This will take a bit of background to build to the main point..but it’s worth it, I promise. Just stick with me on this, Clones.
One of the many, many talking points put out by those who defend the LA condom mandate law is that since people — especially young people — look to porn as their only means of “sex education, and copy what they see in these videos, only showing condomized sex on screen or online will motivate them to use condoms in real life…and thusly, sexually transmitted diseases and infections will disappear, and global peace will reign supreme.
All that is fine and good….and promoting condom usage amongst the general public as a means of protection against both unwanted pregnancy AND STI’s is NOT a bad thing at all.
However..since condoms aren’t produced out of thin air, but made by corporations who exist first and foremost to make a profit, the inevitable question arises of: “What about the QUALITY of the condoms being issued to the general public? Are they of the top of the line, or are they merely the rejects and scrubs of the condom companies while the good, high-quality stuff remains on a store counter to be sold for an arm and a leg?”
That is not a unimportant question, because it’s the general public, and especially the poor and working class folk, who bear the worst burden of HIV and other STI infections, as well as the greatest risks…and if you are going to tell everyone that condoms are the best defense, you damn well had better insure that that defense isn’t corrupted or compromised.
Because if you slip that shit up, stuff like what happened in South Africa last week is bound to result.
This is what happens when quality control is pushed under the bus and dragged behind at expressway speed:
Some condoms burst. Others leaked like sieves.
South Africa’s leading anti-AIDS group said Tuesday that allegedly faulty condoms are among more than 1.35 million handed out at the African National Congress’ 100th birthday party.
Health officials confirmed that all of those condoms have been ordered to be recalled. But the Treatment Action Campaign said no warning has been issued to people that they may have carried away defective condoms that could now cause them to unsuspectingly spread or contract HIV. South Africa has the world’s highest number of AIDS patients, some 5.6 million.
The third recall in less than five years raises questions about the quality of some of the 425 million-plus condoms that the government gives away each year, and the competence of the South African Bureau of Standards that is supposed to ensure their quality is up to international standards.
AIDS activist Sello Mokhalipi of the Treatment Action Campaign said he complained to the health department after “we had people flocking in, coming to report that the condoms had burst while they were having sex.”
Some were panicking because they were infected with AIDS and were concerned for their partners, he said.
Spokesman Jabu Mbalula of the Free State provincial health department, which distributed the condoms before the Jan. 6-8 celebrations, said they had recalled the entire batch of 1.35 million condoms around Jan. 18. He said there was no need for a panic.
But he was unable to say how many of the condoms were used or have been recovered.
In 2007, the government recalled more than 20 million defective condoms manufactured locally but recovered only 12 million. The Health Ministry said many of the condoms failed the air burst test.
That came after a recall the same year of 5 million defective and locally produced condoms. In that case, the Ministry of Health said a testing manager at the South African Bureau of Standards had taken a bribe to certify the faulty contraceptives.
Now, the article does not state whether the Republic of South Africa manufactures their own condoms, or whether they outsource them from a private manufacturer, but they do state that their Bureau of Standards is supposed to insure that whatever is distributed to the public meets their quality standards.
Apparently, they either looked the other way because they were willing to prove their main point, or they just slipped up on the job.
What does that have to do with the condom mandate law in LA, you ask??
Well…it’s an open secret that the major condom companies here in the US (Lifestyles, Durex, Trojan, et. al.) would just love to tap into the “pro condom”/”safer sex” mood for their own financial advantages. Remember that it was Lifestyles employees who were recruited as “protestors” to follow AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein’s “protests” against HUSTLER and other companies for not banishing bareback sex vids and wrapping their dicks. I would think that such companies would make a nice killing (no pun intended) from scoring exclusive sponsorships or deals with porn companies forced into condom-only vids in order to promote the “safer sex” memes in the larger public. Imagine “Announcing, the 2014 AVN Awards….Brought To You Byyyyyyyy…..DUREX CONDOMS!!!!!!” Or, better yet, imagine you favorite porn starlet sprouting a Trojan necklace and getting paid an endorsement fee for insisting on wrapping up her male partners. Kinda like the decals on the NASCAR racing cars, or the walking ads on World Cup soccer players, except sexier.
The problem with all that, though, is that most poor folk simply can’t afford to buy condoms off the shelf…especially not the top-of-the-line, quality stuff. So, they must go to the local clinic to get their protection…and while condoms there are indeed free, something tells me that they are also not quite so high on the quality factor. I mean, what’s to say that the condom companies don’t just dump their second- or even third-hand product on medical clinics to give to “the poor” while hoarding their quality stuff to sell for maximum profit?? It’s not as if food stores and major retailer chains don’t set the precedent of dumping their excess, close to shelf date product onto food shelters, right??
Do you now see the recipe for disaster here, gangstas and gangstrices??
Imagine if the condom law goes nationwide, thanks to the efforts of AHF and OSHA. Now, imagine AHF and Lifestyles getting a sweetheart deal with the city of LA and a major porn producing company (let’s use VIVID for an example) to put out “FREE CONDOMS!!!!!” to all citizens of that metropolis as a means of promoting “safer sex”. Now, imagine Lifestyles simply dumping its lower quality, excess product onto the streets of LA, using AHF perps to pass out the rubbers to the public.
And now, imagine one or two or five or fifty cases of condoms breaking during use, and as a result, someone gets infected with HIV. Or worse, a performer gets infected during a shoot because he/she didn’t know that the partner was infected but had to do the scene anyway…and the condom accidentally shatters during the main event.
Gee…I wonder how Mike Weinstein will react to THAT.
More importantly, how will this play in the minds of sexual reactionaries who will insist all along that condoms are simply another evil “sex pozzie” attempt to provide false protection for sexual depravity of the privileged wealthy at the expense of the poor, who are merely guniea pigs and cash cows for the “sexual elite”??
The very same arguments, BTW, are being used to slander Planned Parenthood, ACORN, and every other progressive service org delivered to the poor and working class without the approval of the Religious Right.
Be careful of what you ask for…