The hipster trajectory has at last closed its own self-obsessed loop and birthed this monstrosity. Enjoy (or cringe, as the case may be):
Men! Wondering how to prevent yet another batch of squalling brats from interrupting you while you shout unintelligible yet impassioned directives at large-screen televisions, guzzle malt beverages and pick beer nut detritus from your hipster beard? Well wonder no more, my friends: Take advantage of the latest in promotional outpatient surgeries: Get a March Madness vasectomy!
In Oregon, you can take part in “Snip City” (a clever play on the Trail Blazers’ motto “Rip City,” which is only slightly misleading since March Madness is college ball and the TBs are a pro team). In Texas, you can pay a visit to the friendly urologists pictured at right.*
It’s about time someone started marketing birth control to the menfolk. Shunting the birth control responsibility to women is unfair, selfish, and counterproductive. Besides, the side effects of a vasectomy are far fewer than near-lifelong hormonal birth control, which range from depression, bone density loss and high to cervical cancer, embolism and ectopic pregnancy.
According to popular perception, these are acceptable risks for women. But the main “risks” of vasectomy are well-known, and it’s commonly understood that men won’t get them, no matter the health benefits to their female partners. It’s common to hear jokes on television shows about how “emasculating” vasectomies are. No matter that there is a direct causal link between depression and hormonal birth control, and the “negative psychological effects” on vas’d men are speculative.
And to top it all off, vasectomy is the second only to abstinence when it comes to effectively preventing those squalling brats.
The rub is that in our culture, women bear the burden of all sexual responsibilities, from preventing the spread of STDs to childbearing (or not childbearing). It’s women’s bodies that need to be modified and it’s women that drug companies are trying to cash in on. Commercials for hormonal birth control don’t even talk about preventing pregnancies anymore — they pitch themselves as “period control.” Since periods are disgusting and need to be controlled. Just like women! Sarah Haskins made a funny on the topic:
While the marketing campaign for March Madness vasectomies may need a little finessing, it’s good to see that someone out there is trying. Even if it’s for selfish reasons (more vasectomies = more money for urologists), I hope that capitalism does the job it was meant to do, and levels the reproductive playing field a bit.
Extra Credit: Send me a picture of yourself (or your man) in a pro-vasectomy pose (be creative — perhaps a strategically placed bag of frozen peas? But SFW, please) and I’ll send you a batch of reproductive-system-themed dessert items. Click here for my contact info.
Or maybe they hate you more? From their PR, it’s kind of hard to tell, but the gist of the news is this: Gamers can now use the word “gay” in their username if they so choose. Gay, yay! In a press release, Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten tells gamers:
Typically most corporate PR is horribly executed, but the above manages to paint the company in a positive light after what could’ve been a PR disaster. It manages to make me feel warm and fuzzy feelings for XBox when my first reaction was set to stun.
They’ve made an important distinction in admitting that gamers often use the word “gay” (and all its hatefully misspelled derivations) as an insult, and positioning themselves as simply trying to protect that demographic. Whether it’s true or not we’ll never know, but I kind of want to shake the hand of whatever PR flak actually wrote that letter, because we all know it wasn’t Marc Whitten.
To put this whole thing in context, here’s a PSA from Wanda Sykes waaaaaaay back in 2008:
What do you think, fellow nerds? Was it just an oversight on XBox’s part? Were they really trying to protect their gay players’ feelers? Or were they just being what most companies are: Juggernauts of social mores, laser-focused on the bottom line, and way behind the times?
*Photo from the wonderful Consumerist blog.