Ads Tells Rugby Fans: ‘Real Men Get Raped’

SurvivorsUK targets alpha males

SurvivorsUK, which helps male victims of sexual abuse, is timing its "Real Men Get Raped" subway poster campaign to coincide with the Six Nations rugby tournament. This was no accident, either. SurvivorsUK spokesman Michael May says the organization picked "an alpha male sport" to illustrate that all kinds of men, even traditionally masculine ones, can be victims of sexual abuse. "By challenging our innate assumptions about the identity of male victims," May says, "we can make it even fractionally easier for a male rape victim to ask for help." Others, like the Frisky's Jessica Wakeman, think the ad's language reinforces the gender stereotypes it's trying to dispel by referring to "real men" as an absolute. That's not the only problem with the ad. The tone is awfully declarative, making rape sound more like an unpleasant rite of passage than a problem in need of fixing.