If Bloomingdale’s Could Not Encourage Rape In Their Holiday Ads That’d Be Really Helpful (Op-Ed)

It’s Christmas time! Or if you’re not Christian: Christmas in your face time! It’s that wonderful time of year when the religious-right generates fear and anxiety around the idea that a war is being waged on Christians. This year it came about because Starbucks refused to do anything more than red and green on their cups.

So while everyone has their holy garments in a twist about that absurdity, Bloomingdale’s is actually doing something horrible. In a catalogue for holidays, Bloomingdale’s has a lovely woman with a happy smiling face looking over her shoulder while a straight-faced, leering, dude beside her. The caption between them reads “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.”

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Given the Bill Cosby problems we’ve been dealing with over 2015, you’d think marketing firms would realize spiking anyone’s drink with anything is probably not the best idea. When you’re in college, you’re encouraged to carry around the drug testing strips or the new fancy nail polish that helps you test whether your drink has GHB (the date rape drug) or Ketamine in it. This is the life that young women live today to protect themselves from the sexual assault that Bloomingdale’s is advertising here.

Bloomingdale’s has issued an apology: “In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalogue was inappropriate and in poor taste.” The spokesman wouldn’t say how the spiking directive was approved, however, according to the Washington Post.

Vice President Joe Biden has been traveling around the country speaking on college campuses about the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign to encourage men not to rape. In an op-ed he wrote this week appearing in college papers across the country, Biden said:

One thing students can do is take the It’s On Us pledge. Over 250,000 students have already pledged:

  1. To intervene instead of being a bystander.
  2. To recognize that any time consent is not – or cannot – be given, it is sexual assault and it is a crime.
  3. To do everything you can to create an environment where sexual assault is unacceptable, and all survivors are supported.”

Biden went on to say that students must demand that their colleges be held accountable and reminded that President Obama said “schools that fail in this responsibility are in violation of Title IX and risk federal investigation and financial penalties.”

Calling out Bloomingdale’s for persisting a rape culture is only one part of the problem, but once again it forces us to recognize that too many people don’t understand the importance of something as simple as consent. It’s beyond me why it isn’t being taught in sex ed classes across the country instead of fake medical advice like marriage prevents STDs.

Feature image via Twitter

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