Last night after I put Baby C to bed I went downstairs to fiddle around on the internet a bit while I waited for him to fall asleep and the twins took their showers. I was on Facebook scrolling through a cornucopia of hilarious memes, pictures of my friends’ children, and funny anecdotes when I came across a post from Madame Weebles. She had shared a link to a post on Make Me A Sammich which calls out an advertisement depicting violence against women. Go ahead and click on the link, I’ll wait here for you to return.
*hums Final Jeopardy theme*
You back? Good. So undoubtedly you saw the ad in question. It’s a full-page ad in DuJour Magazine for The Standard, which evidently is a boutique hotel chain (whatever that means). The ad depicts a presumably unconscious woman laying on a concrete floor with luggage laying on top of her. The woman does not appear to be wearing any pants. Actually, I’ll just post the picture.
It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to articulate my response to this. Last night I was more confused than appalled as I can find no discernible message in this ad. What in this ad is going to compel me to spend my money at The Standard? What’s the catch? What is this ad attempting to say? What part of their business are they trying to sell here? This ad serves no practical purpose.
I clicked off the web page, befuddled. I wasn’t sure what I had just seen, but of one thing I was certain: someone in The Standard’s advertising department needs to be fired for being horribly inept. What a pointless and tasteless ad.
This morning during my commute to work, which lasts about 30 to 40 minutes depending on traffic, I began thinking of that ad again. I pondered the responses to the post in which people showed anger, resentment, and shock towards another ad depicting violence against women. And they are right to be angry, resentful, and shocked. I mean, by producing this ad The Standard has pretty much admitted to thinking violence against women is okay. That may not be their intended message, but that is the message that has been conveyed and received.
The comments on this post are dripping with outrage and confusion. Outrage that The Standard thinks violence against women is okay. Outrage that DuJour would allow such an ad into their magazine. Confusion as to what the ad’s intent is. There has also been a petition created on change.org demanding an apology from both companies for using violence against women in a lame attempt to sell hotel rooms.
As I pondered all this while driving a thought occurred to me. Why is it that we’re only crusading against violence against women? Why aren’t we crusading against all violence? Being a victim of domestic violence myself, perhaps my view is a bit skewed on this. I realize that I have no idea what it’s like to be a woman. I realize that I have no idea what challenges they face in a mostly male dominated society. But I also know that women are not the only victims of abuse and domestic violence. In my opinion ALL violence needs to be stopped, not just violence against women. All violence is intolerable and unacceptable.
If you’re going to make a difference, if you’re going to have a voice and make it heard, why not fight for everybody? Why not make it known that you oppose ALL violence whether it’s man against man, man against woman, woman against man, or woman against woman? I realize that most cases of domestic violence are committed by men against women, but let’s stamp out the entire problem, not just one facet of it. I deplore violence. I loathe it. It’s unnecessary and solves nothing. I have no respect for a man who strikes a woman, or worse, but I also have no respect for any person who resorts to violence in any given situation.
Last night my pessimism got the best of me. I decided not to sign the petition because, what good would it do? Obviously neither The Standard nor DuJour care about what we think of the ad otherwise it would never have been printed and circulated. But this morning I decided that I’d rather it be known that I oppose this sort of stupidity whether or not The Standard or DuJour care. So I signed the petition. It may not, and probably won’t, make a difference, but at the very least people will know where I stand on this issue. Violence, against anyone, should not be used as a tool to sell anything.
I’m letting it be known right now that I oppose all violence, not just violence against women. I find all violence to be barbaric, idiotic, and pointless. I oppose all abuse; physical, mental, and emotional, no matter if the perpetrator is a man or woman. I am a humanist. I want equality for ALL people whether you’re a man or a woman. Whether you’re white or black. Whether you’re gay or straight. Whether you’re Christian or Muslim. Whether you’re fat or skinny. Whether you’re young or old. We ALL deserve to be treated equally. What say you?
*Here is a link to the petition if you wish to sign it as well.