At first glance, innocuous. But look again.
“Woman, light, dark, knowing.”
So far, so relatively harmless.
But now look at the men.
Physical strength, strong sex drive and violent.
- In the UK, at least 47,000 adult women are raped every year and, since the age of 16, 5% of women in the UK have been raped (British Crime Survey).
- Data from the World Health Organization indicate that one in four women worldwide may experience sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- In 2004, the conviction rate for rape was 5.3% (Office for Criminal Justice Reform).
These stereotypes are untruths, but are ingrained so deeply into our culture that society expects men and women to conform to them. Men feel they have to be ‘macho’ and some need to demonstrate this – resulting in violence against women.
Look again at the female mannequins. Initially, you think ‘knowing’ is a positive attribute, don’t you? But in this context it’s not.
The conviction rate for rape is so low because there is a general expectation from society that women are responsible for being raped, and men ‘can’t help themselves’. Women are supposed to know what’s going on.
It’s complete rubbish. But as long as people believe in these stereotypes, we will have a huge problem of violence against women, and many men and women will think that it’s ‘only natural’ that men act in this way.