Greta Christina of FreeThought Blogs is back to blogging regularly after her cancer treatment last year, and as usual is linking to very interesting stuff, particularly around the intersection of sex-positivity and dismantling rape culture.
Rape prevention aimed at rapists does work looks at a successful anti-rape campaign in Canada, and unlike the rape prevention
tipsmyths currently being passed around on Facebook, this education campaign offers useful information:
The “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign is a public service rape prevention campaign launched in Edmonton in 2010, and adopted by other cities in Canada, which took the radical step of aiming its message, not at potential rape victims, but at potential rapists. It took the radical step of educating potential rapists about what rape actually is. It recognized the role that alcohol commonly plays in rape — and it educates potential rapists that having sex with someone who doesn’t consent, or who is too drunk to consent, or who is passed out and therefore unable to consent, is rape.
The campaign didn’t target the stereotypical media image of rapists, the drooling psychopaths springing on suspects in a dark alley with a knife. It targeted ordinary folks, frat boys and partiers and bar-hoppers and folks who just like to toss a few back now and then… who have been brought up in a culture that teaches that drunkenness equals consent. It was influenced by a study out of the U.K. showing that 48 percent of men ages 18 to 25 did not consider it rape if the women was too drunk to know it was happening. And it teaches them that no: drunkenness does not equal consent, being stoned does not equal consent, being passed out does not equal consent. It had slogans like, “Just because she isn’t saying no… doesn’t mean she’s saying yes.” “Just because you help her home… doesn’t mean you get to help yourself.” “Just because she’s drunk doesn’t mean she wants to f**k.” It had slogans on every poster saying, “Sex without consent = sexual assault.”
And the campaign has been so successful, the number of reported sexual assaults in Vancouver fell by 10 per cent.
The first campaign focussed on male perpetrators and women. New campaigns will include same-sex scenarios. Other countries are expressing interest in adapting the campaign for their own communities.
Greta raises some typically cogent points in her introduction and her subsequent analysis. Read the whole thing.