Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sexualizing Organ Donation? Are you Kidding me?

So while waiting for my laundry to dry I was browsing through some old posts over at Sociological Images and came across this particular post from November 2008

Using sex to sell the most unlikely things

Now forgive me, as I am about two years behind the times here, but I think we can all agree on the ridiculousness of using scantily clad women to sell canned mushrooms, or of sexualizing sea monkeys. And the archery ad just makes me wanna laugh my ass off. C'mon seventies, you weren't even trying to hide your objectification of women.

However, my focus is on the thoroughly disturbing first ad, from a Belgian Men's magazine:

What. The. Fuck. (Sorry Grandma but in this case, I think it's called for.)

This ad is supposed to promote organ donation? Our basic message here is "See this chick? She's HOT. We all know what organ you really want to put in her, but maybe you can settle for a kidney. That's *kind* of like getting to do her."

I threw up in my mouth a little.

Instead of taking the logical marketing conclusion and NOT dehumanizing and objectifying a woman in need (I'm guessing from her lack of any noticeable body weight that she must be suffering from advanced kidney or liver failure. That's sarcasm, folks), but rather focusing on her humanity, maybe showing that she has family, or a promising future to live for. You know, saying "Hey.. what if this was YOUR daughter/sister/aunt/niece - wouldn't you want them to live??"

Instead we have an ad that likens organ donation to a sneaky way to commit sexual assault. Frankly, it makes me want to rip up my donor card and leave it alongside my corpse after I slit my own wrists in despair at my total loss in faith in the human race, as a big 'EFFYOO' to marketers everywhere.

I won't, granted, but it's tempting. Way to do a huge disservice to the cause of organ donation, since I'm sure I'm not the only one who would feel that way.


  1. That is very interesting even though it is kinda degrading and such but maybe they are trying to go the same angle as all beer commercials are, drink our beer and hot barely dressed women will party with you! I honestly did giggle a bit at it. But I guess it just goes to show that our socitey is becoming a sexual place where everything seems to revolve around sex.

  2. Although I think the use of sex to sell pretty much everything under the sun is pretty lame and played out by now, it was the dehumanizing aspect, and the allusion to non-consent that really bothered me.

    It's like they've completely taken the focus off the fact that you could be SAVING SOMEONE'S LIFE. Someone who is a living breathing human being with thoughts and emotions and family and hopes and goals. This is the part that disturbs me more than anything.


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