Thursday, September 30, 2010

RE: Image

Hi,

I am writing in regards to the image available on your website at http://www.consentissexy.org/index.php/welcome/



This image is very troubling. As an organizer for the Canadian Federation of Students' "No Means No" campaign that is also organized around themes of consent and ending gender based and sexual violence, I was deeply offended by your allusion that only some women deserve respect. The rhetoric you employed creates a dichotomy that many (uninformed) people use to justify actions against people who aren't 'respectable'. An effective campaign would reiterate that all people deserve respect and that their consent is valued and mandated.

A great example of this being expressed comes from the Scottish "Not Ever" ad, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h95-IL3C-Z8. The dress, speech, and actions of a person in no way mean that they have any less right to their security. No one asks to be raped, not even those touted 'sluts', or 'whores'.




I would also like to note how I have opted to used the term person rather than woman in my writings. I have done so to address the universal nature of issues surrounding consent. Sexual violence happens in queer as well as straight communities. A heteronormative approach to a consent campaign only further marginalizes queer persons experiencing sexual violence.

The "No Means No" campaigns I was involved with made these points abundantly clear as to have to most impact on people's actual behaviour. I strongly suggest you adopt similar strategies and retract the problematic image from your campaign.

In solidarity,


(Updates in commentary)

2 comments:

D$$ said...

I would like to recitfy a mistake I made in the original post, the campaign is actually very broad reaching into queer communities, though the home page was dedicated to an image that was indeed heteronormative (and problematic). This was the only image I'd been exposed to at the time of the letter sent.

D$$ said...

Also, the image has been retracted, and replaced with appropriate language!! Victory for angry letters!