“Don’t Rape Her”

By Juliana Jimenez

Speaking of blame-the-victim mentality and that 8-year-old Israeli girl who got spat on by ultra-Orthodox Jewish men for “not dressing modestly,” here are several anti-rape campaigns that are great examples of how it should and should not be done.

There’s the “Don’t Be That Guy” Canadian campaign, the “This Is Not an Invitation to Rape Me” from the UK, and the “My Strength” California ads, all very revealing in their simplicity.

Anti-rape "My Strength" ads.
Anti-rape "My Strength" ads.
Anti-rape "My Strength" ads.
Anti-rape "My Strength" ads.

So a lot of campaigns focus on women — I’ve received many a forwarded email from (usually male) family members with tips about what not to do to not get raped. It’s always a series of inane, somewhat disturbing advice like “have your carkeys handy when walking in a dark parking lot at night” or “scream ‘fire’ instead of ‘help’, either wise nobody will show up.” These new campaigns are great to point out that the perpetrator/asshole here is the rapist, and not raping girls and women would be a great solution to this problem.

Another new approach is that not only does “no mean no” but that “yes means yes” should be “Hell, yes!”

Here’s an excerpt from the blog Story Bleed on this:

The problem with the “no means no” slogan, as vital as it is, is that it implies the opposite is always true: “yes means yes.” “Yes means yes!” can be a triumphant statement about women’s sexual autonomy. But in a world where so many young women feel pressured to please others (particularly men), too many of the “yeses” uttered in dorm rooms and in the back seats of cars don’t reflect authentic desire. Too many “yeses” are coerced; too many quiet “okays” and “I guess so’s” are interpreted as blanket permission. When we confine our advice about sexual decision-making to a simple “no” means “no”, we risk sending the message that anything that isn’t a clear and strong “no” constitutes a “yes.” And as countless anecdotes told by young women reveal, that’s a recipe for disaster.”

But my favorite of the new campaigns, of course, is the “Don’t Rape Her” PSA.

So guys, remember, if you see a woman walking down a dark alley, don’t rape her. Thanks.

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