Monday, June 22, 2009

MTV's Safer Sex Ads (NSFW)

I know I'm a few days behind on this, but it bothered me so much I wanted to talk about it just in case someone hadn't yet seen it.

This is a new ad series from MTV that is supposed to promote safer sex:







WTF? Why do the people who make these ads feel the need to equate unsafe sex with violence?

I mean, I get the metaphor. It's just that the message behind "a bare penis equals a loaded gun" is really irresponsible. The people who make these ads don't even realize that they are helping to conflate the idea that the penis is a tool for violence. Not to mention they're perpetrating the idea that a woman’s body is inherently susceptible to such violence. (I'm uncomfortable with the pubescent qualities of the girl pictured as well.)

I also hate the idea that it's solely a woman's job to use protection because it then, by extension, means women are to blame when men don't use protection. It’s like a perpetual “whore of Babylon” complex that society can’t seem to let go of.

This is not how to get your point across people.

A much better example of how to promote safer sex are these ads from illustrator James Jean (who is amazing) for the French community-based organisation AIDES:



click to make larger


The difference is pretty obvious.

Not only do these ads avoid the violent message of the MTV ones, but they also send a positive message about sexual experimentation and freedom. All in all, AIDES is sending a much healthier message by not resorting to scare tactics.

This is just proof that shocking isn't always better. And sometimes something humorous will get you a lot further then something violent.

Plus I find the complete disregard for women who've experience sexual or domestic violence a bit reprehensible.

-You can also see a pretty entertaining animation video using the space/sea of body parts idea here. (I promise it'll make you smile.)

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