Sunday, February 01, 2009

Missing for Action

The Ad Council has made a number of online widgets about public health and safety available for social computing applications, so Internet content-creators can also publicize their favorite causes on their blogs and social network profiles.

What's strange is the suburban, middle-class, heterosexist orientation of the list of acceptable causes in the Ad Council campaign. For example, like many of my generation who have gone to too many funerals for gay and bisexual friends, I immediately looked for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment among the twenty-four designated causes. Not there.

Then, as a feminist and cancer survivor, I looked for breast cancer or gynecological cancers represented among the widget options, but there was only a generic "C-Change" choice with a sport-shirt wearing couple, so issues about gender were obviated for potential activists. In fact, there is a widget for "Men's Preventive Health" but nothing for women.

And just to make sure that I didn't miss the patriarchal subtext, I could choose the widget for "Responsible Fatherhood." Not "Parenthood" mind you, as though many adult parties could improve a child's welfare, but "Fatherhood." What does this imply about single-sex or same-sex households? What does this imply about the choices of mothers and their agency as "responsible" people?

Not even anti-smoking pitches were included among the widgets, despite the Ad Council's history of promoting hard-hitting campaigns that have been known to alienate corporate sponsors with their frank assertions.

So what's more important than preventing killer addictions, deadly STDs, unwanted pregnancy, and rape? Look below for the widget displaying a prurient fascination with scantily clad young girls and their naughty online behavior, a theme in far too many social marketing campaigns about online practices.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home