Monday, March 19, 2012

"I Hate Balls" is supposed to be funny. I get it.

Recently, the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation has launched what it calls an "edgy campaign targeted to raise awareness about spay/neuter, a simple and extremely effective means of stopping the killing of animals in shelters."

"Edgy," in this instance, means throwing down yet another assault on masculinity. Because no matter how funny you make it, the simple fact is naming your campaign "I Hate Balls" is in no way a campaign in support of spaying. Really, it's as blatantly anti-male as all those sitcoms with dads who are dumber than their kindergarten kids, or those ridiculous T-shirts that say "Boys are stupid...throw rocks at them."

Look, I get it. And it's kind of funny; a hot chick (Kathrine Heigl) blathering on about everything that's wrong with balls. After a while though, the redundancy of the statement really does set in...and eventually (as expected) gets projected away from male animals (dogs in particular), and onto male humans. There the joke is about castration for obedience, not neutering to protect the animal population.

I'm not deeply offended by the project overall. I think it's cute, in an affected dippy blonde, sort of bullshit way. But I wonder where the spaying commentary would go. Perhaps "I Hate Ovaries" would be an adequate response. Then, instead of suggesting that it's funny to talk about castrating men to make them more docile, we could talk about how hysterectomies could be used to control the hysterical mood swings women get.

(hysterectomy, by the way, comes from the word outmoded idea that once a month the uterus floated up into the woman's brain to cause her to be, well, hysterical)

Somehow I doubt that would garner the same reaction. I doubt women would see the gentle good humour intended. I doubt it would be accepted as "edgy." It would be crass, dehumanizing, and embarrassing.

I don't have any issue with what the Foundation is looking to achieve in its awareness campaigns. So to donate, feel free to go to and fork over your cash. Then, if you're so inclined, tell them you hate ovaries more than balls, and want your donation only to go to sterilizing female animals.

Again, it's funny to a point. But if the shoe were on the other foot, consider how funny it would be. Maybe they should run the female campaign just to balance the joke.

But I doubt they'd have the balls for that.


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