Why this man wore a 'Rape. It's Her Fault' sign

An activist spread a controversial and confrontational message to raise awareness about how society responds to accusations of rape.

A video posted on YouTube Wednesday shows a man standing on a busy street lined with shops in Melbourne.

Hanging from his shoulders is a simple white placard with an explosive statement: “Rape. It’s Her Fault.”

The man was standing on a busy street lined with shops in Melbourne. Photo: Youtube/Ari B.

The video shows the man being approached by several angry bystanders, who express their disgust with the sign and tell him to remove it.

One man says he’d hit him if a child weren’t nearby, while another calls him “scum.” A security guard is seen telling the provocateur to leave.

When people question why he’s wearing the sign he has a simple and powerful response.

“Because if I stood here with a sign saying ‘Help rape victims,’ nobody would listen,” he said.

Sure enough, the video shows that same man wearing such a sign and armed with a clipboard. While the area remains busy, people walk past and ignore him. No one confronts him, but no one pays attention, either.

With the new sign no one paid any attention to him. Photo: Youtube/Ari B.

As it turns out, the experiment was designed to show the “reality of the world we live in,” according to activist Ari B, who uploaded the video.

Having the man, who is later identified as Moe, wear the two different signs shows how people find it easy to criticise something they oppose but are slow to take proactive steps to force a change.

“This project was run to raise awareness on [society’s] indifference towards rape,” a Facebook post notes.

“Yes, it was a confronting experiment, and yes, it invoked extreme emotion. However, nothing will be at the forefront of people’s minds without igniting that anger, concern, and disgust.”

Ari B.’s mission is to encourage people to talk openly about rape and to teach children about the importance of consent. She has also set up a GoFundMe page, with funds going to non-profit organisations that provide support for rape survivors.

She has previously posted a video in which she attacks the assumptions and stereotypes that are often used to justify sexual assault.

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