Monday, November 29, 2010

(sorta nsfw) Is showing a graphic sexual assault on a rape awareness poster a smart move?

(click ad, via osocio) Via French organization Contre le Viol (Against Rape). Translation: "75,000 (French) women are raped every year. Rape: the shame should switch sides." The call-to-action is an invitation to sign an online petition. Shocking, yes. Creepy, yes. Effective? I really don't think so. It's certainly not a good rape prevention visual, and might even give rapists some motivation (just like a lot fashion advertising). Also, the girlie type is insulting, but that's unfortunately their logo color. Note all the smaller logos, so—ad by committee. Will the poster get more French women to report sexual assault? The organization claims only 2% of rapes are reported. I'm interested to hear what women think of this thing.
Previous rape awareness ads:
• The UK—the lady's panties say No means No.
• The US—Statutory Rape D-Cupped in our faces.
• Italy (nsfw)—naked woman crucified for rape awareness.

25 Comments:

Anonymous nadia said...

I am a french girl and i didn't sign the petition.
I agree with you : something akward about it.
you feel like in a "voyeur" position, a bad soft porn visual.
And i am not sure that a petition "against the rape" is an effective one. the only one to be "For the rape" are the rapers, non ?

8:56 AM  
Blogger Bags said...

I'm an English woman and this ad is irresponsible and mis-guided.
The idea that seeing a man sexually assaulting a woman will make me want to go online and sign a petition is wrong on so many levels.
The art director should be strung up by the balls. Oh please god it wasn't a woman ...?
Anyway, it's a fucking piece of crap.

9:15 AM  
Blogger lainie said...

Wow. Not empowering at all.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Sammy said...

I'm a lady, and yeah, it's a little bit off. I like the line "the shame should switch sides" - actually, that little bit is freaking genius - but the image doesn't convey that at all. There are much cleverer ways to get that point across, and it's a shame these people didn't think it through!

10:53 AM  
Blogger Juliet said...

Agreed, it's not empowering, it's mostly awkward and ill-advised.

That said, I do like the "shame should switch sides" message. Under-reporting is a problem that's difficult to address, and I don't know that this campaign will help, but I think it's important to *try* to help.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous franCo. said...

'the shame should switch sides'

MAIS OUI!!!

she should be pulling his finger so he can cut the fromage.

12:02 PM  
Blogger nobody said...

I think they could have put some more casual clothes on her, or made her more average looking, something to emphasize that rape is not about looks but about the rapist.

This way, it just looks like some sexist creeper's fantasy.

Her posture is also stupid. Who resists a rapist by pushing gently against them and sticking their boobs out?

The more I think about it, the more angry I get. This ad is disgusting. They talk about the "shame switching sides"?

If they really want to have the shame focused on the rapist, why is he in the background, wearing dark clothing, with his face obscured?

Bullshit. Disgusting, misogynistic, and make me want to kill somebody.

You have an excellent blog, btw. I am always linking up your stuff. Your commentary is always perfect.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous carly said...

and, OF COURSE, they don't show his face... even though the tagline suggests he should be the one blamed, the man is still absent from the rape.

Copyranter, here's another woman chiming in - your instincts are spot on. This is awful.

I think you posted a while back on those awful posters here in the UK with a woman being raped in a minicab and shouting "no, no, please, no" - I have had to see those in the tube every day and it is infuriating as well as disturbing. There, too, there's no man visible - it's a picture of a woman being assaulted, more than a picture of a man assaulting, which is entirely the wrong focus.

It's worse here, because she's so sexualized - large breasts front and center, exposed abdomen. It could be an ad for a bad, cheap porno.

When will we get the ad campaign that says "Men: DON'T RAPE WOMEN?"

3:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Megginson said...

Not a woman, but still disturbed by the TSA pat-down image.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous REALITY CHECK said...

@ carly
When will we get the ad campaign that says "Men: DON'T RAPE WOMEN?"

The Rape of the Afghan Boys

http://original.antiwar.com/vlahos/2010/04/12/a-deal-with-the-devil/

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ reality check:

Yes, the rape of Afghan boys is not a good thing, but many more women/girls are raped than men/boys, and that's what these ads are trying to address.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Clara7 said...

The suggestions of a poster campaign aimed at men reminds me of one I saw at a university awhile back - the "My Strength is Not for Hurting" campaign. (http://www.mystrength.org/) I always thought it was pretty smart, and wondered why it didn't catch on.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something very off about this. She just kind of looks slightly annoyed, not like she is being assaulted. Maybe it's the type and colours that are making this seem so casual, but if I were to see this in my peripheral vision I would think it was an advertisement for clothes or toothpaste or something.
Regardless of being tactful or not, I think explicitly showing sexual violence as a means of raising awareness could potentially be effective if done correctly. This is not done correctly.
-R

10:36 PM  
Blogger Cara said...

I'm more concerned about women who are already coping with the trauma of rape having to see this.

10:37 PM  
Blogger lindsay harmony said...

Just looking at this ad makes me feel sick.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Luke said...

As a rape survivor, I have to say that running across images like this is just upsetting and demeaning, because they're using your experience to shock people into action. Plus, it reminds survivors of what happened to them. So yeah, I'd say it's pretty ineffective from my point of view.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the people saying that the man should have a more prominent role in this poster: I disagree. This is an advertisement where they have hired models to perform a photo shoot - in all likelihood, he is not actually a rapist. Associating a specific model's face with sexual assault is only going to a) harm that model's career and b) show once again that only a certain type of man is likely to be a rapist.

I do, however, agree that the victim is hypersexualized. Furthermore, I don't think a poster asking people to sign a petition "against rape" is particularly effective. I wouldn't sign.

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone else getting a boner?

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I'm a woman and I can also say the image is off. There may have been a way to actually make it effective, but the ad doesn't get there. I don't think anyone brought this up yet, but the image is also incredibly problematic because the rapist his dressed to connote a position of authority - the business suit vs. the casual clothing on the woman implies that there's already an unequal power relationship here that presupposes the rape. It's not showing an injustice among equal parties, but doubly victimizes the woman.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Juliet said...

I do agree that the answer isn't to put a male actor/model's face into ads like these. There are ways to execute this kind of campaign (again, I like the slogan almost as much as I loathe the photo) without turning it into porn.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

As a woman who was sexually abused, I find this poster extremely inappropriate; it makes me very uncomfortable. I wouldn't look at the poster long enough to read the information on it. Obviously whoever designed this poster did little no research on the effect it would have on the target audience.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Renée Z. said...

Ne pas etre celui-la!

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Female respondent here, saying: Agreed, Copyranter. This ad is ineffective crap.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That chick is sexy.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, terrible ad, but instead of complaining, how about signing it and try to change the situation for women in France, huh??? I just did.

6:08 PM  

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