When Good Intentions Go Horribly Wrong

So, early this afternoon I’m having a look around the web at some feminist blogs we link to on the Women’s Center blog roll. I needed some inspiration for this week’s blog post, and found some absolutely disturbing news from other parts of the globe (goodness knows there’s enough disturbing news coming out of this nation of ours to keep posting 24/7). I found the following at Feministing, and of the many troubling bits of interest I came across, this one made the heaviest impact. Warning: The blog from where this information originates contains potentially offensive language, and some might also find the subject matter distressing.

This blog regards a new web-based, anti-violence campaign in Denmark entitled Hit the Bitch. The premise of the “game” is that the participant can use either their mouse or hand (through a webcam) to hit the woman in the game. Supposedly, you do this until she is bloody and bruised, at which point “100% Gangsta” comes up on the screen. Next, the word “Gangsta” is replaced by “Idiot”, and some stats come up about relationship violence in Denmark. So, in the end, you’re a “100% Idiot”, you read a few stats, and that’s it. Now, I understand that different cultures will have their unique approaches to raising awareness and tackling social problems, but I must agree with Feministing’s author, Vanessa, that this certainly doesn’t appear to be a model that would prove effective. The organization that designed the campaign, targets Danish youth, and that makes the campaign all the more distressing. Although I’m not sure I agree with Vanessa’s comments that the campaign actually “glorifies” violence against women, as some saw it, I strongly agree that this sort of campaign has absolutely no value. It would be like saying the popular video game series Grand Theft Auto raises awareness about violent crime, and plays a positive role amongst youth. Even though the intentions of the organization behind the campaign may have been good, the reality is that this method is likely to prove more negative than anything else. Additionally, it most certainly could be abused by those individuals who do glorify violence against women, which goes against the whole premise of its creation. If you’d like to let the organization know what you think about this campaign, you can email them here.

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