Today in Rape Culture

[Content Note: Rape culture.]

So, a female student at the University of Oregon created an anti-rape PSA in response to the Steubenville case, which was gone viral, and CNN did a short piece on the PSA.

[The video was screwing up the page code, so I removed it, but you can view the segment here.]
CNN Anchor Don Lemon (a black man wearing a dark pinstriped suit and a brown tie): Well, it's a video that has been going viral on the heels of the Steubenville rape case—a co-ed at the University of Oregon says she was frustrated by the case and decided to make her own video to show what someone should do in a similar situation. Samantha Stindall (ph) calls her public service video "a needed response." Here's a clip—the entire clip.

Video Clip of a young white man in a t-shirt and jeans speaking into a camera, while a young white woman wearing a t-shirt and shorts is passed out on a couch in the background: Hey, bros. [he gestures to the woman] Check who passed out on the couch. Guess what I'm gonna do to her? [he retrieves a pillow and puts it under a head; a blanket which he drapes on top of her; a stool on which he sets what looks like a cup of tea; smooths her hair] Real men? Treat women with respect.

Lemon: The YouTube video just went live on Friday; it's already received more than 727,000 views.
Aside from the fact that I wasn't aware we were still using the term "co-ed" in the year of our lord Jesus Jones two thousand and thirteen, it was a solid bit of coverage. But this is how CNN is currently teasing the video on its front page:

screen cap of part of CNN's front page featuring a still of the video, with the guy looking into the camera and the unconscious girl viewable behind him, accompanied by a link reading: 'See what he does with passed-out girl'

The fuck, CNN? I shouldn't need to explain why it's fucked-up to tease an anti-rape video exhorting men not to assault unconscious women with an image and text suggesting that it's a video of a man assaulting an unconscious woman. "HA HA PSYCH!"—CNN. Just no. Anti-rape advocacy is not the time for wacky reversal pranks.

I'm sure there's some threadbare rationalization waiting to be deployed about drawing in the very people who need to see it most, but suffice it to say that effective anti-rape advocacy does not happen in spaces that tantalize rape aficionados with materials that appear to promise access to a sexual assault.

As a general rule, effective anti-rape advocacy also doesn't have the potential to make anti-rape advocates gasp and survivors trigger when they stumble upon it.

Of course, I don't believe for a moment that CNN gives a flying fuck about anti-rape advocacy. They pretty clearly just want click-throughs, from anyone, for any reason. Better luck next time, rapists.

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