Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's 2010 and advertisers are STILL using gang rape to sell clothing?

When will designer brands learn that it’s not cool to use gang rape to advertise clothing?

In 2007 Dolce & Gabanna put out this charming ad, which was banned in Italy, Australia and Spain, and caused controversy world-wide.

Now, Calvin Klein has basically done exactly the same thing. This new ad, starring Dutch model Lara Stone, has also been banned in Australia for being “suggestive of violence and rape.” Australia's ad watchdog said the image "was demeaning to women by suggesting that she is a plaything of these men. It also demeans men by implying sexualized violence against women."

I believe these companies know that what they're doing will spark controversy, and they're using the old "any press is good press" motto. So on the one hand I'm reluctant to even mention this because maybe that's exactly what they want... but on the other hand, it's really important that people understand WHY these images are unacceptable: Studies have shown that increased exposure to images of violence against women "normalizes it" and makes it less shocking and seemingly less wrong. If people start to think of rape and sexual assault as something normal, they will have less sympathy for victims, and more offenders will get away with their crimes.

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