Posted by Tom Megginson
| 27-04-2014 15:17 | Category:
The “You Don’t Say Campaign” is a collaboration between a student group named Think Before You Talk and the Blue Devils United athletics program at Duke University in North Carolina, USA.
According to their Facebook Page:
The “You Don’t Say Campaign” seeks to raise awareness around the misuse of language that relates to the LGBTQ community and gender issues. These words dehumanize and marginalize many within the Duke community and beyond and it is important to understand why.
Our Goal: Foster dialogue on the intersection of language and gender and sexual identities.
Words mean something. Think Before You Talk.
The campaign takes a poster format, but beyond campus the captioned photographs are a perfect match for social media. I’m not thrilled by the photography, which could have been much more striking, but the student models certainly have their hearts in it. It’s good to see youth take responsibility for the social implications of the words their peers use so casually.
See more examples below:
There are even more at the campaign’s Facebook Page
You Don't Say Campaign Duke
- student work
- united states
Great to see a student body working together on a campaign like this.
My take? “You don’t say” is a decent enough line. And I can see where they’re going with the visuals (very on trend).
But… The execution is way too worthy. The snap of “You don’t say” becomes bogged by the text which is heavy and cumbersome both on the eye and the mouth.
The campaign, in my opinion, would benefit from loosening up, adding a bit of snark or humour and using “You don’t say” instead of “I don’t say” (again, I can see why they’ve gone down this path, but it removes some of the swagger from the campaign) - or, for that matter “We don’t say”.
But, you know what - if the text makes some high-minded high flying serious subject college grad think about the language that they use, great. It’s all part of the rich anti-discrimation tapestry.
Posted by Neil Hopkins | 29-04-2014 10:27
Hi Neil. Thanks for the comment!
I agree with having a little more humour, but I appreciate that the students in the ads/posters are making individual “I” statements. While the trolls on their FB page accuse them of telling other people what they can and cannot say, they are actually saying what words THEY will not use. There’s a big difference between that and preaching “thou shalt not.” They’re leading by example.
As a matter of fact, it’s the title of the campaign, “You Don’t Say,” that I find more problematic. I’m sure they chose it because it’s a double-meaning and catchy, but “I Don’t Say” or “We Don’t Say” is more powerful, because it is a positive assertion of personal values.
Like you say, however, every thread in the tapestry helps!
Posted by Tom Megginson | 29-04-2014 22:06
I see what you mean - although I view it that ‘I’ statements can be more easily dismissed as an outlier viewpoint.
‘We’ statements on the other hand imply support, backing and community…
You’re right about ‘You’ which, the more I think about it, does create some problems if humour/snark isn’t also employed…
Posted by Neil Hopkins | 30-04-2014 16:08
For what it’s worth I think these are preaching to the converted. They come across as serious and worthy and therefore easy to reject.
It’s always easy to think about why others are wrong. It’s less easy to start from the other person’s point of view and win them round.
How do you reach a lazy, stupid, racist, misogynist bigot?
Posted by Reuben Turner | 1-05-2014 16:55
Well put, Reuben and as for your question…. If only we knew…
Posted by Neil Hopkins | 2-05-2014 12:15