Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Giving Condoms a Bad Name

So I've been reading this Jackson Katz article where he's talking about media representations of masculinity and how they are all infused with machismo and violence and virility. One of his points of reference was the names of the top-selling (at the time of publication anyway) brands of condoms: Ramses and Trojan.

So I got to thinking: those are actually pretty horrible names for condoms. I mean, if the point of condoms is to provide a barrier against sperm, other lovely juices, the things that they can carry, and therefore pregnancy and stds, then I don't think that calling your brand either Trojan or Ramses, whatever beacons of masculinity those names may represent, does your product much justice.

I mean, Ramses, he was an Egyptian pharaoh, right? Didn't he have a ridiculus amount of kids in his time? Like seriously ridiculus? So yeah, this was clearly a virile man, getting a lot of action, but getting A LOT of women knocked up too. Doesn't that seem to refute the part about the condoms where they are supposed to prevent unwanted pregnancies?

And then we have the Trojans. If my slightly drunken memory serves me correct, the Trojans were on the losing end of a classical Greek myth battle. The Greeks managed, in sculptural disguise, to sneak into Troy undetected and ravage the city. That doesn't bold to well with an analogy of protecting and guarding against stds, does it? You know, letting one slip past the goalie because you're so high on yourself that you weren't paying attention? Seems like a pretty bad reference in general to practising safe sex.

So, Trojan and Ramses: reiteration of masculine virility or horrible metaphors for safe sex? I'm going with the latter.

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