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Found Feminism: “Know The Difference” – Lambeth rape prevention campaign

2011 January 18
Orange and black poster with a male shape contrasting the words flirt and harass

Spot the difference

Thanks to Brave Sir Robin for sending this in to us.

There’s a heavily advertised rape prevention campaign in the London Borough of Lambeth at the moment which has some very laudable aims, including to challenge the victim blaming culture around rape, recently criticised by Baroness Stern CBE in her report (downloadable here).

The adverts are aimed at young men who socialise in Lambeth, especially Brixton and Clapham, which have recently seen very disturbing rises in rape and sexual violence.

So, is it Found Feminism? I’m going to give it a two thumbs up for yes, for both reversing gender prejudices and trying a different approach to understanding and dealing with attitudes around rape and rape prevention.

The language and style of both the posters and the website offer a more detailed and mature look at the old “no means no” giving very clear examples of what is and isn’t legal or acceptable. I’m particularly interested in this poster because it pushes back the responsibility of gaining consent, and hence on committing the crime, away from what the woman is wearing or what she has had to drink.

Instead, it choses to unpick standard excuses for poor social behaviour:

Harmless fun is just that – harmless fun. Wolf whistling, jeering and making sexually provocative comments can be threatening and make a woman feel at best irritated but also scared and vulnerable. This could be seen as criminal behaviour and you could be arrested and charged. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual activity.

I’d be interested to see whether this style of advert has a wider spread than just one particular borough, and what impact it has on the young men who see the posters.

  • Found Feminism: an ongoing series of images, videos, photos, comics, posters or excerpts – anything really, which shows feminist ideas at work in the everyday world. Send your finds to [email protected]!
6 Responses leave one →
  1. January 18, 2011

    Hey! I pointed those out to you about 3 weeks ago on your other post!

    • Miranda permalink*
      January 18, 2011

      Yep, thanks to you too! I think it may well have been you pointing it out in those comments that led to Brave Sir Robin, who happened to be in Clapham that week, taking some shots and offering to submit a pic as a Found Feminism.

      Credit all round :)

  2. January 18, 2011

    Sorry that was petulant, lol.
    There are loads all up and down Clapham Common tube escalator, I’ll take pictures of each one next time I’m there if you like :-)

  3. Sarah J permalink*
    January 18, 2011

    I like these! Also further evidence of the unstoppable influence of Mad Men in the graphic.

  4. January 18, 2011

    Tweeted about this – it’s great to see a campaign like this Doing It Right, as opposed to TfL’s victim-blame-athon “stop. please. stop. please. stop taking unlicensed minicabs” one, which actually made me feel ill.

    And I’ve seen Japanese girls making and sharing a poop omelette, nausea-free.

  5. January 18, 2011

    These are every other ad on the up escalator at Brixton tube and featured on billboards and bus stops throughout Brixton especially outside the bars and clubs.

    I feel quite proud of Lambeth council for commissioning them and challenging the status quo. And if they’d like to back that up by making sure the police in the borough have the same attitudes and do their jobs properly and are punished if they don’t, then I will finally be able to tell everyone Brixton really is the best place in London to live…

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