During the 1980’s, Nancy Reagan promoted her “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign. And though she travelled over 250,000 miles, appeared on Diff’rent Strokes, and was seen in a music video, the campaign failed, and drug abuse among teens increased. Her misguided thoughts can be summed up in her famous remark: “If you can save just one child, it’s worth it.”
Nope….that’s a bad success rate by any standard, Nancy.
During the same time, studies were going on at UC Berkeley that proved that the “Just Say No” campaign was going to increase drug use among young people. Numerous studies among atheletes (with steroids), vacationers (with sunscreen), or children (with cookie jars) had already proven that saying “no” actually increases interest toward such taboos.
Nancy’s pet project was actually a short sighted waste of air miles. She barely touched upon the primal causes of drug use which included, but were not limited to, family dissolution, poverty, unemployment, AND her husband’s lack of interest in limiting the introduction of drugs to the United States via our Southern and Northern borders (inhale).
I digress: The “Just Say No” campaign was sweet and caring, but it ran counter to human nature and it may have actually increased teen drug use.
Is it possible that our well-meaning, “It gets better”, campaigns are just as ineffectual?
I keep thinking about a happy Wildebeest, sipping water from the relative safety of a water hole at the END of his migration as he calls his buddies, at the beginning of their journey, to remind them that “it gets better”. Sadly, the Wildebeest fails to remind them that there are 10,000 hungry predators, 15 swollen tributaries, several forms sleeping sickness, poachers, desert conditions, and the largest form of “just say no” for a Wildebeest…Fences, between them and the END.
“Don’t worry guys. It gets better!”
Pip-pip, and cheerio, bitchez!
Suicide rates among gay, lesbian, and transgender teens are dictated, in the largest sense, by the same factors that contribute to suicide rates for all ages and genders. The difference being that homosexual teens have more risk factors and fewer protections than heterosexual youths. In most cases, if not all, the homosexual that commits suicide lacked family support, safe school settings, and a severe lack of spiritual support. Even though the Bible has three lovely same sex relationships within it’s pages, there are far more passages devoted to the evils of homosexuality.
Many people’s actions against homosexuals are religiously based. So we can assume that the average homosexual has the usual socioeconomic factors that lead to suicide (or the attempt), but then we can acknowlege additional forms of alienation like family, community, and church. It won’t get better until we change those paradigms. It won’t get better until we actually work to defeat the social constraints on the mental well being of our people.
ACTUALLY, it only “get’s better” for those that get through it. And though the campaign for things getting better is absolutely the right thing to say, it has about as much effect as the “just say no” campaigns of the 1980’s. There’s very little “doing in the saying”.
Nothing EVER ‘gets better’ with just a slogan.
The focus should be placed upon familial acceptance, religious tolerance, and cross cultural understandings, and then we have to follow through, as a society, on MAKING it better.
A slogan tends to end up in one very common place: It takes on a life of it’s own. So if you truly want something to get better, don’t just say it – DO it.