Monday, 3 November 2014

HELLO AND UPDATES and (more importantly) Rape Culture Watch: Transport for London's Latest Campaign

Before I get into the main topic for this post I'd like to apologise for being away from you all for so long! I moved to Southampton in September and I've been settling in and getting my head stuck into some film and television studies and I'm loving it! I'm going to make a few promises right here because I need to take this blog more seriously!

  1. I'm going to continue with my 60 second projects, at least doing some once a week! I found them such good practice and a really good way of warming my brain up for some writing that I want to do!
  2. I'm also going to transfer some of my older short pieces of writing over from my Tumblr, mostly these are short free verse poems but I want to make a compilation of them all and have all my writing in one place; I no longer post my writing on Tumblr as it doesn't fit with my blog style!
  3. I had so much fun doing my "Art-A-Day" project, but now I'm at university I don't have much time to sit down and do a painting a day and I left most of my materials back at home, so I will post any drawings I do but I won't be continuing with this project!
  4. Leading onto today's topic, I'm going to be posting more about current affairs on this blog now that I need the practice for writing, as well as posting more film reviews (I PROMISE I WILL EVENTUALLY) I realise that this blog doesn't really have a set theme to it, it is just me moaning and waffling and sounding awfully profound and pretentious, but I hope you enjoy the vastness of what I like to write about!
So thank you all for reading! If you want to share any of my posts please do, it would really help me out to get more of a following going - and would probably motivate me to be more active!

[Trigger warnings: Rape, rape culture, awful people being awful, will make you question humanity etc etc.]

Rape Culture Watch: Transport for London's Latest Campaign
I came under fire on Facebook for opposing to Transport for London's latest campaign of the #HomeSafeSelfie, but eventually after I explained why it is so awful people saw sense. 
Let me get a few points out of the way early on here:
  1. I appreciate TFL's idea here: raising awareness on the constantly pressing issue of illegal cabs.
  2. YES precautions are a good thing if you're going on a night out 
  3. and YES let people know when you're home if they are worried about you or if they have asked you to
Now let me outline my issues with this campaign, and I'm not the only person to have them.

This campaign shows that it is the women's responsibility to get home safe, rather than male responsibility not to attack or rape. The example I used on Facebook is that rather than #HomeSafeSelfies we should do "Didn't rape anyone tonight selfie #winning." It encourages women to celebrate not being raped over social media (Side note: Celebrating not being raped? How do you think this will make actual victims feel? Insensitive.) Not being attacked or sexually assaulted shouldn't be something to be celebrated it should be the norm. 
Leading onto point two...
The general tone behind this campaign is that getting home safe is something that rarely happens which is why it should be publicly celebrated, and we as females should feel lucky every time we accomplish getting home without having been assaulted. It's something you recognise as a day-to-day thing; you don't stumble home drunk at 4am and go "I must thank all the wonderful men in my area for not raping me like everyone tells me they will. Boy, aren't I a lucky lady." It trivialises the issue of rape and makes it seem like women need to feel grateful every time we get home without being raped or attacked because that is obviously something that would happen to us.
And finally...
(Well obviously not Em otherwise you wouldn't have made a post about it, I know, but...) In a slightly different feel to the previous two problems, it has been commented that this campaign could jeopardise women's safety rather than help. With advances in modern technology and what we know are our limited drunk texting/Tweeting capabilities it is far FAR too easy to click the "send location" button on a tweet - I've done it when I'm sober - and whoosh, your address has been attached with a photo of you drunk and alone in bed. Well that's not clever, is it? Even without sending your location, there will be people who follow you on social media who know where you live, and possible sharing  on social media that you've "got home safe" drunk at 4am would encourage someone to come to your house? 

Generally you can tell I'm not impressed with this campaign, and I know that there are people who disagree with my disagreements. I definitely support the idea of promoting the use of legal cabs considering the issues that arise from illegal ones, and I am in favour obviously of letting your friends and family know where you are and when you are home safely (my mother wouldn't be able to sleep until I got home from a night out if I got a cab home, meaning most of my time at home I was leaving parties at 11pm so my mum could get her 8 hours peacefully.)

Thank you for reading! I hope you have learnt something today.

Remember if you have been affected by issues such as rape that there are organisations that you can talk to:
Samaritans (UK) 08457 90 90 90
Rape Crisis (England and Wales) 0808 802 9999 A text-based online crisis network

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