The Little Blue Skirt Means She Wants To Be Raped, Ignore What She SaysJuly 4, 2010 1 Comment
Not Ever, according to a new Scottish public awareness campaign. The ads are aimed not at rapists, but at normal men who laugh at rape jokes.
One (male) commentator said that when it aired: “the laughter died in a million male mouths.” (Video after jump).
Research has shown that 20 per cent of the population, that’s one in five people in the British Isles, thinks that what a woman wears has a bearing on her guilt if she gets raped. So Scotland decided to do something about it.
The campaign, which can be reached online here, is not about attacking rapists (they’re pretty universally reviled) but their apologists, guys like the two in the ad, who make jokes about women being raped.
Here’s what else I love about this ad: while there’s no indication whatsoever that the man is a rapist, there’s no way to tell for sure that he’s not, either. As Thomas has pointed out many times at Yes Means Yes, while not all men who make rape apologist jokes are rapists, rapists do tend to make rape jokes and apologist comments. Leaving the man’s motives up to interpretation thus manages to do two important things: tell guys who aren’t rapists but think that rape is something fun to joke about that it’s not, as well as tells guys that if their friend is making these types of comments, you should probably point out that it’s not cool. As bystander behavior is incredibly important, I have to say that I love this potential dual effect.
The great thing about this ad is that it is for men and allows them to take ownership of their reputation. The common misconceptions about rape all hinge around men as animals, unable to control their impulses at a hint of cleavage. As one guy said on the site:
I find “men” who harass women and then blame the woman for his own shortcomings deeply offensive and profoundly disturbing when taken seriously. Males who act irrationally and abusively without taking full responsibility for their behavior give men in general and as a species the very reputation for being mindless aggressors that we (who are rational and mature) do not wish to claim.
Guys, it’s time to police your own. If you wouldn’t say it about the women you love, you shouldn’t let your buddy say it about the flirty bitch in the blue skirt.
Also read: It’s Not Rape If You’re Wearing Jeans