“What more could one say?” I wondered, left with a sense of content, after reading Joyce Garity’s essay “Does Sex All Matter?” Able to identify with most of her views of the world in which we live today, I felt some weight rise from my shoulders; reassured that I’m not the only person in this world watching magazines and TV commercials, with half-naked models posing as sexual feats, like brainwashing into people’s minds.
We are influenced by our society, culture and above all by what we perceive. In Times Square there is no magazine, TV commercial or billboard advertisement that does not give or send a sexual message to people. These ads are meant for viewers to believe in their fantasies and promises that if you don’t buy and wear certain jeans, you won’t look sexy or if you don’t buy and wear a certain perfume or perfume, no man will ever want you, or even if you don’t look thin and timid you won’t have a social life because being skinny is considered beautiful. In most U.S. commercials literally a man and a woman run around chasing each other on a half-naked beach; lovingly they hug and kiss, implying “Forget about reality, let’s love. Forget about the fact that you may have a disease, and I have a great chance of getting pregnant. Forget about it.” The more people watch these ads, the more they believe that these targeted messages are true. Forget about everything, only love and passion matter! Wrong! Today the statistics on people diagnosed with sexually transmitted disease are high, and the statistics on impregnation of young adolescents are high. And, because these teens have kids they can’t take care of, there are millions of kids in foster care now without a real home.
In her essay, Joyce Garity, a social worker, tackles every topic related to “sex in the media” and shows what negative messages the world sends to our youth today. She is referring to one girl in particular. Elaine settled with her for a while. Anxious and almost alone in the world, she was pregnant again with her second child while her first child was already placed in a foster home. If Garity asked her why she let herself get pregnant again, she said she thinks contraception and condoms are debilitating and embarrassing; one could not dwell on sex and worry about using contraceptives at the same time. In other words, Elaine was just another brainwashed individual, lost in fantasy where negativity doesn’t exist. Forget about reality!
How can we deprogram the damage caused by the media? We can start by teaching ourselves through self-help books. Through self-education of ourselves, we acquire knowledge and through knowledge comes a transformation of our way of thinking, acting and feeling. Let’s start making our own conclusions about how we should live based on fair manners and norms.
© copyright 2008 Viola Morgan. All rights reserved.