And now for a public service ad you will never see on US broadcast television, not during the Super Bowl, not ever:
I saw several tweets about it and found the YouTube video embedded above linked by most. Lots of different users had posted the same video to YouTube and I found one that had a link to Creativity Online where you can see the full credits.
I can't say enough about this video so I'm not going to say anything at all right away. What do you think of it?
A new advancement in barrier protection.
Today’s conference call was a report on the development of the new version, FC2. They’ve taken the feedback from users and agencies into account and have definitely improved the product. FC2 is made from nitrile, so it doesn’t have the seam or the plastic bag sound. It’s also at least 30% less expensive than the first version (the cost per unit decreases with higher volume), and it’s still latex-free.
Condoms should not be introducable as evidence in cases about prostitution. Period. People should be able to carry condoms without fear of prosecution. Protecting public health requires the encouragement, not the inhibiting, of condom use.
From the Gender And Sexuality Law Blog at Columbia Law School:
New York’s police and prosecutors should not be permitted to introduce condoms as evidence of prostitution and prostitution-related offenses, according to the students who work in Columbia’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic. The Clinic held a tabling day yesterday at Columbia Law School in support of a New York State bill that would enact this prohibition into law. Over 50 Columbia Law students signed postcards to legislators to support the bill, sending a strong message to legislators that sound public health policy militates against the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution.Under current law, police and prosecutors can and do use condoms to prove prostitution and related offenses, such as patronizing a prostitute, promoting prostitution, and maintaining a premises for prostitution.
Beyond that, especially since today is World Aids Day it is important to acknowledge the tremendously important role sex workers have played in peer education around HIV prevention and condom use.
I'm staying with friends over Independence Day weekend and they showed me this European condom ad. Very effective, I imagine: cute dad, terrible child, horrifying supermarket scenario.
But it did raise this question: with birthrates in Europe falling, do they really need to advertise condoms? It's hard to imagine that people are having a lot less sex so they must be pretty good at contraception. But then of course there is a need to do STI prevention, and contraception and STI prevention are two different matters. It's interesting to think about how public health policy and population/family policy can be in conflict. Imagine the tension between giving incentives to couples to have children while trying to encourage condom use to prevent disease.
Maybe you've been reading about the antiprostitution pledge that the US requires international organizations to sign if they want to receive USAID money to help fund their public health programs. Or maybe watched the Taking the Pledge video that I posted here (or perhaps you saw it on the Sex Workers Project web site) and it left you wanting to do something to help. The people at Project Prosper felt the same way when they saw the video and they did decide to do something. They created Pledging Action as a way to raise money and collect condoms that could be sent directly to organizations that help sex workers protect themselves.
And they need more condoms. Can you send them a box of condoms or a cash donation to help them with shipping?
Where will the condoms go?
Thanks to Feministing I learned about Condom Awareness Week before the week was quite over. In any case, as a result of that post I surfed over to the Advocates for Youth condom campaign page where they've got lots of great "e-cards" promoting condom use. This is one of my favorites, but click here to see the whole page. Send one to someone you love!
In fact, what a great way to start that safer sex conversation you've been meaning to have!
Also, click here for their "Rights. Respect. Responsibility." Condom Art Contest, whose mission is:
to normalize discussion about safer sex, to provide science-based information about the effectiveness of condoms, and to increase partner communication about using condoms for those who are sexually active.
Certainly that's a mission we support here!
And here is a page of links to stories by teens about buying condoms, using them, and about the need for self-protection.
The female condom has kind of been like the Betamax of safer sex. Despite its debut being heralded with a lot of hype and hopes, it never caught on, either in the United States or elsewhere. Now the makers have redesigned it, hoping that it'll live up to its potential the second time around. I do know women who like the female condom: at least two have told me that they didn't like using it unless they were serious about a guy, because it felt much more intimate than a regular condom. But no matter what they do with the shape and design, I don't think that the female condom's ever going to become competitive unless they can do something about the price, which has always been up around $4 per female condom as opposed to .50 to $1.00 for the old-fashioned kind.
"I am the condom friend ever useful to you."
Below is a public service announcement encouraging Indians to use Nirodh condoms, a brand distributed by the Indian Department of Family Welfare. As silly and cheesy as it looks, my first thought looking at it is that I wish we could get condom ads this good in the United States.
this is a smashing idea!!!
because sex education is rarely sexy
and erotica is rarely safe
bringing sexy back into safer sex
Yesterday's New York Times reported that two networks, FOX and CBS, refused to accept Trojan's new condom ad campaign because it explicitly mentions using the condoms to prevent pregnancy. FOX reportedly told Trojan that any ad campaign for contraception needed to put the focus on disease prevention. ABC reportedly told the company that the campaign was just inappropriate, even for their late night viewers.
Both networks ran Trojans previous campaign advertising condoms for HIV prevention.
Mark Crispin Miller, an NYU communications and media expert, is quoted in the Times article pointing out that lots of content on major networks is "salacious" and calles the decision by these two networks "hypocritical."
An email alert from Planned Parenthood Federation of America is more specific: