North America’s commodity culture that sexualizes people to sell products is devaluing the human being. Photo by Evan Boudreau.

NCLN combats commodity culture

By  Virginia Mervar, Youth Speak News
  • June 12, 2014

TORONTO - North America’s culture of convenience and commodities is diminishing the dignity of the human person and thus, as St. John Paul II wrote in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, is creating a culture of death. 

All manner of product is available for any consumer at any time, and what is being marketed, especially to young people, are products and ideas that promote seeking pleasure in the most convenient way possible. One of the easiest ways for companies to market these products is sexualizing the men and women in ads from movies, magazines, billboards, etc. These models are commodified along with the goods they help sell. As a result, when people are viewed more as objects than human beings, pornography, rape and abortion become normalized, resulting in the devaluing of human dignity. 

The National Campus Life Network, a national pro-life organization that is at the heart of the pro-life student movement in Canada, will be hosting the first of many events and activities beginning in two Canadian cities — Toronto and Vancouver — to address these issues and how to best deal with these taboo topics in a world that is telling young Catholics that “you’re not really hurting anyone” or “everyone else is doing it” and “it’s really no big deal.” 

Rebecca Richmond, director of the NCLN, will be on hand to host a June 21 event at the Newman Centre at the University of Toronto and to speak on how commodification, pornography, rape and abortion are intertwined and directed at young people. She says, “It’s about the commodification of human beings, the way that human beings are being used and abused, instead of being respected and protected.” 

The campaign is called “#CommodityCulture Rescuing Our Campuses from Rape Culture, Porn & Abortion” and it aims to combat the desensitization of treating people as commodities. It is Richmond’s hope that the event will empower youth and inform them on what fuels the commodity culture and how they can fight against it. 

All are welcome to attend this pub night-style event. Guest speakers will be looking at what’s driving pornography, rape and abortion — in essence, the commodification of human beings. The presentation offers the opportunity to learn more about the culture, but also hope and healing. Students and young adults can also learn how they can be involved in the fight against a commodity culture during summer and back on campus during the school year. 

“We have the opportunity to bear witness to a different ethic, a different vision of human beings, one that sees a person, rather than an object, one that strives to uphold the dignity of others, and never to use them for their own selfish gratification,” said Richmond. 

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