Monday, March 29, 2010

Cervical Cancer Scare Tactics

What is with all the cervical cancer commercials there have been on tv lately? I am an avid supporter of raising awareness about women’s reproductive health. My ability to control and maintain my own reproductive capabilities is one of the things that allows me to pursue the career path and lifestyle that I have chosen, and is something that many women my age take for granted. I am proud to say that I have been vaccinated for HPV. People have asked me why I was vaccinated, and my response is why not? If there is a simple 3-shot process that will protect me from several strains of cancer (and other nasty std) causing forms of HPV then I am completely on board. I support Gardasil becoming a required vaccine for all young women. Further, I think that young men should be required to receive the vaccine as well. I mean, they are the ones who are carrying and spreading the disease between women, and yet show no symptoms in most cases. That is the real danger, am I right? It would save women from finding out they have HPV as an after fact from a partner who possibly had no idea he had it.

I think Gardasil commercials are informative and help to spread the general knowledge that there is a vaccine out there. However, there has been a recent stream of advertising that has left me saying Whaaaa?

View the above video. This commercial advertises that women in their 20’s do get cervical cancer, with no advice or suggestions as to how to prevent it, or what to do if you are diagnosed with it. They are simply scaring the crap out of women my age that when they might want a lovely bottle of seductive perfume, they’ll end up getting cervical cancer. Then, once they get it, they won’t be able to have kids, which is not always necessarily the case.

The commercial above shows a woman standing on the porch, spreading gossip about her friend who was just diagnosed with the grim disease, and then shows her abruptly getting off the phone to council said friend. The next appears like any other perfume commercial, full of beauty and prettiness, then the bottle spins around to show the words in big scary black letters “CERVICAL CANCER.” What is the point of these blatant scare tactics? To make women stop having unprotected sex? To get them to go to their doctor? To advocate more frequent PAP tests to screen for pre-cancerous cells? All of these motivations would be positive, and would earn my support. Yet these ambiguous intimidations are pointless and absurd. What’s next? Showing a pretty red head with freckles and tattooing her with SKIN CANCER across her forehead? We have enough to worry about. We don’t need advertising mongering scaring the crap out of us for no good reason.


Anonymous said...

You had me up to the "required"..i don't believe someone should be forced to take a vaccine especially when this virus is spread sexually(i.e. just keeping your pants on will protect you). They would have to tase me, drug me and drag me kicking and screaming before I take that vaccine.

Anonymous said...

also the statement about males was misandric regardless of the's a known fact that women cause the death of men through stress and financial ruin..


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