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Stop Violence Against…Everyone

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.

Photo courtesy of makemeasammich.org

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.

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Discussion

46 thoughts on “Stop Violence Against…Everyone

  1. I say I agree and your last paragraph sums it up perfectly. Going to the petition now…

    Like

    Posted by NotAPunkRocker | August 27, 2013, 12:06 pm
  2. I didn’t “get” the ad, but I think it’s kind of … well, a lot wrong.

    Like

    Posted by BrainRants | August 27, 2013, 12:10 pm
  3. A most excellent post. You have it right on the knuckle. Violence DOES need to be stopped.

    Like

    Posted by Alastair | August 27, 2013, 12:13 pm
  4. “Why is it that we’re only crusading against violence against women? Why aren’t we crusading against all violence?”

    Feminism and female solipsism. This is the same thing I wrote about in my post on the “Go Red for Women” campaign to promote awareness of the dangers of heart disease specifically for women, despite the fact that over half of deaths due to heart disease are men (the full post is here: http://thenullhypotheses.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/on-wearing-color-coded-clothing-for-awareness/).

    Like

    Posted by Null | August 27, 2013, 12:15 pm
  5. I was very befuddled myself at first, but I think I agree with your stance.

    Like

    Posted by merbear74 | August 27, 2013, 12:18 pm
  6. Well written, TD. I don’t get the ad at all (& I am in marketing). All of the questions you posed hit it head on. What a sad world we live in when people think this type of ad sells. I share your pessimism, but I can’t help but hope for more from everyone. More compassion, more love. Without that hope, we have nothing.

    Like

    Posted by jack joseph's mom | August 27, 2013, 12:19 pm
    • It seems that seem people believe the adage “any press is good press” or however it goes. But that is just simply not the case. This ad makes no attempt to sell anything while degrading an entire gender. It is the very epitome of idiocy.

      Like

      Posted by Twindaddy | August 27, 2013, 12:22 pm
  7. The ad is despicable. You are correct, violence in any form needs to be stopped.

    Like

    Posted by 1jaded1 | August 27, 2013, 12:28 pm
  8. I didn’t click on the links, and I suspect I wouldn’t get it, either. I also haven’t seen these, either, but a friend has described the Black Dahlia photos and this one looks similar to what he described. So maybe it’s supposed to suggest the Black Dahlia murder, the mystery surrounding which has somewhat of a cult following? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Dahlia Just an uneducated guess. Otherwise, no clue as to what they’re thinking.

    In any event, this was my favorite line: Why aren’t we crusading against all violence?

    Word.

    Like

    Posted by Hippie Cahier | August 27, 2013, 12:48 pm
  9. I concur. Like a fucking doctor, of course.

    Like

    Posted by aliceatwonderland | August 27, 2013, 1:39 pm
  10. Right on target, TD.

    The more I think about the ad, though, I think it is more promoting sexism than violence against women. It looks to me like the image is saying she packed too much, not that somebody beat her up.

    Like

    Posted by Elyse | August 27, 2013, 3:53 pm
  11. Yup – you said it, brother.

    Like

    Posted by Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher | August 27, 2013, 3:53 pm
  12. Living in Ireland I have not seen the ad. However advertising is the” act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service,etc”. I would suspect right or wrong this ad has done its job. You know what they say, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”. By the way I am totally with your thinking on all violence not just violence against women being wrong.

    Like

    Posted by tric | August 27, 2013, 4:04 pm
  13. I agree wholeheartedly

    Like

    Posted by Zoe | August 27, 2013, 4:47 pm
  14. Our culture has certainly become much better at recognizing violence against all and I think in due time it will continue to get even better. Being a woman I do not stand for violence against myself or my kind in no way, shape, or form. But I also feel we, as women, should be more sensitive to men too. Nobody deserves to be mistreated, regardless of their sex, orientation, race, whatever.

    Like

    Posted by Anonymous | August 27, 2013, 11:48 pm
  15. I feel about this ad kind of how I feel about Ms. Cyrus’ latest escapades – I don’t understand it, but it just feels wrong somehow.

    I definitely agree with the humanist standpoint, that we should be standing up against violence against anyone vulnerable, not only women. It’s kind of unfortunate that “humanism” is already taken by an ideology with a somewhat different focus, we almost need a new word for this idea (of taking the “femin” out of “feminism” and reaching, instead, for equality for all).

    Like

    Posted by Janelle Weibelzahl | August 28, 2013, 1:38 am
    • Well, I know that women are far more mistreated than men in a number of ways. But I also think the goal of equality should be extended to everyone. If we’re going to fight for equality, let’s make it equal for everyone, not just women.

      I know far too many women who have been abused in some fashion. It’s despicable and it sickens me. But I also know a handful of men who have, too. So it is my belief that we should stand up for ALL of them collectively.

      Like

      Posted by Twindaddy | August 28, 2013, 7:13 am
  16. I’ve been looking at that ad since yesterday and I’m still trying to figure out just what … I just can’t fathom it. It makes absolutely no sense in any way, shape, or form. Who would look at that ad and think “AH HA! This is where I must stay! The hotel where I will be crushed by my luggage in an alley with my skirt hiked up around my buttocks!”

    Just, WTF really.

    And I agree with you, TD, your last paragraph sums up my feelings perfectly.

    Like

    Posted by C.K. Hope | August 28, 2013, 2:33 am
  17. You’re back, Twindaddy. Well done.

    Like

    Posted by The Hook | August 28, 2013, 8:14 am
  18. violence against women is especially bad in Muslim countries, especially Egypt. Many young girls and women are being raped and beaten. The problem there is much worse than the ad, i’m afraid.

    Like

    Posted by mgetubig | August 28, 2013, 10:57 am
  19. well said.
    The advantage of railing against violence on a specific group (as opposed to a general “no violence” plea) is that it brings to mind specfic ideas about that group.
    I would have different motivations for violence against one group than another. Looking at them seperately brings them into clearer focus.

    Though in the end, it’s probably just my own inadequacies that I’m really upset about.
    Except for people that park in two spots.
    I’m totally justified in beating them.

    Like

    Posted by El Guapo | August 28, 2013, 2:04 pm
  20. You put it rather perfectly TD. Unfortunately, our language is rather violent too.

    Like

    Posted by bardictale | August 28, 2013, 4:33 pm
  21. I didn’t get what the ad is trying to convey either. But I agree with Tric that since the ad got so much (even if negative) attention, the ad was effective. If I saw that picture separately from the posts, I would not have thought this was glorification of violence against women. Even after all the posts, I’m still not convinced it is. Your post about Enough Is Enough, Facebook – that was clear cut, that was something that merited the petition. Here it’s a gray area, and I don’t think it’s enough for me to join in the protest.
    Also, according to Rosie’s post, the photo in the ad is an earlier artistic work, so shouldn’t we be splitting the blame between the photographer, ad agency, and hotel?
    And I agree with your point that it should be “Stop violence against everyone”, not just against women – even if women are victims more often than men. “Stop violence against women” implies that there isn’t violence against men, or that violence against men is acceptable.

    Like

    Posted by List of X | August 29, 2013, 1:54 am
    • “And I agree with your point that it should be “Stop violence against everyone”, not just against women – even if women are victims more often than men. “Stop violence against women” implies that there isn’t violence against men, or that violence against men is acceptable.”

      This was more or less the reason for my post. That picture could have been interpreted many different ways, but Rosie and many others saw it as violence against women. And while I’m a staunch advocate for woman’s rights, I don’t think it should stop there.

      Like

      Posted by Twindaddy | August 29, 2013, 7:06 am
  22. I agree, it should be equality for all. People who have power over others should respect that the people they have power over are people and not things, regardless of any differences. Life is not easy under the best of circumstances and knowing that there is someone out there who will view the individual as a thing not a person makes it even more difficult.

    I think that’s where the problems start – the abuser is only ever thinking of themselves and their own gratification, and so they use that to justify what they do, and when you get media products like this (think about it, it’s not just advertising – dare we even mention the porn industry?) and others that are ambiguous or seem to make it OK to treat people as things, that’s when it gets worse.

    Like

    Posted by faithhopechocolate | September 3, 2013, 9:02 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: The Standard Hotels, DuJour Media, and Violence Against Women | Make Me a Sammich - August 27, 2013

  2. Pingback: The Standard hotel, Miley Cyrus, feminism and violence | Life of a Fallen Angel - August 27, 2013

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