The Shame Should Switch Sides.

November 30, 2010 at 11:35 am (commercials, women's issues) (, , )

A French organization called Contre le Viol (translated: Against Rape) has put out a new ad campaign that is stirring up a big fuss in France and online, as the poster shows a sexual assault occurring.  It’s not the most graphic thing I’ve ever seen in my life, a lot of horror movies do a lot worse with their plaything women in the opening credits, but the question on the website where I found this ad was “Will this encourage women to report sexual assault more often?”

Is that the point?

(the ad is after the jump)

The box in the top right says “75,000 women are raped every year. Rape: the shame should switch sides.”, which is an amazing slogan.

Whether or not this ad encourages women to report rape more, I think it definitely will stick in people’s minds, and in keeping with their “shame switching sides” motif, maybe this ad should stick in a man’s mind here and there.

I think this is a brave and impressive idea for a campaign, because we end up tiptoeing so much around rape that it either becomes this mythical thing that never happens to us, or in order to “take it back”, it becomes fodder for bad female comics.  Maybe part of this organization’s efforts to move shame from victims to perpetrators is to take sexual assault from being “the thing that must not be named” and turn into what we see here- a gross shitty guy doing something heinous to a woman who doesn’t deserve it.  That’s what it is, people. It’s not folklore, it’s not evil incarnate, it’s a man assaulting a woman.  Let’s take it out of the dark corner and shine a light on it.

My only complaint with this ad, frankly, is that I wish we could see this guy’s face.  I feel very connected to what the woman is going through, but it’s still her face that is the representative of this assault.  I would like to see an ad where you can look directly at the face of a man who has decided that he doesn’t give a shit about what the woman wants, in mid-act.

But I guess by showing his face, the actor would be an object of shame in town.


(Thanks to Copyranter)

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