The Failure of Shock Protests

//The Failure of Shock Protests

The Failure of Shock Protests

  Be it at a speech by the President or the center of transit at the university where I live (and currently go) there is one thing you are bound to see. People protesting. Now I have nothing against protesting by itself, while most of the time it is over really inconsequential stuff at least in the US, there are times when it really does make a difference and has a powerful message.

  However there is nothing powerful about shock imagery. In particular to this point is anti-abortion advocacy groups. They tend to show pictures of dismembered fetuses or cover baby dolls in blood and animal guts. Likewise when PETA wants to make people not eat meat they use a shock imager of a cow being bludgeoned or a chicken being beheaded. These things are quick, mindless, and easy.

  However are they effective? Statistically there has never been a strong long-term response to these strategies, people will feel emotionally torn for a short period of time and may join the side of the group but it tends to unravel within a week and generally before a couple days are over.

  Likewise not only is it ineffective in the long term, but frankly it is childish. I could not keep my food down if I watched a surgery take place, but does that mean that there should be no surgeons? It is unfair to try and equate gore to the legitimacy of a lifestyle choice (in the case of eating meat) or in a hard life choice (in the case of abortion). There are plenty of things that disgust me to know end but that in no way rates their importance in the world.

  Birth for instance puts me in a state of such sheer horror that I barely retain my consciousness, yet this is a vital event to sustain the life of basically any organism. So in closing, if you really want your opinion to be heard, to have your passion ring loud, you should get your message across with level headed dialogue. Anything less isn’t worth the time and many times will be counter productive.

By | 2009-05-19T21:53:41+00:00 May 19th, 2009|Journal|Comments Off on The Failure of Shock Protests