Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Men Can Stop Rape

While I was browsing Facebook, I chanced upon an advertising campaign which caught my attention – Men Can Stop Rape. I got curious! Before I clicked on the picture to get a better and larger view and read the numerous comments, I asked myself, hmmm, what is this campaign all about? Really, how can men stop rape? Is this campaign designed to teach or help men have a better control of their sexual desires / libido so as not to commit rape? Or is this campaign designed to inform other men (bystanders) of how they can intervene when they happen to know or sense a rape about to be committed? Interesting.

I liked one comment I read, that regardless of how you see the picture (as being politically incorrect or unfair for criticizing and putting the blame to men in general), it does not change the fact that NO means NO.

Truly! In doing the act, whether they are married or not, both parties must consent. This consent must be given freely. If one says no, whether it is the guy or the girl, the other must respect that decision and not in any way compel the other to grant his or her “wish”. After all, that’s what love is all about, right? Respect!

Also, there was a point about having so much advertisement effort being put to inform women how they can avoid being raped, which in a way, sends a message that it was the victim’s fault why she was raped in the first place (based on her job, outfit etc). This is the classic victim blaming. Our world is too old for this kind of campaign.

I’m delighted because I consider this as a start of a breakthrough.

And the reason? Let me share this particular story. I remember hearing a story about a married couple and was saddened by the fact that the wife doesn’t know that there’s such a thing as “marital rape”. That even though she tells her husband that she is tired from work or not in the mood because of her physical condition, her husband would insist on doing the act despite her protest. And if she protested further, her husband will think that she is being unfaithful and interested in doing the deed with another man. Hence, the violence.

I believe there’s still a misconception about rape, especially to the poor and underprivileged. Most of the public believe that it can exist only when two people are not in a romantic relationship together. But we know more than that. We know that it CAN and it DOES exist even between two people who are in a romantic relationship.

We can’t blame them for not knowing. The local TV shows and movies have sent a false impression that a woman can be raped only by a man who is not her husband or partner. It can be her co-worker, her suitor, her uncle, her father; but rarely is it shown that a woman can be raped by her partner.

This advertising campaign shows 4 pictures that have a common denominator – the parties are in a relationship (or it is safe to assume that they are).

Angeli I. Serapio, Entry #4

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