Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dolce & Gabbana: Fantasy Rape? Since when was rape any woman's fantasy?

Dolce & Gabbana are pulling an ad featuring a "fantasy rape" amid pressures from NOW (who named it as one of the most offensive ads towards women) and other women's rights organizations, as well as world governments.

Quoted on MSNBC
, designer Steffano Gabbana "says that he regrets the way the ad was perceived and insists that he and his partner Domenico Dolce were not intending to demean women. He adds that the image is artistic and was meant to 'recall an erotic dream, a sexual game.' "

Surrrre. Forget the flying dream. My favorite is definitely when a group of men hold me down and force themselves on me. Absolutely. Are they using condoms? No? Even better!

Anyway- the article goes on to interview the designer. Gabbana states he doesn't see how the ad could be supportive of violence towards women, but has respectfully pulled it from publication. Evidently the ad had the power to go past partisan politics, uniting both of Italy's political parties against it. In the USA however, it was run without comment.

Which begs me to ask the question, how come it's inappropriate to see women breast-feeding in public, but this is ok?


Anonymous said...

Rape fantasies occur in both the male and female sexual fantasy realms, are relatively common across populations, and their contents range from unwilling seduction to violent, forceful sex. One can imagine one is the rapist, or that one is being raped. It is estimated that 24% of men and 36% of women have had a rape fantasy, and 10% of women report this is their favorite type of fantasy.


Jennifer said...

It doesn't mean that this is something healthy or a fantasy that should be encouraged. Nor should it be glamorized or promoted- it's a criminal act. I'm sure if you ask any rape victim, they wouldn't say it was enjoyable. While woman and men may have fantasies or erotic dreams of rape, their thoughts may change when it crosses into the realm of the real.

Jugo said...

That link didn't work for me, but the point is made with exactly the same words on Wikipedia. It goes further to say:

"Regardless, the presence of rape fantasies in a community or individual cannot be taken to imply that the fantasizers in reality condone rape, desire to rape others, or wish to be raped themselves. While actual rape is an act of control with sex being the chosen medium of that control, and by its nature exclusively an act of the rapist, rape fantasy is essentially sexual and indulged in from both the point of view of the rapist and, even more frequently, the victim. Despite the sexual appeal of rape fantasy, there is a substantial number of people who indulge primarily in the power play aspect of rape fantasy."

OK, maybe it's not for everyone, but that doesn't make it offensive. Maybe things like rape fantasies haven't permeated the social consciousness enough to be understood as perfectly healthy (and often entertaining), so the ad was misunderstood. If it represented actual rape, then that's not just offensive, it's dumb advertising. But just because some women find the ad offensive doesn't mean that other women don't find it appealing. And just because a woman finds it appealing, that doesn't make her unhealthy.

Yeah, REAL rape is bad news bears, but this is an ad. It's allowed to indulge in a little fantasy, even if it's not everyone's fantasy.

Jennifer said...

Jugo- some good points. Perhaps it is just a fantasy, but until it can be better understood by the whole of the public, I have a feeling it'll just be misunderstood, and worse, be entirely misread. C'mon, picture the general publuc. Are they going to read this ad accurately as a fantasy, rather than something all women might want or ask for? Rape and sexual assualt right now are too big a deal to trivialize.

The Hero said...

I don't know, I think it's fairly obvious that this blog, while based in fact and supported by research, is at heart Jennifer's opinion. Her opinion is it's offensive so I don't quite get what's gained from trying to prove her opinion wrong...

That being said, hell yeah it's offensive. This doesn't look like a fantasy to me, it looks like what happens when the media tries to make something "edgy," and ignores any reason or logic. And it sure as hell ain't selling me anything.

CorinneKay44 said...

This is digusting! I can't believe that anyone would promote rape in a positive way. Rape is a form of sexual violence. I don't believe that rape is any woman's fantasy; maybe a nightmare. Some women may be "kinky," but I think there a line between rough sex and rape. In reality, I don't think an woman would want to be raped, an unwilling act.

Anonymous said...

Many women fantasize about rape and violence. Of course, it doesn't they want their fantasies to actually happen.

The line is not between rough sex and rape, as corinnekay says. It is between fantasy and reality.

It has long been understood that rape fantasies are perfectly healthy. Confusing "women don't want to be raped" and "women don't fantasize about rape," like in the above comment, is extremely dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Corinnekay, you may not fantasize about rape, but many women do, myself included. This does not mean I actually want it to happen.
(This is a different person than wrote the previous 'anonymous' comment.)

Mark said...

let's face it; most women are confused and weak creatures and fantasize and like to be "ravished" (rape) because it frees them from having to feel guilty/like a slut because they can blame the man for what happened. I've heard it a hundred times.They want a man to be A MAN (so long as he's not unattractive to them - then its "terrible rape").

Anonymous said...

that we think this image is rape inciting at all is part of the problem, that a woman entertaining more than one man at a time must be rape is a ridiculous, societal concept. i wish my group sex activities had guys this hot involved