The Church of Kharma Futures

The Rev's views on politics, events,faith, and the world. All content copyright Church of Kharma Future 2007-2015 All rights Reserved

Do Good…

Posted by revkharma on December 12, 2007

There’s an ad on TV currently, for some feminine hygiene product. There are images of young girls in stick huts, with a voice over. It seems these young women in “Southern Africa” have to skip school once a month because of the lack of tampons. So, from now on, ( or probably for a “Limited time only, ACT NOW”) when a woman in the US buys tampons the manufacturer will send a box to some tampon deprived girl in “southern Africa”. The tag line is earnest: ” Do good with your period!”

This is silly on so many levels as well as indicative of the general thesis which underlies much of liberal activism and government intrusion in our time.

First, these young girls are portrayed as living in nearly open air, stick shacks, in an open field. If this is not merely a dramatic portrayal to elicit sympathy, then these girls need housing more than they need a tampon. It is more likely that they are unable to attend school because they are needed to tend the farm or the family’s animals to survive than because they lack for feminine hygiene products. (Of course the never asked question is whether the culture will even permit the use of western hygiene products rather than traditional methods.)

All that is merely the setup, the ‘backstory’ to the idea that by buying a tampon a woman in the US can ‘Do good with her period”, helping some anonymous impoverished African girl merely by doing what she normally does.

Here, then, is the kernel to be picked out. As long as it does not change things, nor inconvenience us, we can do good. Such actions are best to make us feel good about ourselves without expending any effort or expense personally. Even better, the manufacturer can be perceived to be helping merely by loading some boxes and shipping them to some far away place. What’s even better, they can deduct it all as a charitable contribution, and pad the bottom line. They once again shift the tax burden to those of us not ‘charitable enough’ to be able to ship consumer goods to foreign cultures.

This is the essence of most liberal feel good activism. Take some action to alleviate a problem never before recognized. Allocate funds from someone else to accomplish a task. Set it up so there is no real effort, inconvenience, or expense to those who will take credit for ‘Doing Good”. Any expense is borne by someone else, whether through tax shifts, government mandates or by ‘Doing good with your period’ and having a company ship something which may or may not actually be needed by someone else.

We as a consumer society can sit back, using all of our time to pursue material goods, and then when we feel guilty we can spend someone else’s time or money or effort to make us feel like we have accomplished something.

A close analogy would be the secular saint of Global Warming Climate Change, Al Gore. He lives in a rather large mansion, using more than twenty times as much energy as the average American. He jets around the world, driving in limo’s preaching that we are using way too much carbon. Rather than actually reduce his own ‘carbon footprint’ directly, he brays that he has purchased Carbon Offsets. In other words, he will not stop doing anything himself. He will, instead, pay for the burden to be shifted onto someone who has less money or power than he does. For example, small villages in Southern Africa are discouraged from adopting modern technology to work their economy or to improve their agricultural output. That, you see, will increase carbon output. So, they should stay doing exactly as they are doing. This may require that the children work the family farm to ensure enough food to survive. So, they will not always attend school. But wait, have no fear. Some American woman wants to Do Good With her Period. She’ll send a box of tampons to help that young girl. After all, to provide actual farming technology might involve something more than a slogan.

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