People have always misused charitable concerns for their own ends. And sadly, some charities themselves have often not been the best adverts for an ethical and a sensible approach to raising money for causes.
But most recently, things seem to have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. Readers of this blog will know that I am closely involved with managing and volunteering at charitable organisations. They might well have heard the occasional rant from me about the gross amount of overheads, salaries and stupid marketing ploys that some of the larger NGOs and charities are guilty of (those Corporates of the Charidee World. Nothing wrong with being BIG per se. But lots wrong with not managing your affairs in the fairest way for all. So when asked, I always say – go ask questions of the charity you might want to give to. Go ask questions…)
A reader recently got in touch, sharing similar concerns and informing me about the practice of ‘Gnoming’ (happening now on college campuses near you apparently.) Gnoming involves a student being targeted and various silly/hideous things being inflicted upon them. For example, tie the bugger to a tree, pour treacle all over them, film it and stick the video onto you tube. This is one of the more light-hearted examples of course. You can imagine what some people end up having done to them. And everyone watching or sponsoring, gets to contribute money to charity to see this particular individual ‘Gnomed.’ For about a fiver. No kidding. A-sodding fiver! Yes, student RAG weeks have always attracted a certain level of irresponsibility but it seems that the nastier edge of this kind of practice is a-growing. Here is an example of your typical gnoming activity.
But you can’t complain though, can you? You can’t have a whine that some people will be targeted might well be vulnerable….that they may have some kind of mental or physical disability (people who have hidden impairments will be a bloody-gift for such practices.) You can’t have a gripe that there will be an element of bullying in some cases. Or fret that people will be filmed without their consent. Oh no. You can’t moan.
‘Cause it’s all in the Name of Charidee innit? Therefore tis okay. “Lighten up! Don’t be a misery-guts! We’re helping The Kiddies/Donkeys/Starving Africans…”
But this week has left yours truly Utterly Gobsmacked. For it seems that the latest activity For Charideez has dreamed up a new method which in my book, marks an all-time low. Using a ‘search charities service’, a journalist from The Sun has targeted specific charities (i.e. those with a focus on women, on young people… Unbelievably) in order to ask the females who work for them to pose IN A THONG and to be photographed for well known not-so-quality UK tabloid newspaper ‘The Sun’. This is all in the name of Health and Self-Esteem of course. The women who volunteer will have to rate how they feel about their own bodies. And their bodies will also be judged by a panel of men. And money raised (and PR of course!) will go to their charity. And they get to have their piccie printed in the ‘Health and Wellbeing Section’ of ‘The Sun.’
After cleaning up the froth generated from these delicate and oh-so-feminine lips of mine after hearing about this insanity, I actually felt so stupified that I now feel that I cannot beyond the next sentence or two. Yes. Not like me. And I certainly can’t put it any better than the blog which revealed this lower than low development All In The Name Of Charidee. Gawd Bless ‘The Sun’ eh? It’s like feminism never happened! Go see: http://yourdaughterswillbenext.wordpress.com