Thursday, June 3, 2010

All too often, seemingly well intentioned people create anti-sexual assault or anti-harassment ad campaigns that just don't get it. Like this one. And in case you don't get why that campaign is ineffectual and has the potential to cause more harm, read this post.

That being said, I really like this new ad campaign airing in Wales. It is right on because it depicts the damage that repeated harassment causes. One comment, one grope, one stare, one catcall; they all seem like no big deal. But as I have said repeatedly, women live in a state of constant terror because we deal with those seemingly little things constantly throughout our ENTIRE LIVES. And beyond that, they contribute to a culture that does not respect women as full human beings who have a right to not be assaulted.


Social Worker said...

It's great to see campaigns move in this direction with more sensitivity towards how "it all adds up" to those of us on the receiving end.
Reminds me of the anti-bullying movement in U.S. schools in the past decade.
Would love to see some PSA's in the U.S. on this.
Thanks, Cortney.

A feminist open to criticism said...

Ah you speak of a rape culture I assume. Yes I agree it all adds up, and it doesn't amount to a pretty picture.

Please check out my blog if you have time and feel free to leave comments. I could use some back up, the MRA types are slamming me.

Social Worker said...

@ feminist open: I was referring more to the emotionally damaging additive of repeated sex-offensive comments and behavior when I wrote "it all adds up." When you hear something a lot from different people, you start to take it on or carry that feeling with you, unless you consciously combat it.

I have difficulty with the phrase "rape culture." Maybe it's my professional background (which ironically has tended to drive the term), but it seems a misuse of the word culture and what that actually means.
I appreciate you inviting me to read your blog, but I may not be your best anti-MRA (assuming you mean Male Rights Advocates?) writer.
I tend to try viewing topics through as neutral (or quirky) a lens as I can manage and often end up upsetting people on both sides of a particular issue, without intention. I've been accused of being both a feminazi and misogynist for holding the same views, which I just find funny.
I'll check out your blog.

A feminist open to criticism said...

Yes I am not sure how I feel about the concept of rape culture myself, particularly the term.

However, I do think our society romanticises rape to a great extent.

A feminist open to criticism said...


I read that article the other day.

It is very powerful but I am still unsure of how I feel about the term.

What in particular do you feel is the point underpinning the notion of a rape culture?

Also is a society either containing a rape culture or not? Or is there varying degrees. If it varies slightly is it then not a rape culture? Can rape culture exist outside a patriarchy?