Sunday, January 31, 2010

class entry

During this class, we have entered a more sexual part of the body unit. One of the most interesting reading this week, is “safe-sex lies”, which tells a story about a girl who is scared to have sex, but still does it anyway. Her way of framing the issue and how she talks about the statistics are very interesting. In fact, they are so interesting that they are easily misinterpretated. Of course whenever that there is a potential for misinterpretation, there are misinterpretations (and some of those misinterpretations turn into hate). The most prominent mistake people make when assessing this pieces is that they give too much weight to the author’s pointing out the statistics for white girls getting aids. Well the way that the author wanted the article to be more of a criticism of how the media and the government use the rhetoric of aids to constantly put people in fear.
The author of this article seems to be really critical towards how the media and the government frame the issue of AIDS. She says that these anti-AIDS campaigns and commercials and ads are all over-exaggerated. She uses examples such as horrific imageries and emotional stories that are used by the government to try to “stem the spread of AIDS” (however, according to the author limit our choice to have sex).
A key part of the article that I think many people are missing is that in the beginning of the article the author indicated that sex is something that is natural and that people are going to do it anyway. She specifically uses herself as an example. Although she was scared of AIDS, she still had sex; hence, she went to test for HIV three times. With that said, the part that she states the statistics of the prominence of AIDS for herself is not to create an “us vs them” relationship or a “hierarchy” of who is better. Rather, she uses that statistic to back up the claim that she, of all people, should not be that worried about contacting AIDS. In that sense, the question is not whether or not this article uses xenophobic rhetoric, but whether or not it is justified for the government to use this scare tactic.
With that said, the real argument in this article is that the government should not be able to use these kinds of scare tactics to, in a sense, limit our freedoms and happiness. The author branches out into two scenarios. The first scenario assumes a world where this AIDS rhetoric does do its job and that it deters people from having sex. According to the author this is problematic, but it means that these advertisements and words of the government becomes what control our lives and not us. The second scenario is that the these tactics in fact do not deter people from having sex. In this instance, the author, argue, these tactics are just other ways of putting the public at a state of paranoia.

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