Monday, July 20, 2015

A Focused Message


There can be both good and bad to increasing awareness when it comes to important issues, say, like rape.

On the one hand, increased awareness can make it easier for survivors to report and to get help in order to heal. Awareness can decrease stigma and victims blaming. It can produce campaigns that give some really great materials like Men Can Stop Rape, or Love is Respect.

Unfortunately, sometimes things like this end up out there as well:

As seen floating around on Facebook.


At first glance, you might not think that the poster above is much different than the examples I linked to above, but take a minute to compare. The Jake and Josie poster puts the emphasis on the potential consequence of assault, equating a drunk hook up scenario where the consent of two people is questionable with sexual assault. 

I am not saying that Josie was or was not raped. I am saying that watering down rape to a "You might get charged with rape!" argument destroys the cause. 

In order to have an impact on rape culture, we have to do better. We must focus our message. We must create an environment that does not foster rape, and that supports survivors. It will never be enough to just make rapists fear being punished. 





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