Ad upholds rape culture


Kendra Harvey, Managing Editor

While Target stores’ advertisement for kids’ clothing includes a girl on crutches, representing more diversity by featuring a model with a physical challenge, Bloomingdale’s Christmas catalog currently carries an ad that normalizes date rape.

“Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking,” reads the tagline of the ad depicting a man leering at a unsuspecting woman dressed in holiday attire.
The ad suggests if a woman does not give sexual consent, then it is acceptable to compromise her ability to make good judgements.

Obviously Bloomingdale’s still needs to learn that if a woman is unable to say yes, the answer is no.

Date rape affects one in five women on college campuses, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, and Bloomingdales and other major companies should not be mocking something that causes psychological and physical harm to so many women.

The two in the ad being “best friends” makes the man seem less harmful, but rapists are not always strangers. Forty seven percent of perpetrators are friends or acquaintances of the victims, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

A Bloomingdale’s spokesman apologized when a social media storm criticized the ad, but ads are not the mistake of one person, and represent the culture of their companies.

As a high school senior applying to colleges, looking at the way colleges handle rape and sexual assault on campus is disturbing.

Until recently, rapes on campus or in dorms have not been treated as a violent crime. Campus police must sensitively take statements and evidence and investigate alleged rapes to be more concerned with protecting victims than defending potential perpetrators.

It’s no wonder 90 percent of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report their attack, according to the NSVRC.
Portraying rape as normal contributes to victim-blaming, and makes assault on women appear acceptable.

No one should have to watch her friend’s eggnog this Christmas, and normalizing rape needs to end.