Shame on You: PA Liquor Control Board Blames Drunk Girls (and Their Friends) for Being Raped

If you don't want to get raped, don't get too drunk, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's new ad campaign says. Offensively titled "Control Tonight," the ads suggest girls look out for themselves and friends during a night of drinking. Otherwise, a rape might happen. The blame is quite clearly not on the rapist, but the victim and her friends, as if rape is a monster that emerges from the bottom of a bottle.

This "Call the Shots" ad even says:

“Calling the shots starts with you. What if you didn’t watch out for your friends during a night of drinking?” 

From Feministing:

One ad features a young girl’s legs, underwear around the ankles, as she lays on what appears to be a bathroom floor. The text reads, “She didn’t want to do it, but she couldn’t say no.”

While the board may have had good intentions, these ads show that rape culture is alive and well in our society. Alcohol is definitely a huge factor when it comes to sexual assault, but in no circumstances is it ever the victim’s fault. Again we see our culture continuing to teach “Don’t get raped!” instead of “Don’t rape.” And instead of teaching people how to make sure they’re properly getting consent from someone they’re hooking up with, our society perpetuates a mindset that makes women feel guilty for a crime committed against them. 

Rape is already highly unreported, and focusing on the wrong end of personal responsibility may only cause more victims to believe they caused, or could have prevented, their own rape.  

Call or email the PA Liquor Control Board and ask them to pull the campaign: 1-800-453-PLCB (1-800-453-7522), or [email protected].

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at December 7, 2011, 9:53am

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