Staff Editorial: You are an idiot after one


During one of my classes a friend of mine sent me the link to a Web site titled “Hit the B****.” It’s a Danish site put up by the NGO for Children exposed to Violence at Home, which was established in 2002 to advocate and aid children who were living in families exposed to domestic violence.

In it users can control a hand to slap a female model across the face. The more you hit her the worse her bruises get and your “Gangsta” rating keeps going up. Eventually you’ll reach “100% Gangsta,” at that point the words “100% Idiot” come up on the screen and the woman is seen on the floor crying in pain.

The United Nations Development Fund for Women estimates that at least one of every three women globally will be beaten, raped or otherwise abused during her lifetime and that in most cases the abuser is a member of their own family.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get it. It was a play on our desensitization to violence. Initially the Web site would be viewed the same way a video game, rap song or movie that promotes violence towards women would be viewed.

The creators hoped that in the end the user would feel guilty, but I doubt enough people will feel guilty enough to make the campaign a success. The campaign was a failure.

You have to also hit the model a lot to get to the point where the words “Idiot” flash on the screen. So it’s okay to hit her twice, but not ten times? I didn’t get past the first slap before I stopped. Even though I knew the site was fake it felt wrong.

It uses a real life model not a cartoon, which only adds to the effect.

It’s definitely something I haven’t seen before and it gets people discussing the issue, which is extremely taboo and hard to track.

Every year between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of violence, according to the Domestic Violence Research Center. The statistic was compiled by using various studies and the spread is so wide because it’s hard to really track the total number of victims.

Before you rush to the computer the Web site is no longer available to users who live outside Denmark. Why? Because of high worldwide traffic, so many people wanted to “Hit the B****” that the site couldn’t handle the traffic.

So if you want to use it you’ll have to travel outside the country. In which case you have bigger problems than I thought. Maybe you can hitch a ride with Chris Brown?