College sophomore anti-rape video gets attention on the Web

Claudine Zap
Claudine Zap
The Lookout

An anti-rape video posted on the Web with the line, "Real men treat women with respect," has gone viral: So far, it's been viewed over 1.4 million times.

Filmed by University of Oregon sophomore Samantha Stendal, the 26-second video, "A Needed Response," was made in reaction to the Steubenville rape trial in Ohio, which convicted two high-school football players of raping a drunk and passed out 16-year-old girl.

The victim was unconscious during the crime, and in addition to the rape itself, had to endure a response on social media that often made light of the situation.

The online comments, some of which blamed the young woman, outraged Stendal. The 19-year-old told Yahoo News in an email, "I become frustrated with the constant victim blaming and general rape culture that I saw online. I decided to make a video in order to place something more positive on the internet. I wanted to promote the idea of treating one another like decent human beings."

The short video shows a woman passed out on a couch. A man looks directly into the camera, and whispers, “Hey bros, check who passed out on the couch. Guess what I'm gonna do to her?"

He then covers the unresponsive woman with a blanket, puts a pillow under her head, tucks a lock of hair behind her ear and places a mug beside her. Then he delivers the line, “Real men treat women with respect.”

Comments to the video on YouTube have spurred discussion. They include one from BJ Lincoln, who writes, “This is a very cool message. Part of our culture permits rape in many ways and it needs to change. Thank you both for making the message clear.”

User blondegirl214 agreed, “Glad to see at least one man gets it. All is not lost after all!”

The video has obviously struck a chord with viewers. Stendal told Yahoo News she is "surprised" by the huge response, and added, "I am happy to see the conversation moving away from victim blaming and changing to how people in vulnerable situations should be treated."