exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

and it’s all your fault

by Jen at 7:17 pm on 10.02.2010 | 3 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle, rant and rage

i pass this poster every day, twice a day. plenty of people see this and think it’s a sensible advert.


i see it every day and it makes me irate.

it reminds me of this wonderful advert that the police put out at holiday time:

it is not my job to make sure unlicensed mini-cab drivers don’t rape me. that is the job of the *fucking police*.

funny, i don’t see any drinking or mini-cab adverts aimed at warning men. and if there’s an expectation that men should be safe drinking, and taking cabs, and can do so free from assault, then shouldn’t we hold the same expectations of safety for women?

we don’t make people or society safer by telling women they shouldn’t do what men do. you know, drink. and take cabs.

in a nutshell, this is the problem with ads like this: you *cannot* make women reponsible for “protecting themselves” without also implying that the corollary is then also true – namely, that if you *don’t* “protect yourself”, then you are somehow responsible if something happens.

it does not make sense on any logical planet to say, “we’re not victim blaming… but just in case, you should avoid becoming a victim”.

even worse, trying to scare women into never taking cabs or never drinking *does not make us safer*. it does not put rapists behind bars, and it does not innoculate us from harm.

i’m sick of seeing horrible, sad depictions of women who “should’ve known better”, crying with regret and shame because they didn’t heed the warnings, and now have been raped. (after all, don’t they know if they’d just been more cautious, they would’ve been safe ? but they were too brazen! and now look – they’ve been violated instead! look at them scream!)


no. what i want to see is rape conviction rates that make it into the goddamn double digits. what i want to see is women who are unafraid to do the same things men do – walk the streets at night, drink (sometimes too much, even), take cabs alone. what i want to see is a society that no longer tells women they need to protect themselves from potential rapists, but that demands laws and policing that truly protect *everybody*.

take every last penny put into “sensible” victim-blaming adverts like these, and put that money towards stopping rape.

5 people like this post.


  • 1

    Comment by Amity

    10.02.2010 @ 22:55 pm

    Amen, hallelujah and hail mary. My sentiments exactly.

  • 2

    Comment by daddio

    17.02.2010 @ 05:10 am

    so i learned that a beer glass has been invented in the uk that is made of safety glass that shatters like a windshield (as we say here in the states), so as not to cause serious injury when used in bar fights … plastic just doesn’t have the appropriate feel and heft.

  • 3

    Comment by Jen

    17.02.2010 @ 07:24 am

    it’s true. “glassing” is a problem here. nice, right?

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