Author Topic: Election with sex motivation  (Read 7243 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Oscar

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1650
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
    • Secret Prisons for Teens
Election with sex motivation
« on: May 25, 2014, 02:45:22 AM »
Sex sells and I fail to identify the offensive part of this cartoon:

Offensive sex cartoons are not the way to get young people to vote (The Guardian)
by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, May 14 2014
The Danish Voteman fiasco shows how out of touch politicians are. Give 16-year-olds the vote and see how politics changes

You know a piece of advertising is poor when you can envisage the focus meeting and the ill-judged pitch. In the case of the Danish parliament's attempt to sex up the European elections in order to get young people voting, it probably went something like this:

Focus group leader: "Sooo … young people. What is it that young people like these days? Edvard, I believe you saw a young person once. Could you perhaps enlighten us?"

Focus group member: "Sex! No, CARTOON sex. Ladies' bottoms. Lots of ladies' bottoms. Blowies. Dolphins being used as surfboards. Senseless, authoritarian violence. And sex."

Thus "Voteman" was born. A kind of unshaven, post-watershed, post-divorce and redundancy Johnny Bravo whose style inspiration sits somewhere between matador and gimp. Voteman aims to get young people voting by slapping them around the chops, decapitating them, or simply hurling them into the voting booth like the shagging, lazy slackers they are.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the cartoon has been withdrawn for being offensive. Its grasp of gender roles and sexual biology was certainly somewhat lacking in nuance – Voteman appeared to inhabit an island harem of female fellatio enthusiasts for whom contactless orgasms came as standard (perhaps Voteman also has telepathic superpowers). Also, once he heard about the election happening, he punched the women out of the way.

Most offensive, however, was the lameness of the entire endeavour, which would not only fail to inspire even the most puerile of would-be voters, but failed to give any reason for participating in the democratic process more sophisticated than "it might affect the amount of cinnamon in your Danish pastry" and "because you might get twatted". Yes, the ad included such issues as agriculture and the environment, but only the most cursory mention.

In a way, it's comforting to know that it's not just British politicians who are struggling to reach out to a politically apathetic youth. Politicians just don't have a clue about young people. Talk to a young person for more than five minutes and any government propagandist would realise it's not that they don't care about politics, it's that caring in any organised way feels futile, and their input feels unwanted. Polls reveal that, when it comes to feelings about politics, those aged 18-24 are equally split between boredom and anger.

This is, I think, why lowering the voting age to 16, as suggested by Labour, would be a good idea. Not only would it send the message that we care what the younger generation thinks, but it would go some way to redressing the balance of the country's voting demographic – which is skew-whiff due to our ageing population. It would also make sense for reasons of consistency. If you are deemed capable of consenting to sex, getting married with your parents' permission and fighting for your country at 16, then surely you are also capable of consenting to vote for a boarding school educated, middle-aged white man?

It's an easy dig, but a pertinent one. A political class that does not mirror the makeup of the British population is unlikely to inspire a generation of young people who are much more liberal than their elders. They are more concerned with sexual equality, more tolerant of homosexuality, more relaxed about sex, drugs and alcohol, and believe a mixed-race population is no big deal. The young are also more idealistic: many of us become vegetarians or interested in environmental activism in our teens, and while our political interests are sometimes naive, I don't believe that necessarily translates to us being more easily manipulated by fear or emotion. Ukip's popularity with older people is testament to that. I do think that politics and our democratic system need to be better taught in schools, and lowering the voting age would make it easier to do this.

As for whether young people are more likely to vote Labour, well, again, I think it's about balance. The Tories might need to rethink their overwhelming focus on the older population at the expense of the younger if they are to gain votes, but that would be no bad thing. Plus, I have a sneaky feeling that those who believe teenagers are all passionate, bleeding heart liberals have never met a young conservative. I have and, terrifyingly, they pack even more of a punch than Voteman.