This week in rape news: Some fine men in Edmonton decided to fight back against all those terrible women who lie about being raped, and take back the innocence and purity of the one night stand.
The group Men’s Rights Edmonton plastered posters around the University of Alberta campus in retaliation for the highly successful Don’t Be That Guy campaign from Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton (SAVE), now being used in other cities as well, including internationally. The campaign targets potential offenders with bold messages such as “Just because she’s drunk, doesn’t mean she wants to f**k.”
Two of the retaliatory posters read, “Just because you regret a one night stand doesn’t mean it wasn’t consensual” and “Women who drink are not responsible for their actions . . . especially when sex is involved” followed with the slogan “Don’t Be That Girl.” (Another group of smart fellows now claims to have been served with a copyright infringement notice for hosting a “Don’t Be That Girl” thread on their website, which they respond to in a very mature manner.)
The Edmonton group argues that “false rape reports undermine the credibility of actual reports of actual rape.” Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I just don’t think a few people – one to two per cent, according to the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton – lying about being raped makes the 21,000 sexual assaults reported in Canada in 2009 any less horrible and sickening. A few wack jobs going around making false statements doesn’t make the real cases any less criminal nor the victims any less raped.
The fellas are also indignant because, they say, the campaign paints all men as rapists. I disagree; the campaign is really only targeted at guys who are greasy enough to have sex with women who are so drunk they can’t even stand up. (Hey, high five men, on having sex with lifeless dolls – you totally scored!) And the fact is the campaign works. Six months after it was introduced in Vancouver, sexual assault cases had dropped 10 per cent.
Edmonton police say that half the sexual assault cases they investigated in 2009 involved alcohol. Perhaps the underlying issue is over-imbibing. Is it possible that if all parties, male and female, weren’t so drunk they might make better decisions about who they are with and what they are doing? That they might make a sober judgment call: Is this a creepy weirdo who could possibly take advantage of me? Is this a crazy lady who looks like she could cry rape? It wouldn’t eliminate alcohol-fueled sexual assaults, but it might make a dent in their frequency.
I’m not sure why it’s taken so long for Men Right’s Edmonton to voice their affront — the Don’t Be That Guy campaign rolled out in Edmonton in 2010. Nevertheless, if I was a man I’d be proud to have them speaking up for me. They brilliantly made the move of having a female spokesperson defend their good work.
Obviously having a nice lady complain about all the rape fakers makes the rape even fakier.
Plus it has a spiffy picture on its site of a woman dressed up in some sort of military uniform and looking vaguely Hitleresque. They’ve resisted the temptation to put a moustache on her, but it is a swift and cunning application of Godwin’s Law. I can’t imagine anything more likely to gain them more followers.