In the just because you can do this with a computer doesn’t mean you should department–I am a big believer in naming the problem, but this Danish ad campaign about violence against women (or as they so elegantly put it, Hit The Bitch), doesn’t just name it, it gives you a chance to virtually give it a try, using your mouse or even your webcam.
With the caveat that I unfortunately don’t understand what the young woman who plays the victim says, you really don’t need to–every time you punch her, your rating as a “pussy” goes down and your rating as a “gangsta” goes up. The game goes unbelievably slowly, it is almost as if they want you to savor the experience. The first time you hit the victim, your pussy rating goes from 100% to 91%, the second time you drop to 90%, and then 77%, the logic of that escapes me. If, after about 10 punches followed by long slow shots where you get to admire your handiwork you finally beat the girl to a pulp, you make it to the ranks of “100% Idiot“. 100% criminal more like.
There are some statistics at the end (anyone want to translate?) that presumably document violence against women, and there is no doubt it can be very difficult to get people to pay attention to this very real problem, but sorry, violence against women isn’t a game, and you sure the hell aren’t a pussy if you don’t hit women. While I’m sure the folks who put this up had the best of intentions, this isn’t cute, it isn’t edgy and and it sends some really damaging messages.
Addenda: Here is a link to a translation of what is said. While that makes the ad a tad more understandable, making violence against women into a game is hugely problematic and a dangerous strategy.
Addenda 2: You’ll have to take my word for the above unless you are in Denmark, The website now has the following posted:
Dear non-danish visitor,
Due to an extremely high amount of traffic “Hit the Bitch” has been limited to only allow users from Denmark.
However, domestic violence is a global problem, so please support the fight against it in your local country.
Thanks for your interest.
Children exposed to Violence at Home
Was the heavy traffic due to people checking out the game because they were horrified by women getting hit or because they enjoyed the game and wanted all their buddies to check it out? Given the kind of response we get on this site when I talk about violence against women in graphic terms, I’m betting on the latter unfortunately.