Prevention As a Cure has started a petition to protest the advertisement that Pepsi ran during the Super Bowl which made light of domestic violence. More information about the ad is explained below.
Sign the petition here: http://preventionasacure.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/sign-the-petition/
Every year in the United States, men are victims of intimate partner abuse and violence. For many of the same reasons women have kept their victimization concealed behind closed doors, many heterosexual male partner abuse victims are reluctant to report or to seek help. Almost two decades after the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) first legally defined partner abuse as a gender crime, male victimization remains underestimated in government crime statistics and, for the most part, remains culturally invisible.
Nonetheless, for more than three decades, social science research has consistently reported that nearly half of domestic violence victims are men; in general population surveys, respondents of both genders have reported their own as well as their partner’s perpetration and victimization. Perhaps even more remarkable, a slightly disproportionate pattern of female perpetration and male victimization recently has been evident among teen and young adult dating couples—obviously a substantial target population of your Super Bowl advertising. We believe this trend may be associated with the stand we, as a society, have taken against abuse of women and girls without a similar, explicit opposition—if not a condoning—of violence against boys and men.
This cultural blindness to one-half of domestic violence is reflected in your “humorous” use of female-on-male assault to promote Pepsi Max. Although the commercial intent of your ad was to entertain and amuse, the stark facts of domestic violence make its “slapstick” vehicle far from a laughing matter. As McLuhan taught us years ago, the commercial’s medium, unwittingly, influences its message—violence against men is funny, and OK. It is beyond unlikely that Pepsi would even consider airing the same ad with victim and perpetrator gender roles reversed. Doing so might lend the impression Pepsi “endorses” violence against women, which surely is not the case; imagine the fallout in public relations. No more do we expect you intend to promote violence against boys and men.
As advocates for ending abuse against everyone regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation, we urge you to immediately stop airing this commercial, and to join us in raising awareness of the damage intimate partner violence causes men as well as women. As a cultural icon and market leader, Pepsi also can be a respected, influential, leading voice to call for an end to all domestic violence and for a renewed focus on promoting healthy intimate relationships in our families and for our children.
We look forward to working with you in standing against violence.