So often at Broad Brands, I am seen brandishing my feminist scepter while shouting “This is stupid!” or “These pretzels are making me thirsty!”
Today, I will do no such thing. I’ve found a completely awesome advertising campaign and I am no longer parched.
Men Can Stop Rape
Men Can Stop Rape’s “My Strength” campaign shows men as allies against sexual violence. Ads depict men in instances where they could have taken advantage of their partner but used their strength to instead say no.
Founded in 1997, the organization is committed to public education and leadership training for young men. The movement asserts “strength is not for hurting.”
When a woman is found after an assault, the media make a point to say she was dressed provocatively or walking alone at night. In saying this, they send a message of warning to women: Don’t wear revealing clothing, or you might be raped. Make sure you always have a man to walk you home, or you could be assaulted.
Finally! An advertising campaign about sexual violence that targets men! An advertising campaign that acknowledges women without chastising their sexuality! The MCSR campaign is the only one I’ve seen in recent years that highlights such fundamental flaws in the system.
Remember Cosmopolitan’s September 2007 article, “Gray Rape: A New Kind of Date Rape?” The article defines “gray rape” as “sex that falls somewhere between consent and denial and is even more confusing than date rape because often both parties are unsure of who wanted what.”
The article implied that sexually forward women deserve what they get. Cosmopolitan mixed up consent with consequence and confused a generation of readers. Hell, feminist bloggers are still talking about it!
You can’t “a little bit” rape someone. Rape is never the victim’s fault, no matter his or her choice in clothing, level of intoxication or sexual history. No means no, always.
Aside from a poignant print campaign, MCSR is heavily involved in the social media sphere. The organization uses its Facebook page to spark discussion with fans. The organization is extremely active on Twitter, consistently posting relevant information and news from other non-profit groups.
MCSR has done an excellent job in positioning itself as a resource for men and women alike. Workshops and events fill the calendar as the organization spreads its message across the country.
The truth is, approximately 60 percent of rapes go unreported. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, one in six women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, compared with one in 33 men.
The media make it seem that there are sex-crazed strangers hiding in the bushes, waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting and alone victims. In reality, roughly 73 percent of victims know their assailants personally.
For the media, it is easier to cast a stranger as the villain instead of the person sitting behind you in economics class.
With this kind of coverage, it is no wonder why so many rapes go unreported. The media suggests the victim somehow brought the attack upon his or herself, and they must be ashamed.
Job well done, Men Can Stop Rape!