A Police Scotland campaign against sexual violence backed by Nicola Sturgeon has been divided opinion after some claimed it was ‘guilt-tripping’ men – while others called it a ‘powerful message.’
The Don’t Be That Guy initiative urges men to look at their own behaviour and gestures which some might dismiss as innocent, like ‘staring at a girl on the bus’ or ‘whistling at her in the street’.
The video was shared by Police Scotland earlier this week on Twitter alongside the caption: ‘Most guys don’t look in the mirror and see a problem. But it’s staring us in the face. Sexual violence begins long before you think it does.’
However some have criticised the video for ‘guilt tripping men’, with one person writing: ‘Do you really think the small minority of men who do this take notice of such videos or are these videos an excuse to dump on men in general and devalue their role in the greater scheme of things?’
Meanwhile others defended the video and suggested it was ‘a powerful message and so true’, with one commenting: ‘Most women have experienced at least one of these on a night out if not more.’
A Police Scotland campaign against sexual violence backed by Nicola Sturgeon has been criticised for ‘guilt-tripping’ men for calling women ‘doll’ and saying they look ‘nice’
During the clip, a series of male actors talk to the camera, asking: ‘Have you ever called a girl doll? Or whistled at her walking down the street?
‘Ever stared at a woman on the bus or said to a mate, I’d do that?
‘You ever give a girl a compliment, like, “Nice”, and wondered why you didn’t get a thankyou?’
The script continued: ‘Ever slid into a girl’s DM and went ahead and just showed her it?
The Don’t Be That Guy initiative urges men to look at their own behaviour and gestures which some might dismiss as innocent and make changes, like ‘staring at a girl on the bus’ or ‘whistling at her in the street’
‘Ever bought a lassie dinner and thought that meant she owed you something?
‘Ever got her three shots in a row, hoping that you’d get a shot of her? Then what…bundled her wasted into a taxi, and took her back to yours?
‘Ever guilt-tripped her, or pressure her, or pushed her into it, and then left, feeling like a man?
‘Most guys don’t look in the mirror and see a problem, but it’s staring us in the face.
Many have criticised the video, suggesting it was ‘guilt-tripping’ men, with some even brand the ad ‘sexist’
‘Sexual violence begins long before you think it does. Don’t be that guy.’
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has backed the campaign, reposting it in a tweet and commenting: ‘This new campaign from Police Scotland is powerful and important.
‘I’d ask all men to watch this film – and then encourage your sons, fathers, brothers and friends to do likewise.’
However the campaign has been met with criticism, with some suggesting it is ‘guilt-tripping’ men.
The video was shared by Police Scotland earlier this week alongside the caption: ‘Most guys don’t look in the mirror and see a problem. But it’s staring us in the face. Sexual violence begins long before you think it does.’
One person wrote; ‘This video made me feel guilty even though I can say I’ve never done any of this stuff. What can I do?’
Another commented; ‘Irony at its finest. Talk about guilt-tripping as if it’s not the entire point of this video. I even felt guilty and would never do any of these things in my life.’
‘No compliments, drinks, dinner or looking after drunk girls,’ another added, ‘Got it.’
A fourth wrote: ‘Don’t worry, I won’t talk to women, won’t ask them for a date, won’t treat them to dinner or any of the other things mentoned.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has backed the campaign, reposting it in a tweet and commenting that it is ‘powerful and important’
Scotland’s First Minister asked ‘all men’ to watch the film and ‘encourage sons, fathers, brothers and friends’ to do the same
‘I will just pay for sex, have a one hour “date”, talk a bit after sex and leave in peace.
‘Easier in todays mindset of “no matter what you do it is wrong”.’
However others joined Nicola in backing the campaign, with one writing: ‘This is such a powerful message and so true. Most women have experienced at least one of these on a night out if not more.
‘Times need to change and we need to change attitudes to make future generations safe.’
Another wrote: ‘The whole point of this ad is to point out that sometimes what you think is OK is actually not OK.
However others joined Nicola in backing the campaign, with one writing that it was a ‘powerful message’
‘But women won’t speak up because (genuinely) it’s scary. We get taught to laugh it off or tell a little white lie to get away. Please use it as an opportunity to reflect.’
A third added: ‘This is a very powerful video. Men like myself and people my age need to stand up more against sexual violence towards women and girls.
‘Good for this video putting the focus on men 100%, because men are the sole reason for this violence. Very well done to all involved.’
The campaign comes amid a brewing national row over women’s safety in the wake of the killings of Miss Everard and primary schoolteacher Sabina Nessa, with thousands sharing their experiences of feeling unsafe on streets, parks and other public areas in Britain.
Couzens, 48, murdered Miss Everard, 33, after using Covid powers to stage a fake arrest and kidnap the marketing executive as she walked along a street in Clapham in March. The disgraced officer was given a life sentence at the Old Bailey last week.
Meanwhile students are planning to boycott nightclubs next week as part of nationwide protests called Girls Night In, with more than 30 universities boycotting clubs in a bid to force venues to increase safety measures.
It comes in response to a reported rise in drinks being ‘spiked’ and a new alarming trend of girls being injected unknowingly with drugs.