Women Are Always To Blame
Posted by caitlinate on November 23, 2008
I’m pretty tired right now so this may not be the best written post ever. But! We’ll try anyway!
The government has a new anti binge drinking campaign out – aimed at the 15 – 25 age demographic. The Age refers to the campaign as ‘graphic’ and had an article about it in the Saturday paper which can be found online here. The link also has the actual advertisements embedded in the article.
The campaign theme is “don’t turn a night out into a nightmare” and is based on showing ‘regrettable’ behaviour you might get up to whilst binge drinking. The intent, it seems, is to embarrass teenagers into not binge drinking!
Nonetheless, the campaign in itself is probably necessary and I haven’t reflected enough on the overall idea to either criticise or praise it at length. Overall. One element though does make me really, really, really angry.
One of the ‘embarrassing’ things one might get up to when drunk is “be filmed having drunken sex”. Says The Age:
One advertisement depicts a teenage girl getting drunk at a house party and eventually having sex on the lawn while being filmed by laughing party-goers. It finishes with a reminder that one in two teenagers will do something they regret while drunk.
Creative directors found that girls were more susceptible to a message that social embarrassment could be caused by regretted sex acts than any health risks caused by alcohol.
This [section of the] underage drinking ad is meant to be from the perspective of the female. You see a hand with a cup of – presumably alcohol – repeatedly raising to the camera, a male enters frame and speaks to the camera/girl and then finally we see the girls feet on the ground and her underwear being removed, with the male standing above her unzipping his pants. This is followed by the text ‘one in two Australians aged 15-17 who get drunk will do something they regret’.
This is so wrong in so many ways.
Not only does it imply that only the girl will regret it or get herself into that ‘kind of situation’ it also says that she is responsible for what happens to her when she is intoxicated. No questions about consent (particularly when in the ad the guy seems to be more sober than her, though the fact apparently only girls can have this happen to them is also problematic). No public campaign about how having sex with someone who is so drunk they can’t make rational decisions is, oh, rape. No condemning of the people standing at the sidelines and laughing and taking pictures rather than helping. Just condemnation heaped on the girl for drinking so much she got herself into that situation in the first place! Once again! Women to blame for their own rape!
This entry was posted on November 23, 2008 at 11:31 pm and is filed under Media Watch, sexual assault, violence against women, Watching The Ad Breaks. Tagged: advertising, binge drinking, sexual assault. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.