This Video Underscores the Root Cause of Violence Against Women
A new video is taking aim at the issue of violence against women by explaining the way jokes and name-calling create a culture that can be dangerous to girls.
The video, which was made by CARE Norway, a nonprofit women's rights group, begins as a letter from an unborn baby girl to her new father. "Dear Daddy," the narration begins, "I just wanted to thank you for looking after me so well."
The narrator goes on to explain that, simply because she will be born a girl, by the time she's a teenager she'll already know what it's like to be called a "whore" and a "bitch," but "it's just for fun, of course, something boys do."
"By the time I turn 16, a couple of the boys will have snuck their hands down my pants while I am so drunk I can't even stand straight, and although I say no, they just laugh," the video's narrator says. "It's funny, right?"
The narrator continues to imagine a possible future, including being raped at 21 by a man "raised on these jokes."
She describes finally meeting "Mr. Perfect," who is amazing right up until "one day, he stops being Mr. Perfect." As she describes the relationship becoming increasingly violent, the narrator makes excuses for her abuser. "It's just all too much for him ... I'm way out of line, I can really be a bitch sometimes."
At the end of the video, the narrator offers a way for her father to change her potential future for the better, and possibly help avoid a lifetime of violence. "Please stop it before it has the chance to begin ... don't let my brothers call girls whores."
The video underscores the double-standard that puts the onus of stopping violence against women on the victims, suggesting that teaching boys not to use language or tell jokes that disparage women is a major step toward ensuring the safety of the girls they'll grow up with. As of Monday afternoon, the video had more than 300,000 views on YouTube.