A campaign in need of some awareness March 15, 2006Posted by Winter in media, rape.
This is one of the posters for the UK government’s much talked about consent awareness campaign. I’ll have more to say about the campaign itself soon, but right now I just want to have a close look at the material.
What’s wrong with this image?
Could it deal with the issue any more crudely or clumsily?
Did they hire the team at Nuts magazine to create this campaign? “Yeah, we’ll do a crotch shot of a “hot” white model with a no entry sign on her knickers, that’ll make people take rape seriously. No one will laugh at that.”
No doubt they wanted to do something eye catching, but this is eye catching for all the wrong reasons.
Then there’s the horrible association made in the text between entering the woman sexually and entering a prison. As other people have already pointed out, this campaign seems more concerned with protecting men from accusations of rape than protecting women. Why can’t we have a campaign which finds a way of saying don’t have sex with any woman without her consent because that’s called rape and rape is wrong, rape will hurt her physically and mentally, rape will mess up her life and for this reason rape is illegal.
Also, this image objectifies women. This woman here is not represented as a person. She is reduced to her crotch, a nameless, faceless cunt which exists to be penetrated. How can we fight the objectification of women with …. the objectification of women? We need a campaign which asserts the personhood of all women.
And she looks so helpless doesn’t she? So pale, so incredibly white, and so vulnerable with her slack hands dangling by her sides, nothing but a “stop” sign between her vagina and the (penetrative) gaze of the presumed male viewer.
So, has anyone got any ideas for a less icky, less lazy, and more intelligent campaign?
Stop press: Bookdrunk furthers this discussion.