This is NOT an Invitation

So, campaigns for different issues are everywhere. When atheists put up billboards or ads on buses expressing their disbelief in God, there was a huge stir, but you can be sure that the campaign had its effect: it got attention. For issues that are typically “women’s issues” like rape or sexualized violence, campaigns some times have to work against the typical brush off that feminism or uncomfortable subjects bring up in many people. A variety of strategies have been tried, from wearing meat clothing (Women are not “pieces of meat.” They are people) to the Take Back the Night marches.

The campaign against sexual assault in the UK called This Is Not An Invitation to Rape Me takes a boldly clear stance, puts it in your face, and deals with addressing common ideas about rape and sexual assault. Victim-blaming is still often the instinctive response to these sorts of crimes. There is sometimes an assumption that someone somehow brought on what happened to them, partially because if they did something WRONG, then if we don’t do that something, we think we will be safe. It’ll never happen to us as long as we don’t do a, b and c.

Unfortunately, that’s not how this works. It is NOT YOUR FAULT if you are assaulted. This isn’t to say that you are never safe. However, revealing clothing, established relationships or even “leading someone on” are not excuses for these actions. No means “No” means “No” means “No.” Nothing is a “Yes” but a “Yes.” This campaign hopes to send the message that there is no way to make rape okay. No exceptions. No invitations.

Commodifying the Women’s Movement

Sociological Images is a great blog that takes apart advertising and tells viewers what we’re really seeing – and what they’re really saying. It deals with every type of oppression and I’m constantly impressed by the insightful commentary. Plus, they definitely have a sense of humour.

Commodifying the Women’s Movement will lead you to post talking about the commodification of the women’s movement – otherwise known as selling feminism in order to sell products. These products can range from bras to shoes to cars. The appropriation of feminism by mainstream commercial culture devalues the struggle undertaken by feminists and turns it into a selling tool. While this happens with almost all social movements, it’s very frustrating to see the women’s movement into something it’s not.

Sexualizing and Gendering Food is another interesting one and it’s got dozens of examples of how foods are created or advertised in overtly sexual ways, or that give the food a specific gender. One of the more horrifying ones outlined a woman’s body as different cuts of meat and while this is no new trick, I can still never get over the division of women into pieces for sale. It happens all the time, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it! A lot of these are very shocking and several are surprisingly sexual. You have been warned.

Anyway, check out the links and explore Sociological Images!