“Language can make rape culture acceptable, and even perpetuate it”
A 30-second video is using something familiar to all of us — autocorrect in a text message conversation — to make a shocking point about how pervasive rape culture can be.
The PSA shows a text conversation between two friends, talking about a party they attended the night before.
“Remember that drunk chick I was talking to at the party?” one guy asks his friend. “Talking to” is autocorrected in the text to “targeting.”
They go on and we learn that the drunk girl ended up in the guy’s room, where he “had to encourage her a bit.” Only “encourage” becomes “force” in the autocorrect.
As the conversation goes on, it becomes more and more apparent from the subtext that the encounter between these two was not consensual.
The powerful ad was created by marketing company Mekanism for the It’s On Us campaign for sexual assault prevention and awareness, spearheaded in 2014 by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
“At It’s On Us, we believe it’s important to highlight the subtle and common language that perpetuates rape culture because it’s so pervasive in our society and often goes unnoticed,” It’s On Us Director Rebecca Kaplan told the Huffington Post. “When we don’t check ourselves and our friends who are using that type of language, we make it acceptable. This is dangerous because language can make rape culture acceptable, and even perpetuate it.”
According to Kaplan, rape culture can be found in the subtext of the words the guys use in the video.
She added, “What we say matters and this video was created to demonstrate that it’s on all of us to choose our words wisely.”