I was driving up I-95 from Washington D.C. to Philly. As I emerged from the Baltimore Tunnel, a billboard caught my eye. There was a photo of a young girl, perhaps in her early twenties. The caption read, “I don’t give it up. And I’m not giving in.” Not exactly sure why, but I was less than impressed with the entire campaign…let’s explore, shall we?
For all intents and purposes, we all know what the “it” is. This young woman is essentially saying that what’s in her draw’s belongs to her…and you can’t have none. In fact, from the look on her face, you ain’t even going to be able to see it. You can forget rounding the bases, homey…and you can damn sure forget the dugout. You, my friend, are not even invited to play the game so don’t drive to the stadium, don’t pay for parking and damn sho’ don’t suit up. This is a wonderful concept which I advocate entirely. It is, however, less difficult than it may appear on the surface. First of all, abstinence, for a woman in her twenties, will only serve to spare her from the misdemeanor assault and battery that is sex with a man in his twenties. Not sure if anyone else has been privy to it, but for me — I can’t think of one single thing that I’d rather do less than sex with a man in his twenties. Oh wait! That’s not necessarily true! The absolute LAST thing on earth that I’d rather do is dip my naked body in honey and then hug an active beehive while the queen bee is mating. If I had to choose between the two, I’d take the man in his twenties…maybe.
But back to my lack of enthusiasm for this the billboard. Maybe it’s because in today’s highly charged, overly sexualized society, it’s hardly seems possible that young, red-blooded Americans are abstaining from America’s favorite past time: obsessing over sex. Or maybe it’s because we know that even if this young woman is abstaining, most of her peers are not. We know this because sexually transmitted diseases including HIV are still ravaging our young people. So, even if this one young woman abstains, it’s hard to swallow that her resolve hardly makes a dent in the problem.
So, while the billboard may be a way to reach some of the folks, I do hope that we’ll temper its use with a bit of common sense. We cannot continue to bombard our young people with sex and sexual imagery at every turn and then think a billboard is a line of defense against the rampant sexual behavior that is robbing our young people of their potential and at times, their lives. Put up the billboard if you must. Then, turn off the T.V.