You can please some people all the time, but not all people all the time.
Nikki ad does a great disservice to women
The Straits Times
June 28, 2005
I REFER to the letter, 'Aids ad not meant to insult women' (ST, June 20), by Associate Professor Roy Chan, on behalf of Action for Aids (AFA).
In the letter, AFA stated that 'the consistent and correct use of condoms has been proven to effectively stop the transmission of HIV'. This is inconsistent with another letter by AFA (also submitted by Dr Chan) in December 2002.
When faced with a comprehensive 2001 report by the National Institute for Health (based in the United States) that stated the shortcomings of condom use, AFA admitted that the condom was not proven to be protective against 'genital herpes, syphilis, chancroid and the human papilloma virus, the virus that causes genital warts'.
It also admitted that the condom was able to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by only 85 per cent (not 100 per cent), despite correct and consistent use.
AFA mentioned that 'the active promotion of condom use is recommended - for Aids prevention and control programmes'. However, the fact remains that such programmes have failed miserably.
Just witness the epidemic spread of the disease in African countries, such as South Africa and Botswana, where this is actively pursued.
Only one country in Africa seems to have bucked the spiralling trend of HIV transmission - Uganda, which relied on a programme focused strongly on abstinence before marriage, and faithfulness to one's uninfected spouse thereafter. This resulted in a halving of the HIV infection rates between 1991 and 2001.
AFA's Nikki ad (in both pictorial and verbal forms) obviously enticed and encouraged men to look at women in a less-than-dignified light. The implicit message of the ad was that 'if you want to make use of this woman for your self-gratification, you can do so, but make sure you put on a condom'.
Women are wonderful members of the human race, indeed men's esteemed partners, with a dignity we should respect absolutely. They should not be seen as objects for men to indulge their baser desires.
In the light of Dr Andy Ho's article, 'HIV in women: Shift focus to arrest spread' (ST, June 18), where he showed that women were more at risk from encounters with HIV-infected men rather than the other way round, we men should educate ourselves on our responsibilities towards our womenfolk, our families and society.
Women are our equals. They should be loved, not lusted after. They should be protected from HIV, not subjected to any risk of contracting it. Women deserve no less.
AFA, in promoting the Nikki ad, has done a great disservice to the dignity, status and health of women.
Dr John Hui Keem Peng
The problem with tackling the Aids problem, in Singapore and elsewhere, is that there are people who think they can do better, and these people are usually people whose views are linked to religion. Note: Dr John Hui is the from the Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore.
Nothing wrong with that, only problem is that most of these people are really not realistic. They think just beause they can do it (abstain), the rest of the popluation can. There are some who think that homosexuality can be cured and other nutty stuff.
Yes, in a perfect world, abstinence would work. In a perfect world, there wouldn't be Aids either.
The problem is that we operate in a less than perfect world. In this world, there are people who likes to visit prostitutes, people who have multiple partners.
How do you educate these people on Aids? Do you think abstinence would work on these people?
Ask yourself, how many of you seriously can abstain from sex? I know a few who do, but they then again, it is not by choice, but due to lack of willing partners.If you know what I mean.
So lets get real! Lets just ignore that the "fact" the letter quoted about how condoms works only 85% of the time. Its bullshit. See here. [link]
Abstience would never work on most of the population. People is going to fuck other people. This has been going on for a long time. It is easier to educate them to do it right, than to stop them from doing it.
With that in mind, the only logical thing is to educate on how to do it right, practising safe sex. There is no other choice, other than castration, or sex segregation (like our neighbours do in Kelantan)
In an advertising campaign, you have to choose your battles. You have to choose which segment of the public you want to target.
With regard to the "Nikki" advertisement, the target audience is those people who visit prostitutes. So it is no surprise on how it is written and presented. If you feel offended by it, you are probably not the intended audience of the advertisement.
So, don't complain, if you don't see women 'in a less dignified light' in the first place, you won't start just because of an adverstisment. The problem is when you do in the first place.
Dumb Link of the Day:
I am Dirty Two years old (Found in the Sammyboy Forums)