I want to shed light on a little thing here called rape culture. According to a brief search, rape culture can be defined as “an environment where rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture”.
I’m not the first one to make a blog post about rape culture, and I know I will not be the last. But I want to do something a little differently, and tie it in to body image and advertising.
This lovely Dolce & Gabbana add pretty much sums everything I want to say up in one nice little rape-like picture. Now, instead of just selling overpriced and ugly bags, they sell the idea that 4 men standing, hovering, and leaning over a woman who is lying down on the ground is totally normal. The fact that they’re all looking at her like lions who haven’t eaten in a few weeks shouldn’t be concerning to us at all, because this is just a fashion advertisement.
But let me ask you this. What the hell are they selling? Can you tell?
From this, you probably wouldn’t be able to guess that they’re marketing their new line of fragrances, albeit this was a few years ago, but still. Nothing screams “Buy my perfume” like a scantily clad woman being held down by a scantily clad, oiled up man.
Nothing about advertising is fair to women. Over and over, the phrase “sex sells” is used to try and justify the fact that all the women are half-naked, if not more so, and that they’re all being used as props, along with whatever they’re trying to sell. Marketing in this country just teaches people that women are another thing that they can own or possess, not people who deserve to be treated as such.
I’m not solely blaming advertising for the rape culture that we live in, but by god, they promote it and run with it.
Even organizations like PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, uses naked women and women as props to highlight how badly we treat animals.
They’re fighting for animals to be treated better than women at this point. “See this half naked woman? Yeah, she’s the prop we’re going to be using to ask you to not eat animals. We don’t care that we might be promoting the idea that women are just slabs of meat to be consumed at will, we just don’t want you to enjoy a hamburger ever again.”
What does that teach Americans and people all around the world about our culture? Who would ever take us seriously when we value making money over the sexualization of a gender to the point of distortion? No one.