I had the chance to interview one of the bloggers from Radfem-ological Images shortly after the project ended. Radfem-ological Images presents itself as "a public, radical feminist group blog dedicated to dissecting and discussing media images through a radical feminist lens." They demonstrated how commercial ads support men's power over women, and provided a radfem alternative to the boring "this is inequality" liberal critiques of media.
When Belvedere Vodka published this advertisement clearly depicting a rape in progress, it kicked off a shitstorm of controversy, as well it should’ve. Even the mainstream was shocked and/or offended by this obvious rape-imagery and mainstream feminists demanded that the ad be removed, the brand boycotted, and people be held accountable for contributing to “rape culture” by making light of rape.
Interestingly, the woman depicted in the ad hadn’t even
consented been asked for her permission or given it to have her image used this way — she is now suing the company for using her likeness and for placing her in the center of this controversy.
But as usual, even though this extraordinarily rapey ad and everyone responsible for it deserves to be blasted for it, the mainstream response does not go nearly far enough, or into radical feminist territory at all. For example, what if we were to say that all media imagery depicting drug and alcohol use always contributes to rape and rape culture no matter how tastefully done, because drugs and alcohol reduce or remove women’s legal capacity to consent to intercourse?