UPDATE: Victim-Blamey Poster Muddles Regretting A One Night Stand With Rape Because That’s Novel
Darn those whiny drunken party girls who give it up to dudes and then “cry rape.” Don’t you know that if you get completely hammered and pass out you’re essentially giving ANYONE within a 20-mile radius consent to have sex with you? So suggests a truly novel poster floating around Edmonton, Canada that merges regretting one’s consensual sexual behavior with sexual assault. Not the same thing.
Global News reports that this rape culture pearl surfaced after a Women’s Studies instructor at the University of Alberta shared her criticisms of the message:
The poster is a response to a powerful 2010 campaign directed at men called “Don’t Be That Guy,” depicting various scenarios in which men (of heterosexual and same-sex encounters) help themselves in definitely rape circumstances. For example:
The consensus among rape culture illiterates seems to be that the “Don’t Be That Girl” doesn’t explicitly say “Go Rape Women!” so it’s all kosher. Somebody needs to look out for all those dudes being falsey accused of rape thanks to drunk dingbats. Commenters on the Edmonton Facebook reportedly explain away:
Robert says, “No place in that ad does it say rape is right. It is okay to slam men but when an ad like this is out it suddenly is pro rape? Once again it does not say rape is right so why read more into it?”
Reid writes, “Why are “don’t be that guy” posters acceptable if the opposite aren’t? They’re making a presumption that all men are potential rapists and should be viewed and educated as such. False rape accusations are a reality. This sign is factual and correct.”
Chanceala says, “This ad actually doesn’t say rape is ok. It’s saying don’t be that girl that says whoo hoo let’s get it on and then cry foul after the fact. Women are not all innocent.”
Robin writes, “We are in danger of becoming so concerned with NOT being a “rape culture” that we swing the other way and demonize men in all circumstances, whether they are actually guilty or not. The “outrage” from people such as Don Iveson indicates to me that this is the way our community has swung already.”
Everyone take this cheatsheat note down because one of the biggest components of rape culture is that you don’t even need to use the word “rape” to condone the action. Unfortunately, we have many euphemisms for sexual assault in our culture, which can be found in an array of pop culture markers. And one of them definitely includes warping regrets over alcohol-tinged consensual sexcapades with sexual assault. Because you know what’s missing between those two Madonna/whore archetypes? You know, the drunken floozy and the “real” rape victim. CONSENT.
What makes the “Don’t Be That Girl” poster so grossly problematic is that CONSENT is brushed over with the very concerning detail of that little yellow cocktail. The implication being that if you’re boozing, you’ve given consent and therefore in a constant state of consent. That’s rape culture, boys and girls.
“Don’t Be That Guy” seems to get this logic:
As for “demonizing” men, I’m already offended for your sons/brothers/fathers. I think well of men in that I don’t assume them all to be crazed bonehead brutes who are mentally incapable of understanding consensual sex. But rape culture absolutely does. Rape culture patronizes men and boys by saying that they’re all just hormone-driven animals who physically cannot control themselves when confronted with a pair of boobies. Hence why we can’t expect them to behave otherwise. Hence why they get a free pass when she was drunk, or she was wearing that skirt, or wore “too much” makeup, or even befriended them in the first place.
Your son is better than what rape culture says he is.
UPDATE: “Men’s Rights Edmonton” says that they are behind the “Don’t Be That Girl” posters.