I’ve never been to Scotland, but I’m in love with it. No, it’s not the gorgeous landscape nor the earthy Scottish accent. It’s not even the fact that my favorite daydream currently involves having afternoon tea in this Scottish tree house. It’s Rape Crisis Scotland and their “Not Ever” ad designed to help change attitudes about sexual consent. This ad first aired on STV (a popular Scottish tv station) during a World Cup soccer match. Two guys in a bar ogle a beautiful girl in a short skirt. One guys says, “Check out the skirt. She’s asking for it.” Cut to a department store. The same girl is pondering two skirts, one of them the skirt we saw her wearing in the bar. A sales person asks if she needs help, and she replies, “Yeah, thanks. I’m going out tonight, and I want to get raped. I need a skirt that will encourage a guy to have sex with me against my will.” The sales person says, “The blue one. Definitely the blue.” I snorted my coffee when I first saw the ad. Simply brilliant, and so true. Wanting to look good – even (gasp) sexy – is not asking to be raped!
To add to the brilliance of this ad, it ends with a male voiceover reminding viewers that, “No one asks to be raped. Ever.” OK, I know it was a hired voice talent, but I’m happy even for that. As Eve Ensler says, “When men stand up to end violence against women, the world is going to change”