An Indian website's social media campaign that "all men are not rapists" has come in for intense criticism for its "dangerous message". Mintified started a campaign #blameonenotall, spreading a message that all men shouldn't be blamed for rapes.
The campaign showed 7 women holding different placards proclaiming instances where they felt safe with the men in their lives. Mintified's post accompanying the below pictures stated "Not all men are rapists. Not all men abuse their significant others. Not all men actively oppress women. And these posters say it all."
The campaign got a lot of hits with the pictures getting thousands of shares on social media. However, all the attention that it attracted was for wrong reasons.
A photo from Mintified's #blameonenotall campaign
A photo uploaded as part of Mintified's #blameonenotall campaign
The above pictures were posted by Mintified in an attempt to bring awareness to the fact that all men are not rapists. However, the message that came across was that the women in the pictures are thanking the male population for not being rapists.
When The Independent reached out to the media site, Mintified clarified saying "The campaign was initiated keeping in mind the Indian scenario. There are a lot of issues a girl/women go through on daily basis. Having said that, we can’t generalise the other gender. There are certainly good men out there. And this initiative is to support this thought."
The fact that the website puts "the Indian scenario" as a justification for their 'thank the non-rapists' campaign is where the heart of the problem lies. When human decency is taken to be a virtue rather than a given, it is high time we realise how flawed our societal structure really is.
The pictures of women holding placards with a smile on their faces who assented to it is a little disturbing. It's one thing for a patriarchal society to project men as saviours and protectors of a woman's virtue and it's a completely different thing for women coming out in support of a campaign that highlights everything which is wrong with our country's outlook towards the female sex.
Here are some of the responses from twitter to the campaign -
This hashtag #BlameOneNotAll is a perfect reflection of rape culture.— IsisBaeperZz (@IsisPaperzZ) May 27, 2015
#BlameOneNotAll Another problem with this campaign is that it gives the illusion that men should be rewarded for basic human decency— #Feminist ? (@fabfeminism) May 27, 2015
If you want praise for being a decent human being, I begin to question how decent you actually are. #BlameOneNotAll
— V.V. (@VanessaVeasley) May 27, 2015
Such campaigns are aimed at countering the 'feminazi' culture that has become synonmous with online campaigns supporting women's rights. Although #blameonenotall was initially lauded for being a 'men' centric social media campaign, the holes in the theory soon became apparent.
It is sad to see that the "the Indian scenario" which was kept in mind during the inception of the campaign is still in existence today and will unfortunately remain unless we change our outlook towards women and the society in which we live.