I used to have this poster hanging in my cubicle when I worked at Standing Together Against Rape. Of all the Don’t Be That Guy campaigns it remains to be my favorite. It’s message is simple and to the point. It’s not fucking around. Sex without consent equals sexual assault. Full stop.
Sometime in the last six months since I made the change from victim advocate to entertainment editor I got away from my roots as a voice against violence. I softened up, stepped off my soap box and talked about bands and drag queens a lot more than rape and abuse. No one can deal with rape all day every day for two years and keep the pace up. It’s rough.
That said, I wanted to remind the internet of this campaign. That there is a place in the conversation about rape for perpetrators to own their role in this problem. I say perpetrators instead of men because it is not just men who are perpetrating. It’s not strangers in dark alleys either, it’s the nice guy at the end of the bar you let buy you a drink. It’s the mother who assaults her children because its how she asserts power.
So, the next time your initial inclination is to assume because they’d been drinking, or flirting or didn’t scream no and hit their attacker that they weren’t really raped, keep this in mind: rape happens in a lot of ways to a lot of people. And rape is about taking someone’s power away.
Don’t Be That Guy (slash Person)
Off soap box, I’ll be back to posting about Jareth’s codpiece in no time.