“Violence is a learned behavior, people are not born to be violent,” says Josh Jasper, president and CEO of Riverview Center, the anti-violence advocacy group responsible for the video. “What we see [in media] are messages that are degrading and abusive toward women and children.”
Jasper hoped that parents would start a conversation with their children, that while watching the Super Bowl with their children they would criticize messages that are hurtful, such as, “When you saw that GoDaddy ad and you saw those ladies taking off their clothes, you need to know as your father that this isn’t okay, this is not okay how we treat women.”
With that conditioning, hopefully boys will grow up as portrayed in this second video (instead of as depicted above)—
“One of the 800 comments I’ve received in the last 24 hours is that I’m a Nazi sympathizer and I should be taken out and shot,” Jasper was quoted by WQAD. “I’ve been accused of hating all men, that all men are rapists, that I think babies are rapists.”
Why such a strong reaction?
“There are a lot of men who have a deep-seated hatred toward women,” Jasper said. “I bet I’ve received 150 messages in the last 24 hours that say it’s okay to rape women. If we’re going to end the violence, we have to start with them.”
Here’s Jasper’s first commercial, posted a couple of years ago — it’s certainly pointed, but slower-paced and less incendiary;
As for this year’s Super Bowl commercial, Jasper said, “There are a lot of survivors out there … who are now feeling empowered because people are talking about the issue. That’s exactly why I created the commercial and that’s exactly why the commercial will stay.”
In a blog post on Valentine’s Day, Jasper concluded:
Although a great deal of violence is committed by men, the vast majority of men are NOT violent. The problem is that not enough men are challenging the norm, speaking out against men that are not healthy role models for others.
My thanks to @MichaelLibbie for bringing this story to my attention.