Message to the Guys: Donating Your Organs is Almost Like Sex

by Cara on November 14, 2008

in beauty myths, marketing, media, misogyny, objectification, patriarchy, pop culture, sex and sexuality, sexism


This ad promoting organ donation appeared in a Belgian men’s magazine.

The message at the bottom reads: Becoming a donor is probably your only chance to get inside her.

Nice way to objectify women to get across your “altruistic” message, suggest that women are only good for “getting inside of,” imply that women who don’t fit the above ideal of (poorly photoshopped) beauty aren’t quite as deserving of life, and portray men as so shallow that this is the only way to get them to do a good thing, all at the same time. It’s really quite impressive.

And yet, while I really do want to be pissed at this level of objectification, condescension and sexism, and on some level I am, I’m ultimately just incredibly bemused. I mean, who the hell thought this was a good idea?

Also, let’s just consider the menz for a minute, can we? Think about it. You’re some poor guy who donates your organs for the purpose of showing the world how very macho and heterosexual you are, and then you die and your organs go to — oh noes — another man! That would, like, make you totally gay, dude!

Or, um . . . something. I don’t know, I find homophobia almost as confusing as heterosexuality so insecure and compulsory that it requires comparing organ donation with a sex act.

cross-posted at Feministe


1 Jenny Dreadful November 14, 2008 at 1:45 pm

oh man, if she ever loses her kidneys, and then I get into a car accident and die, I’ll get to BE INSIDE HER. oh yeah! super hot. Can’t wait.

2 Melissa November 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Are you fucking kidding me? Yeah, with this one is prob better to just laugh and shake our heads at the asshat that thought this was a good idea.

3 rrsafety November 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm

It’s just a joke/pun on the phrase “inside her”. Not really a big deal…

4 Cara November 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Gee, wow, rrsafety, thank you for the explanation!!! As you can tell from reading the post, I totally missed what the joke was and I was actually just angry for no apparent reason over something I didn’t undersand because I’m a feminist and getting irrationally angry is what we do.

5 SunlessNick November 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm

My first reaction was the same bemusement as you.

My second reaction was queasiness at the idea of “my” only chance for getting “inside” her to be if she was injured and in danger.

6 Anna November 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm

I’m still stuck on complete bemusement.

7 SunlessNick November 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Anna, I do have to concede that I’ve always found sex and organ donation remarkable in the degree to which they are unalike.

8 Renee November 15, 2008 at 1:00 pm

What I cannot for the life of me understand is how this is supposed to promote organ donation. This is the same kind of advertising that PETA does and it leads nowhere. People stop and consume the image of the woman, express their sexism and then go on. It does not cause any lasting reflection, it only highlights the sexist inequality that women are forced to live with.

9 Anna November 15, 2008 at 3:09 pm

I can see where PETA are coming from, though; I think their campaigns are fucking terrible, but I can see the point they’re trying to make.
This, I don’t get at all, unless it’s a very laboured ‘joke’ on the phrase ‘organ donation’.

…nope. Still complete bemusement.

10 bint alshamsa November 15, 2008 at 7:22 pm


I really can’t see this as any better or worse than the PETA ads. Contributing to the objectification of one group isn’t justified by the fact that you think your cause is really, really important.

11 Le November 16, 2008 at 5:17 am

Ha I guess this ad is kinda speaking to the necrophiliacs out there!!! Disturbing!!!

12 Anna November 16, 2008 at 9:56 am

I’m not saying the PETA ads are better – just that I can sort of vaguely see the connection, even if I do think they are completely screwing over their own message by going about it in a horrible, horrible way.

This just.. confuses me. A lot. I’m not even in angry feminist mode about it [which is incredibly rare] I’m just .. confused. I can’t see how this is supposed to get anyone anywhere.
Even the most ridiculously insecure male wouldn’t go for this.. surely?
‘Oh, I’d fuck her, so she can have my spleen if I die and she’s being operated on! YEAH!’

13 Luci December 13, 2008 at 1:08 pm

This is so disturbing!
As a woman currently waiting for my second heart transplant, I can say with all complete certainty that this is not the right message to be sending to a potential donor.
I honestly don’t think anyone who isn’t a donor would become a donor because they thought their organs would go into a stereotypically attractive woman.

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