Ever called a girl ‘doll’? A new Police Scotland campaign with a short but powerful video on things that might seem insignificant to men but make women feel threatened and cornered has shifted the focus to ‘that guy‘.
The campaign urges men to look back and remember the seemingly harmless thoughts, words and actions for and against women that have had any space in their quotidian lives. That the action might not have been counted as fully-blown assault does not matter. Sexual violence starts long before you think it does.
One by one, actors look the viewer in the eye and ask questions that make men uncomfortable solely for the truth they scream. The straight talking questions force men to encounter their own sexual entitlement. The realisation of being a part of the problem when behavioural patterns are spoken out loud leave the viewer in an awkward state. Actors point out, Most guys don’t look in the mirror and see a problem, but it’s staring us right in the face.
The clip ends with a terse statement. Don’t be that guy.
Campaigners all over have shown support for the Don’t Be That Guy campaign. The short film comes in the wake of the gruesome kidnapping, rape and murder of Everard by a police officer in March this year. In their statements and reactions, commissioners and officers of the country had refused to fully acknowledge the challenges of women as victims. Instead of blaming the culprits for doing what they do, women have been urged to learn to protect themselves and to be secure. While self-defence never goes to waste, should we really be looking at sexual violence as a problem with two narratives?
What is refreshing that Scotland Police has refused to side with authoritarian figures that snatch the fundamental rights of women and accept sexual violence as something the female sex is naturally burdened with, and needs to solve itself. Pushing the idea that women have to learn to defend themselves because men will never change takes away the power women have over their own lives. Unless we target the root attitude that causes sexual violence, no amount of security will work.
You ever give a girl a compliment … and wondered why you didn’t get a thank you?
Ever slid into a girl’s DMs and went ahead and just showed her it?
Sexual violence begins long before you think it does.
Don’t be that guy.
If you find this campaign interesting, check out #SaveTheFutureBoners Campaign