MEN! That girl at the bar giving you the eye?
[subhead] Just remember! She's not giving an invitation to rape

[Headline] MEN! make a stand this Saturday night!
[subhead] And don't turn her into a crime statistic

I particularly like the first one which i think could be designed like the don't drink and drive ad - with Stop written in yellow on the road surface.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Tory party will win tomorrow. 2% of Tory candidates have committed their support to women's rights, including improving provision of support services for victims of sexual violence. So, we're on our own. If we want to stop sexual violence, we need to start doing it ourselves.

The Tories want to reduce the abortion time limit, reducing women's bodily autonomy. The marriage tax break will hurt single mothers. Women's lives and choices are being judged and punished.

The other parties didn't do much better. Women's rights are slipping off the agenda. I spent the debates shouting at my TV 'what about women!'. The Labout party promiesed £3 million to support rape crisis services nationwide - they're not taking it seriously. The number of women politicians is stupidly small, so women fall off the agenda. Government campaigns on rape focus on women when we are not to blame for being attacked. With none of the politicians talking to me about this I am confused who to vote for.

But that doesn't mean I won't vote.

Less than 100 years ago, women didn't have the vote. In my grandparents' lifetimes, I wouldn't have had the vote (I'm 25). Less than 100 years ago not all men had the vote. 160 years ago if you lived in Taunton, you could only vote if you owned a cooking pot. And all over the world, women are denied basic freedom of movement, let alone the vote.

May 6th is the day when we can recognise how lucky we are to have a say in how our country is run. So please, I beg you, don't waste it. Don't let Emily Davies die in vain. Don't let all those women who went to prison have fought in vain. We owe it to our historical and worldwide sisters to vote.

And if anyone has any ideas on how to get the bus ad campaign running please let me know!

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