Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rape Culture

Today when I was walking home from class I saw this:

Every day I pass this advertisement, and it's been there for ... a couple months maybe? This kind of imagery is so normalized for me, and most people, that I don't even remember when it went up. It's just a funny picture. Lady's legs! Football helmet! Two things that don't go together!

But today, I noticed this ad. I see it everyday, but I don't notice it. Today, someone wrote the words, "THIS IS WHAT RAPE CULTURE LOOKS LIKE" across the glass. Today, I noticed.

Although I've taken classes in which misogynistic ads are analyzed and I have a heightened awareness of what I am seeing in magazines, TV shows, movies (etc.), the subjugation of women in the media is SO normalized that it is really difficult! Especially the things that you see every day.
I thought this video was a good take on defining and demonstrating the scope of rape culture:

Last semester I saw the documentary, Killing Us Softly, in a women's studies class. I know... documentary... sounds boring. But if you like pop culture, like I do, and see thousands of advertisements, like I do, and are at all interested in the "hidden agendas" of such ads, like I am, I think you will appreciate this video (this is the first part of four):

It's not exactly a video you would go out and buy immediately, but it is good for making you think. How do I participate in rape culture? Does my subscription to Vogue promote the subjugation of women in advertising?
While it's kind of a lot to take in, and often elicits rolling my eyes at certain advertisements, on the upside, I have become more aware of positive advertisements. When an ad features a woman looking strong and carries an empowering message--I notice. And I remember that brand over others.
What do you notice?

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