Campaigns and Censorship in Europe

30 Nov

This past week, I saw quite a few campaigns actively advertising on campus. While most of it was for the upcoming elections for the Councils of students at the University, others had other targets that they wished to address.

Two of the campaigns that interested me most were the ones dealing with women. The first one held a “Skirt Day”; that’s a rough translation of it. It spoke for the women in various countries who were forced to wear skirts and other clothing because of the male dominancy of the world. It also encouraged women to wear skirts for the day by CHOICE instead of against their will in hopes of showing the idea that skirts don’t have to be seen as a clothing constraint for women but as an option instead. The campaign had much success; even the radio presented it and its background. What I found funniest was that the two radio presenters (who were both male by the way) wore skirts as well and posted pictures up on their radio site and on their Facebook as well. While it was comical, it was also educative at the same time. I was happy to see both women AND men participating in this campaign and think that it would be likely to see this type of campaign in the US as well. It was a good way to get the message around and multiple people on campus were participating. I’ve posted a picture of the poster as well.

The second campaign I saw was also quite shocking to me. It was the classic anti rape campaign that we often see on many college campuses and in just about every city. Its ideas were of course about the protection of women and for their safety as well. Most of us have been taught some statistics about rape at one point in our lives, whether it was in high school or in college. I find that the female gender hears more about it as they tend to be more targeted; however, a large majority of rape victims are generally attacked by someone they know, be it casually or intimately. While we have seen situations like this at Purdue, I am glad to say that Purdue has resources for people if this should ever occur.

I’ve decided not to attach a picture of the poster for this campaign as it might seem too graphic or realistic to some of you, and it might also offend you.  However, if you are curious about the picture and wish to see it, please post your email address in a comment so that I can email it to you personally.

What surprised me most about this campaign was not the idea itself but the poster that they presented for it. As I was walking back from grocery shopping, I saw it and immediately stopped to read it. The poster, I found, had quite the effect, whether that was from shock or simply because it seemed realistic. I’m not quite sure that this poster would have been acceptable on a college campus like Purdue; however, I might be wrong in saying this. I must also say that every person will see the poster and react in a different way. Thus, this definitely brings up the question of censorship in images and how far one should go when it comes to censuring things. As I studied the poster, I asked myself if it was alright for the poster to have such shock factor; my second thought was whether the shock factor was what made it so successful. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one who stopped and read it during that day, thus the message was spread successfully to the public, I would say. Had the poster been censured, would the effect have been the same? I suppose we’ll never know that for sure; however, I can say that it was good inspiration for a blog and that it made me think twice.

I discussed the poster with another American student here, and found that she felt similarly about it. She wasn’t quite sure if the image was acceptable to be posted up in a public area and if it should have been advertised differently.

Overall, I found it very interesting and it led to a long discussion about censorship and just how far one should take it or the in this case, the lack of it, perhaps. To my readers, do you have any thoughts on this?

I reemphasize that if you do indeed wish to see the graphic poster, you are more than welcome to post your email address in a comment box. I will then personally email it to you.

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