Sunday, November 16, 2008

Italian Rape Awareness Poster Opposed By Conservatives In Milan

In Milan, Italy there is an uproar among conservative leaders against an anti-rape poster.

Milan, November 14 - An anti-rape poster showing a naked woman in a Christ-like pose has raised a storm in Milan.

The poster, commissioned by Italy's rape crisis helpline Telefono Donna, has been slammed by conservative politicians who have vowed to stop it going up around the city later this month. ''I'll do everything in my power to stop this poster going up,'' said the city council's billboard pointman, Maurizio Cadeo.

After looking at the poster (shown here) I think that what some of these men see as most blasphemous is the text included on this poster which translates to: Who Pays For Man's Sins?

This is a deliberate and powerful slap in the face to the pervasive victim blaming message many people of all religious beliefs cling to. For too many people women cause most rapes committed against them by their sinful actions which lure innocent men into sin.

To position female rape victims -- even naked ones -- as being completely innocent and forced to pay for the sins of the men who raped them is for these people a hate filled concept.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:16 AM   8 comments links to this post


At November 16, 2008 1:10 PM, Anonymous Kathryn said...

Are there still a lot of people that believe that? I thought that people were moving away from the idea of rape being the woman's fault. But I can't really see any other reason why they would have a problem with it, other than that most religious people get overly upset when you mimic their religious beliefs for other purposes.
Honestly, I think the poster could have been a lot more vulgar. It's awful how people cling to certain beliefs just to maintain their self-image; I mean, it wouldn't reflect very well on men if rape was actually their fault. I think the poster does a good job of expressing its message.

At November 16, 2008 1:21 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...


Those who believe that most rape victims aren't innocent is going down, but many people cling to victim blaming for a variety of reasons including not wanting to face how common rape really is.

At November 16, 2008 1:54 PM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

Seconding what Marcella said, except I don't believe the attitude has changed at all. If we stop blaming the victim, then we have to blame men -- and women would rather Stockholm dance themselves into oblivion rather then admit that men have designed society to oppress women and therefore are generally pig-like animals.

You've been loving a pig -- what does that say about YOU??? generic "you", meaning all females.

I would kill for a bigger jpeg of this, but google turns up nothing. Excellent find, btw!

At November 16, 2008 5:11 PM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

Another thing. The christian mythos declares that "the one who bears man's sin is elevated to a position above man".

This poster suggests rather gently that throughout history it has been women who have borne the brunt of man's inhumanity. If they were consistent, then according to the christian narrative god would actually be female.

Which would also mean that they would have to worship a female image and immediately stop dominating us. No wonder that group hates it so much.

I've seen similar images, but never with that particular tag line... which is PERFECTION. But the background should have been black, and she really should have been attached to a cross. Perhaps with a ripped open uterus and a black eye -- further symbolizing being beaten by a man and used as a baby factory. But maybe the outrage would have prevented it from being shown if it were any more obvious.

I demand a bigger jpeg, just so I can play with it.

At November 16, 2008 7:17 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

m andrea,

I disagree with you about the Stockholm dance and about the meaning and implication of the Christian mythos. Those Christians who excuse sexual violence ignore the teachings of Jesus.

Many people who want to defend the undefendable use religion or God as a scapegoat. To those people their critics are not arguing against them we are arguing against God.

At November 16, 2008 11:20 PM, Anonymous Kathryn said...

M andrea,
I'm not sure I agree with the Stockholm dance, either. I think if women blame themselves or women in general for the occurrence of rape, that it probably has to do with control. If rape is the woman's fault, then you as a woman have the ability to prevent someone from raping you. However, if it is the fault of the man, then you have no control. No one wants to admit they don't have control over bad things happening to them.
I think there should be ads like this posted in the U.S., although, I do think that the image should be a little more vulgar. I can't see her face, but she almost looks peaceful. I really like the message, though.
Does anyone know of any research done on blaming the victim for rape?

At November 19, 2008 2:43 PM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

Sorry, I didn't make myself more clear, and that is my fault.

I wasn't referring to a victim of rape, I was referring to all women.

We have a society that was designed by men, they could have designed this society any way they wanted. It just so happens that for whatever reason the vast majority of societies oppress females.

Also remember that for thousands of years, men knew women were inferior, but fucked you anyway. (generic "you", for emphasis) So we know that men can "love" an inferior, or at least lust after them and use them as servants. The sentence in bold is a fact. If you would like to argue this point, I would be more than happy...

Women cannot stand the thought that men do not love them as an equal. Women will do any mental gymnastic required in order to make the facts say anything other than the truth. That is Stockholm.

At November 19, 2008 3:18 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

m andrea,

I understood what you meant without clarification. I still disagree with you.

A significant number of men do love women as an equal and this is nothing new. Knowing this to be true is not a sign that I suffer from Stockholm syndrome.

There are a significant number of men who don't love anyone as an equal even though they direct most of their ire at women through their words and/or actions.

If you want to try to prove your premise then you'll need to do that on your own blog.


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