A rose is a rose is a rose

New Amnesty International ads go floral to fight genital mutilation.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Published December 1, 2007 12:03AM (EST)

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a rose is a way of representing mutilated genitalia.

A Swedish advertising firm has come out with a new campaign for Amnesty International to fight female genital mutilation. (Thanks to Feministing for the tip.) The ads depict roses with their petals sewn together above copy explaining that 2 million girls suffer genital mutilation annually. Close-ups of the full ads are here and here.

Some will find the whole flower/genitalia thing tired, but I am hard-pressed to think of another image that would work better, that wouldn't be brutally graphic. One New York ad copywriter argues that no euphemistic image can do this subject justice, and an ad with the stark words "genital mutilation" would be more powerful. In any case, I'm glad to see that Amnesty International is trying to bring more attention to this practice as a violation of human rights.

What do Broadsheet readers think?

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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