Saturday, December 4, 2010

Impotent Support

There's a chain status going around in Facebook right now:

Changeyour FB profile [picture] to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal? to not see ahuman face on FB till monday, december 6th. join the fight against child abuse and copy and paste to your status to invite your friends to do the same..

That won't stop anyone from abusing children, nor from ignoring child abuse when they see it. The gesture simply lacks impact.

There is, first of all, a very weak connection between old cartoons and child abuse, and this tenuous link carries no emotional force. When I see Pinky and The Brain, I don't think "Oh, those poor children"; I think "One is a genius, the other's insane". These images hold for us memories of mindless entertainment, not tragedies in need of fixing, and so a smattering of old cartoon characters won't inspire anyone to action.

This is all based on the ridiculous idea that "spreading awareness" of an issue (that is to say, mentioning it and doing nothing else) will alleviate it. If anyone is in a position to stop someone from abusing a child, they already know that the child is being abused (or if they don't, this crusade won't tell them what qualifies as abuse or whether any particular child whom they can help is being abused). I am fully aware of the fact that some children are beaten and molested, but my knowing doesn't stop it from happening. Even if I see it and find myself in a position to stop it, seeing the Rugrats on Facebook won't be the thing that spurs me into action.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment