Dec 16, 2011 @ 1:38 pm | By TheFeministGriote | 5 Comments
This PSA ad which was the brain-child of Pennsylvania liquor control board has caused quite a stir especially among various feminist camps. This ad which is suppose to remind us all of the various dangers of binge drinking has been labeled as a ‘victim blaming’ ad. I recently read an article by Keli Goff who wrote about this ad for the Loop21 and who viewed this ad much differently. I agree with everything that Goff stated in her article, but the weird thing is that many feminist seem to have missed the larger point the ad was trying to make.
Earlier this year, I read Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti,which I wrote about, in this article: My beef with the Ivory Tower of Feminism (I had my issues with the book, but I think it a decent beginners guide to feminism) in that book, I learned an important phrase that will forever be in my lexicon as a feminist and as a woman. The phrase is “rape schedule.” As women we all live by a “rape schedule” whether we realize it or not. As women we navigate the world under a different more stressful and often times more dangerous circumstances than our male counterparts. As women we must be leery of walking late at night alone in certain areas, we must mentally brace ourselves to combat street harassment, if you are like me you don’t smile at every man who smiles at you, for fear this will invite unwanted attention to your femaleness that will make you uncomfortable. As women we are always thinking about safety and how we can better ensure our safety.
Women live under the constant fear of how can I avoid being raped? That is the sad and disgusting truth of the matter. Men (who can also be victims of rape) don’t have to worry about all the aforementioned things above at least not in the same way. If having breast and a uterus makes me prone to having breast cancer, cervical cancer, and possibly being a victim of a sexual crime -then the same way, I must keep up with my pap smears and do my self breast exams, that also means I need to be more careful in avoiding dangerous situations.
Rape is real and it happens. We warn people all the time about the dangers of texting and driving drinking and driving so why can’t we warn others especially those who are at greater risk of being victims of sexual violence, about the dangers of binge drinking? I agree with Keli Goff the ad missed the mark visually, but the overall point was not missed at least not on me. Alcohol impairs your judgment period. point blank. bottom line. If my judgement is impaired, I can’t give consent and we all know if you are drunk and passed out you definitely can’t give consent. Binge drinking is not good for anyone’s health, but if we are honest binge drinking raises your chances of a douche bag taking sexual advantage of you. It does not mean that if a woman is passed out drunk and becomes a victim of a sex crime that it is her fault that is not the case, but one must always err on the side of safety.
There seems to be a belief held by many feminist that by warning a woman you are somehow taking away her agency and blaming her if she is indeed ever victimized. As a feminist it is my duty to be my sisters keeper. That means holding her hand while she cries after she made the hard decision of having an abortion, supporting her in achieving her dreams, tell her when she is wearing the wrong foundation color, and warning her about the dangers of binge drinking. Women like all other adults over the age of 21 should be allowed to drink, but like every other adult who is over the age of 21 understands we all must drink responsibly.
Until this society stops breeding rapist the notion of rape will always permeate the daily activities of women. Warning women against the dangers of binge drinking is not disempowering them its in fact empowering them to make a better and wiser decisions.
What do you think ? Is warning women against binge drinking really a form of victim blaming? Weigh in below…
Categories: The Temple of My Familiar