Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Those Sexist Virgin Radio Ads

In case you're not from Ottawa, or at least Virgin Radio hasn't opened a station in your area, there's a kerfuffle around these parts over a series of ads that Virgin has pasted around town for one of its features, "The Gods of Rock".

The ads feature somewhat sad looking pregnant teenage girls and young women with the caption "Lock Up Your Daughters, The Gods of Rock are now in Ottawa". It spawned the Facebook group linked above and a pile of articles denouncing the ads for sexism. The best one I've read is probably this one mailed in to the Ottawa Citizen. You may see others as well as a whole blog dedicated to the ads.

Yes, the ads are sexist. And I can tell that, at least as far as the poster of the article I cited in concerned, many of the protests are consistent.

But there's something I have to point out because, like it or not, a lot of the people criticizing these ads are deeply hypocritical. I can't tell which people in particular without doing a lot of cross-referencing. But here are the problems with the Virgin ads:

1) they portray women as victims
2) they portray rock stars as heroes
3) they then idolize the rock stars for making the women victims

Have I got it right? I think so. It's crass and juvenile, but maybe they're hoping their target audience is too. It won't be the first time such a thing has worked.

Now let's get to the hypocrisy.

I'd like to ask the people who write angry letters about these ads a question. That question is simple.
Do you go to church?
You see where I'm going here? If you're complaining about these ads and you're a Christian, you have a lot of explaining to do. Your entire religion is based on the impregnation of a virgin by a god. You could try to argue that it was voluntary, but only an idiot believes that a 14 year old girl can give informed consent.

So, yeah, trash the stupid Virgin Radio ads. But when you're done with that, take a look at your religion and try to weather the roaring thunder of a tidal wave of cognitive dissonance.

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1 comment:

MH said...

'Simply put: we will all do better when we rid ourselves of ignorance and look out for each other.'

That's an awesome statement, it totally parallels tenents in Islam.