Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An irresponsible message?

   “Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the sheets.”
   As funny and clever as it is, I’m not at all sure this is smart advertising.
   It is more like a provocation, more like fuel on the flames.
   I have to admit that I don’t keep up on a lot of blogs and online chatter, but I’m surprised I haven’t heard an outcry over this ad in Colorado (of all places) promoting Obamacare and featuring a woman showing off her birth control pills and eyeing a man next to her. This ad was mentioned in a recent Los Angeles Times article about the blitz of advertising aimed at getting people - especially young, healthy people - to sign up for the new affordable, often subsidized health insurance before this year’s enrollment deadline at the end of this month.
   This ad may attract young, healthy people. It’s fun and sexy and makes health insurance look not only not threatening but pretty attractive. The ad will also, it seems to me, attract the wrath of conservatives who are already riled up enough over the new health insurance law (and who have major institutes in Colorado).
   To them, this ad no doubt promotes sex - free sex, sex for fun, sex without responsibility. To the conservatives, this is surely an ad for sex. It is an ad for irresponsibility. What’s more, as the conservatives would see it, it is promoting sex and irresponsibility paid for by the government with public funds.
   I have seen this same argument in letters in the paper from people griping about the provision in the new law allowing young people to stay on their parents’ policy until they are 26. As I have written here, they claim that this encourages young people to be irresponsible and even to be “coddled.” There has also been people like Rush Limbaugh saying things like woman who advocate government-funded contraceptives want to be publicly funded whores.
   As the whore comment shows, things get particularly touchy and explosive for the conservatives when it comes to sex. They can’t stand the idea of people having sex just for pleasure and fun, for anything other than procreation - and then to be paid for with the pain of child birth and the burden of child-raising (why they’re also against abortion). Indeed, I have long felt that this is why there is considerable anti-gay sentiment among conservatives. To them, gay sex is sex without responsibility. In some corners, there was glee in the early days of AIDS when it was called “the gay plague.” And now, gay marriage and gay adoption is even more confounding and crazy-making for these folks.
   The Times article also mentions Luis Garcia, a 23-year-old Santa Ana resident who hasn’t seen any of the ads and only heard from friends that there’s some sort of penalty for not signing up for insurance. He wasn’t aware of any deadline to enroll but, with recently losing his job, says, “I’m interested.”
   I want to ask what rock he has been hiding under. I also wonder how many more are like him and hope that these ads reach them. But I’m not sure if the “between the sheets” ad is the right one to do it.


  1. I have to admit my sexual tendencies and fundamental upbringing puts me at odds with liberal adds, but the message you write of leads me to think the Obamacare and its overall regard for following through with the opening of it debacle, makes me think their worried for the election coming up for mid term and their efforts to sustain a health care system worthy of praise. Since the efforts are so liberal as to attract the youth through sexuality, makes me wonder if the add just might get the young thinking about their health more with STD's and HIV and their need for checkups in the future. But the message is clearly the wrong one with children having children and not a reasonable way to promote the healthcare system. Maybe the ad should read if the world is so dangerous to where you can be shot or worse, why not be covered, just in case there is a need for hospitalization. But sex, as a tool promoting propaganda, is the wrong idea behind promotion.

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