Thursday, February 08, 2007

Here's an interesting culture commentary illustrated by the following recent news stories....
Brazil vows to install condom machines in schools

Brazil's health ministry have vowed to proceed with plans to put condom vending machines in schools and sought to defuse criticism with a new study showing that parents in the world's largest Roman Catholic nation approve of the idea.
The study, conducted by the United Nations body UNESCO, concluded that two-thirds of the parents surveyed like having the government offer teenagers free condoms and sex education.
The findings could come as a surprise to some Brazilian parents. Most of the population of 185 million is Catholic and the church, which remains influential despite losing ground to fast-growing evangelical churches, is opposed to birth control and preaches sexual abstinence until marriage.
"The health ministry is not afraid to debate with anyone," said Health Minister Agenor Alvares at an event to publicise the new findings.
A representative of Brazil's Conference of Catholic Bishops was not immediately available for comment.
Brazil's health ministry has been offering free condoms and sex education for more than a decade in some schools as part of an Aids-prevention programme that has been recognised worldwide for its success in avoiding an epidemic of the sexually transmitted disease.
To increase condom distribution, the ministry recently launched a contest for technical schools to design a better condom vending machine and will award $US25,000 ($NZ37,174) to the team of students with the best design.
Test machines could go into schools as early as 2008 and the health ministry eventually hopes to put them in bars, clubs and 24-hour gas stations as well.
The UNESCO study was conducted among 135 schools already participating as well as a smaller number of non-participant schools across about half of Brazil's states.
The study found that 45 per cent of students aged 13 to 19 already had an active sex life and that 60 to 70 per cent had used condoms to protect against unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases like Aids.
About 10 per cent said they had sex without using a condom because they could not afford one, while 42 per cent said they simply did not have one handy.

Now, USA (well, Florida)...

Play's Controversial Title Leads To Complaints, Change
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- A modified marquee in Atlantic Beach has been drawing some attention. "Hoohaa" replaced a word in the title of a play after a driver complained about finding the previous wording offensive.
The marquis for Atlantic Theaters advertises a number of plays including, the Masquerade Ball, Band Jam, and now The Hoohaa Monologues.
Some said hoohaa is a strange word and that its definition depends on its context, while others said it sounds like a country band.
However, it's not a band at all. In fact, most people know hoohah by a different name -- vagina.
"We got a complaint about this play The Vagina Monologues," said Bryce Pfanenstiel, of the Atlantic Theater.
The Hoohah Monologues is a replacement title for The Vagina Monologues -- a well-known play about that part of the female body.
"We decided we would just use child slang for it. That's how we decided on Hoohah Monologues," Pfanenstiel said.
They did this after a driver who saw it complained to the theater, saying she was upset that her niece saw it.
"I'm on the phone and asked 'What did you tell her?' She's like, 'I'm offended I had to answer the question,'" Pfanenstiel said.
Some parents said they applaud the title change.
The theater said they're trying not to offend anyone, but the publicity doesn't hurt.
"We hope people understand we're trying to do the right thing. But as far as doing it for attention, we're a comedy club, we do all kinds of shenanigans," Pfanenstiel said.
The play is being brought to the theater by a group of law school students and all of the proceeds are going to various charity organizations.
The director of the play said she was going ask the theater and comedy club to return the title back to its original name.

( If you've ever seen the Vagina Monologues, you share the palpable irony I'm feeing right now.)

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home