This image, I have to admit, almost leaves me speechless. My first thought was to note the amazing feats of illogic. How, for example, does the use of contraception lead to single-parent homes? Contraception – by definition – prevents you from becoming a parent in the first place. And why is contraception the root of (dum dum DUM) “Sexual Chaos“? I mean, in my experience contraception generally requires some ability to think ahead, and planning isn’t an activity I’d call chaotic.
But true to form, I’m more interested in the choice of flowers. I’m not going to dis the chastity rose (although I’m not sure any sort of flower is especially chaste…plants in general are awfully good at getting it on), even though it’s not much like the wild Rosa rugosas that I love best. But a dandelion? What substances were these people taking that made them think that the roots of a dandelion – one of our most successfully prolific plants – made a good symbol for contraception?
I suspect the logic went something like: Dandelions=Weeds. Weeds=Bad.
Dandelions are adaptable. Dandelions are scrappy and resilient. Dandelions are crazy-good medicine. Dandelions are generous: We mow them down and pull them up and spray them dead, and no matter how often or how shortsightedly we reject them they keep coming back, stronger than ever. Dandelions stand their ground. They’re independent and sturdy, not to mention cheerful and cheering.
No matter how we vilify them, dandelions pop up in the ugly cracks and crevices and make those places more beautiful. This graphic is bizarre and in some ways very ugly, and so maybe it’s only to be expected that a dandelion found its way into it.
I’m totally down with roses, and I’m totally down with loving families of all shapes and sizes and styles. But when someone compares my choices to a dandelion (and yes, I do use contraceptives) I take that as high praise. So my second thought when I saw this poster was, “I’m a dandelion! Yay!”
On this glorious spring day, I’m raising a toast to the dandelion. Will you join me?