I waited 18 hours to write this post so that I could be calm, collected, and avoid a rant. These views are my own and may not reflect the views of LockerGnome.com as a whole, the sponsors featured on LockerGnome, or of anyone other than Brandon Wirtz for that matter.
“Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” is the tagline Ashton Kutcher has come up with for a set of PSAs that purport to be part of a crusade against human trafficking. But for all the information provided, it might just be a series of ads against celebrity adoptions from other countries. Growing up I had “This is your brain on drugs” commercials, which, even with no information on what kinds of drugs would have such an effect, or why bad things happened when these unspecified drugs were taken, had me terrified of all drugs, even the ones from the doctor. It was an effective ad campaign that worked in the fight to inform the population of the harmful repercussions of taking drugs can have on people.
“Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” seems to be nothing more than a funny commercial designed to pair celebrities with social media personalities. The ad is far too funny for such a serious topic, and the people who are featured in the ad likely only agreed (we hope) to do the commercials because they were star struck by Ashton’s presence and the seeming good will that you would expect from a PSA. Public service announcements featuring celebrities like Eva Longoria and Justin Timberlake, coupled with new media types like Pete Cashmore, Robert Scoble, and Piers Morgan are reprehensible.
Taking such a light approach to a serious matter only works because no one seems to notice that human trafficking, a polite term for slavery, still exists in third world countries and right inside the U.S. borders. Much of this slavery is for sexual purposes.
Had this been a campaign to raise awareness for HIV education in Africa, no one would find it funny. “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” rolls off the tongue nicely, but “Real men don’t get infected with HIV and then deflower virgins because they think it will cure them of this life ending disease” doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well. Had the more honest and informative tagline, “Real men don’t rape children” been used in place of the catchy tag line, people wouldn’t find the videos so entertaining.
In my view these ads are self-serving promotions for the people who appear in them, offering no social redeeming qualities. The people associated with the “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” videos should be ashamed they appeared in them. I recognize that most of the social media personalities appearing in the videos are already considered by many to be the pinnacle of the “social media douche bags,” but even the girl you hated in high school because she was homecoming queen and a complete ass wasn’t making posters saying, “I’m great because I didn’t rape any children today.” Just as nonsensical is that “real men,” while they don’t rape children, or buy and sell people, do wander in the parking lot shirtless and blind folded, wear clean socks, and shave with a chain saw. Realizing this is the brain child of a guy who has spent most of his time in the spotlight playing a stoner, it is likely he was high on something when he thought this was a good idea. Not sure what Scoble, Morgan, and Cashmore’s excuses were for lending their likenesses to the project.
If you care about the estimated 12 million people enslaved around the world, contribute to the Polaris Project. Polaris Project is a leading organization in the United States combating all forms of human trafficking and serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children.