Condom ad crosses line of decency

Published: Saturday | January 14, 2012 Comments 0

THE EDITOR, Sir:

BIG MAN NUH RIDE WIDOUT CONDOM! With this rousing and direct appeal to us men, big and aspiring-to-be-big men are encouraged to 'ride with caution' to avoid sexually transmitted infections and/or unplanned parenthood!

As a now septuagenarian, I can look back to my years growing up when 'we bwoys' certainly had various ways of referring to sexual intercourse that were not for polite discourse. These were used in the sheltered circles of private all-male gatherings and were certainly not the currency of any form of 'official' media communication.

Since then, we have become an increasingly crude and vulgar society in which our unbridled male chauvinism is promoted in the jargon of our popular entertainment, and those who craft our advertising messages play to the basest elements of our society which they no doubt claim to justify as the most effective means of communication.

No consideration is given as to whether, in that process, they are engaging in demeaning and disrespectful language which further seeks to lower the values and attitudes of a severely tainted society.

Message too crude

The importance of promoting safe and responsible sexual conduct cannot be underestimated. This is especially so in today's Jamaica, with a high reputation for promiscuous behaviour and, as the recent 'Susan' shows on TVJ have so disturbingly reminded us, one in which violent sexual abuse remains all too prevalent.

Surely, messages intended to promote the use of condoms can be delivered with the desired impact on the target audience without being crude and so blatantly disrespectful of women.

What has the Women's Media Watch got to say about this? And, indeed, is part of the mandate of the Broadcasting Commission not concerned with how the electronic media are used to communicate in a morally and ethically acceptable manner?

What of the churches, which, along with other agents of civil society, are expected to play a major role as advocates in support of those ideals?

It is indeed time for us all to be proactive and set more positive standards if we are ever seriously aspiring to a more reputable national image.

JOHN MAXWELL

jmxwll@gmail.com

Kingston 6

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