I’m all in favor of telling people about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, but does it have to involve the dehumanization of those “awful men”?
Here’s an older example of well-intentioned dehumanization:
If anyone deserved to be dehumanized it’s Hitler, right? Well, no. I think we have to face the possibility that Hitler was human like the rest of us, no matter how frightening that idea is. If we turn Hitler into an animal or a monster, that may make life easier but not more truthful.
This ad for the King Khalid Foundation says that female abuse is “a phenomenon found in the dark”, cunningly – or involuntarily – mocking Saudi dress code rules. The veil does indeed cover more than the female body.
Work is indeed a human right, but it’s not true that free trade is a major cause of violations of this right. When trade barriers are removed, some jobs will indeed be outsourced overseas, notably to countries where the relative labor cost is lower. But the people overseas who benefit from this outsourcing arguably need the jobs more than citizens of wealthy western welfare states. Also, it’s not because some jobs disappear that others aren’t created. Furthermore, lower production costs often translate into lower retail prices for many consumer goods, something which may compensate for job losses or for shifts in labor markets.
The alternative to free trade is protectionism, and protectionism is a major cause of poverty in developing countries. Absence of poverty is also a human right. We have therefore two human rights that need to be balanced against each other. In this case, I think the right not to suffer poverty should take precedence, for the following reason: on the one hand, protectionism aggravates poverty mainly in developing countries and those countries often don’t have robust social security systems; on the other hand, to the extent that free trade and outsourcing do produce job losses they do so mainly in developed countries that offer social security. The harm caused by protectionism is therefore greater than the harm caused by free trade. Also, let’s not forget the numerous positive effects of free trade:
- more specialization
- more use of comparative advantage
- better access to technology and knowledge
- better and cheaper intermediate goods (raw products etc.) and capital goods (machines etc.)
- benefits of scale
- and increased competition.
It’s very difficult if not impossible to cite a similar number of positive effects of protectionism.
Here’s another advert making the same mistake:
More human rights ads.
It’s a bit of a strange one, this. I understand what they are trying to say: governments perform executions only because people acquiesce in them (don’t oppose them) or because they actively approve of them (this approval can be intellectual or moral, or it can manifest itself through active participation as viewers in the process of a public execution). If the public were to turn their backs on the whole affair – not because of apathy or acquiescence but because of opposition - then capital punishment would probably disappear, even in non-democratic states.
However, the image used here conveyes the opposite: people turn their backs, and governments are left in peace to carry on. In light of the massive presence of people at the scene, they could easily stop the execution if they had not decided to turn away.
But perhaps I’m reading this the wrong way. Other interpretations are welcome.
Wire clothes hangers, because of their use in performing illegal or self-induced abortions (by unfolding and inserting one in the uterus), have become a symbol of pro-choice protests.
This is the original poster from communist Poland:
A similar one is here. One can question the wisdom of such campaigns, comparing violence to a healthy pastime. Even more dubious is the fact that these punching bags have been placed in the streets, not in order to “try them out” but some won’t be able to resist.
More human rights ads.
(source, where you can find some variations)
If only this were true. An interesting although completely unrelated story about Mugabe and balloons is here. And this is a weird variation on the pencil theme:
The power of pencils … to erase the police??
(source, click image to enlarge)
An interesting setup:
Caritas, a Polish homeless charity got the permission of the several Warsaw office buildings to build these mannequin installations in their lobbies. The sign reads something like: “I let myself spend the night here since I was cold. The only address I have is www.bezdomni.pl.” (Caritas’ homepage. bezdomni means homeless.) From the agency press note: ”The same day the homeless appeared in the offices, the employees working in the very same buildings received an e-mail with the bank account number to which contributions for Caritas could be made. After the event a 100% increase of donations was noted comparing to the previous year.” (source)
Some people touched the mannequins to see if they were alive. They must have guessed by then that these weren’t really homeless people since we don’t actually touch those, do we?
Here’s a campaign from the U.K.:
And one from France:
An interesting double entendre, mixing a gendered children’s toy with a certain unspeakable manly use of the appliance. A pink vacuum cleaner, so it must be for girls, right? Gendered toys like this are often used to instill gender roles at a young age. I guess you need to be kinky these days in order to get people’s attention focused on serious things.
In one sense this is a bit out of date, and yet in another it’s still relevant. The war on terror is a war of terror: terrorists have succeeded in terrorizing large portions of western populations and their governments, and in provoking them to “show their real faces”. The “imperialists” are still waging war in other countries, detaining people without a trial, torturing them etc. And as long as they do so, the terrorists have what they want.
(source, click image to enlarge)
These landmine-stickers with self-adhesive topsides are placed on the floor and are invisible until they stick to your feet. While removing them, people discover the landmine-picture on the bottom side and are informed that in many other countries they would have been mutilated at this moment.
(source, Advertising Agency: TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris, Johannesburg, South Africa Executive Creative Director: Damon Stapleton Creative Directors: Adam Weber, Hennie Stander Art Director: Wihan Meerholz Copywriter: Dan Parmenter Photographer: Seppi Hochfellner Released: May 2008)
Article 26 of the Universal Declaration says:
Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
- The Most Absurd Human Rights Violations (65): Beat Them But Don’t Leave Marks (filipspagnoli.wordpress.com)
- Calif. Senate OKs homeless civil rights protection (sfgate.com)
- Killings Of Homeless Hit Highest Level In A Decade (huffingtonpost.com)
- Hate crimes against the homeless | Sadhbh Walshe (guardian.co.uk)
- Vancouver Declares War On The Homeless (huffingtonpost.com)
A good excuse to link back to one of my older posts on animal rights. I’m personally very concerned about animal wellbeing and condemn all kinds of cruelty against animals. (I’m also a vegetarian). I believe that humans have certain duties towards animals, but it doesn’t follow from this that animals have “rights”. The main problem I have with proponents of animal rights is that they fail to see that rights are inherently discursive. Rights exist so that people can claim them, can criticize those who violate their rights, and can join efforts with like-minded people in order to improve each other’s wellbeing or the wellbeing of third parties. Animals can do none of this.
More human rights ads here.