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Campaign reaction

A humble suggestion

“First let me say that rape is truly an awful crime to happen to anyone, only slightly less horrific than murder. Rapists and anyone who thinks that anything but zero tolerance for forcing another human being to do anything sexual they do not consent to. I seriously think cutting off the rapist's genitals would be a fair penalty for crimes like these.

I also want to say that lack of compassion by the general public when it comes to victims is awful; when dealing with victims it doesn't matter how they are dressed, whether they were drinking, flirting, putting themselves in dangerous situations with unfamiliar people, whatever. It's not their fault, no part of the blame of any crime lies with the victim. Unfortunately we live in a evil world where there are monsters who will hurt innocent people for no good reason. I love that this ad attacks the lack of compassion.

Which is my point. Realistically, while it would be wonderful to live in a world where these monsters were not free to hurt others, this is not reality. So while I agree that the public should never condemn rape victims, I hesitate to encourage this ad wholeheartedly for one reason.

What's next? An ad where the potential victim is drunk and alone at a party? An ad where she walks down a dark alley and then flippantly says: "I'd really like to get raped that's why I'm walking in this back alley... as if."

While it's true that the rapist is still to blame no matter what the victim does short of saying 'yes' it's in the self interest of women to be realistic about the world they live in, and not be stupid. If you're going to get drunk - do it with friends. Just be careful and watch out for yourself.

If I was murdered while walking in a bad part of New York city at night while wearing something that represented that I was in some sort of gang, and badmouthing everyone I came across. Yes, I would hope that the authorities would still spend every effort trying to catch the killer, and people wouldn't deny my family compassion and support, but you would have to admit that I was being pretty darn stupid.

In the same way if a girl is alone with a group of unruly guys she doesn't know, is wearing next to nothing and getting drunk and talking dirty to the guys, and yet doesn't want to have sex she should know she's putting herself in a situation that makes it more likely for an evil person to take advantage of her.

If I talked to a girl intending to put herself in danger in that way I would probably warn her not to. Because I would not want to see her get raped, or even if she was only intending to, say get drunk wearing revealing clothing, I might warn her or go along with her to watch out with her, but if she had already been raped I would NEVER put guilt on her after the fact.

Lastly, I recognize that most women are more intelligent than to put themselves in harms way like this, but I just have to wonder if some women might take ad campaigns like this and in their anger at the way the world is, try to pretend that it's not that way and assume their "right" to go out and be unwise and make themselves a target. It is their right, same as I would technically be in my rights in the New York scenario above, but it's not necessarily wise.

Instead of the existing ad I suggest something like this: A funeral where the guests are mocking the victim for not wearing a bullet-proof vest - saying he was "asking for it" cutting to something like: "Rape: It's never the victim's fault." Ok, I don't work in television so it's not perfect but you get the idea: it would attack the lack of compassion by the general public without having undertones of indignation by women that they can't dress in whatever they want and make themselves (sometimes) more of a target for bad people. I'm sure it's frustrating but it's unrealistic not to admit that's the world we do indeed live in.

Now, since I'm a male posting about this topic, I expect a huge negative response from those females that don't actually think about what I said. Flame away, if it makes you happy. But for those who know how to think in addition to feel, and who recognize that I hate rape and only want to see less rapes happen and have more compassion for the victims, if you respond intelligently I will take your words into consideration. Have a good day, everyone.
Greg”

Author: Greg, Male Lancaster, PA
Date: 14/06/11

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Replies to this post

“I was introduced to this campaign last night by an acquaintance who shared the "As If" ad on Facebook.

I left a comment similar to what Greg said, about playing it smart and not put oneself in a situation where one can be targeted.

Naturally I got flamed by the person, who started giving me statistics about how many victims were not dressed provocatively at the time of assault etc thus justifies that a way the woman dresses is not her fault for being raped.

This is a topic that has been debated for so many years. Why is it still being discussed today? That's because there really are predators out there who target this specific group of women.

All I can say is, we live in a dangerous world, and we should never take anything for granted.”

Author: Jenn, Female Malaysia
Date: 28/06/11

“Your entire argument is the exact reason for the campaign. You are contradicting the whole point. You can't support non-victim blaming and then suggest that women must be 'realistic' and watch out for rapists. Of course we are, as a female, I live in fear of rape every day. The idea of this campaign is to hopefully, lessen those fears of rape. Open the eyes of men who rape without conciously thinking they are raping. To make women feel comfortable to do what they wish, like men do, without constantly feeling terrified of being defiled.
Comparing a shooting to rape is exactly why men cannot comment on this subject, you will never and can never understand this.
I appriciate you trying. But the points you have made are the reason we live in a society that teached 'don't get raped' rather than 'don't rape'.”

Author: Josephine, Female UK
Date: 28/07/11

“Men can be raped, Greg, but the majority of rapes are of women, and therefore you have no clue. You don't live with the same narratives. You don't get the same "warnings" that always, always imply that you can prevent rape if only you'd do this or that. You are not "better" than those people who make excuses for rapists, because you're doing it right now. Get a clue, get over yourself, and drop the sanctimonious tone, because you deserve to be flamed for that nonsense and it's nothing special to have our words "considered" by some privileged dude. You're not the voice of reason here. If rape apologia is all you have to add to the discussion, perhaps it's time you do some actual listening and less talking. If you want to prevent rapes, stop perpetuating the ridiculous idea that women are in some way responsible for what happens to them, that rape is a totally predictable, preventable thing. You're only helping rapists by giving them excuses to use.”

Author: D., Female Middle East
Date: 26/08/11

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Have your say

“Rape seems to be the only crime where it's seen as ok to put the victim on trial.”

Natasha, Female from Glasgow

“Short skirts don't cause rape. Rapists cause rape”

Joss, Female from Connecticut

“About time something like this was shown on TV. Hopefully it will make everyone realise there cannot be any excuse for rape - EVER.”

Helzo, Female from Renfrewshire