These things I know:
1. Advertising works. If it didn’t, companies wouldn’t spend billions each year inundating us with ads and constantly looking for new ways to get their messages across.
2. Sex sells (‘nuff said)
3. Worldwide, women live under the oppression of rape culture, to some degree.
4. It’s fairly easy to make the chicken/egg argument here - rape culture has existed since the dawn of time as we know it, advertising… less.
5. To say that these ads simply reflects our culture completely ignores the reality that advertising AFFECTS our decisions, as it is designed to do.
6. There comes a point when a behavior is considered so anathema that its portrayal in a glamorous way is considered offensive to most people. Such is the case with animal abuse, child abuse, and racism, not to mention drinking, drug use, and smoking. With this in mind, ask yourself why it is still ‘ok’ to portray women as sexualized victims of men, in poses suggesting they’ve been raped, tortured, murdered, or all of the above.
7. Until we recognize that these ARE a reflection of attitudes toward women; a perpetuation of and a tacit acceptance of rape culture; we will not be able to convince ourselves, and our children, that these images are as offensive as the crimes they portray.