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!


bristle said...

Some good, strong slogans there.

I really do believe that anti-rape campaigns need to shift the focus to men: educating them (us), getting them (us) to think about the possible consequences of their (our) actions, picturing situations that might occur, and choosing the right thing to do.

I can't think of another crime where the actions of the perpetrator are so often considered secondary to those of the victim (except perhaps spousal abuse).

sianandcrookedrib said...

thanks bristle.
i totally agree. we need to start moving victim blaming and placing the blame strongly on the perpetrator.

Anonymous said...

"Men, don't drink & date rape...many rapes happen when the rapist is under the influence of alcohol".

I think this phrase reads as if rape is comparable to drink that it is a worst an act that is committed because the perpetrator's ability to function is impaired or a "calculated risk" ( a "should I or shouldn't I?" decision ) taken by irresponsible men who "should know better".

An advert reversal would be..."Women, don't drink & be date raped...". Naturally you would object to women being told not to drink lest they leave themselves vulnerable to potential rapists.

Of course, advising or warning women re rape makes women the focus of the crime rather than men, taking the emphasis away from the rapist, but your slogans do not redress this, rather they distort similar advice given to women.

I don't expect women to appreciate this, especially those in the feminist movement who decided how men are to be viewed & treated, but rape for men is not an "either or" decision to be made. Rape is not an act that I might some day decide to is an act that I find utterly abhorent, just as I would find abusing a child abhorent & I utterly resent the total disregard for who I am as a person over above the gender I happen to have been born into.

Just as women resent being polarised as victims of men's behaviour, I too resent being forced to carry a burden I do not & will not ever bear. Rape may be an inevitability, but it is not the decision of any one man to make it so. I am not responsible for a society that both devalues women & excuses men...please try to consider the feelings of those of us who don't wish any harm on our fellow human beings.

sian and crooked rib said...

i totally disagree with you anonymous.

firstly rape is an either or decision. a rapist either rapes or a doesn't.

and women are told to not drink in case they are date raped. that was the point of inverting the slogan. that slogan pretty much exists to tell women not to rape.

i'm glad you wouldn't rape anyone. but rape is a choice, just like drink driving is a choice, in your analogy. i don't wish to paint all men as rapists, but most rapists are men. i just wanted to raise awareness of the fact that ads to stop rape need to target those who make the choice to rape, not those who are raped.

i find it annoying that, as a woman, these ads see me as a potential rape victim who would be punished for being a victim if i didnt follow the rules in the posters.

it is up to men to stop rape.