An example of brilliant messaging on our side is “marriage equality.” Leading with “marriage” is like leading with “cute, cuddly puppies.” Everybody likes marriage, everybody is more likely to approve. And the movement has been very successful.

Now take “pro-choice.” Who is the messaging supposed to appeal to? The adepts of “Consumerism Above All” sect? Nothing is easier than to demolish the message by countering it with “pro-life” because you turn into a creep who values consumerism more than life. 

No, messaging is not everything. But it’s a lot. If you keep losing on messaging because you can’t be bothered to try coming up with something that makes sense, prepare to lose. Even more, that is.


10 thoughts on “Messaging”

  1. ” “pro-choice.” Who is the messaging supposed to appeal to?”

    I remember many years ago suggesting that “pro-woman” might be a better counter to ‘pro-life’… and was told (by por-choicers how terrible and retrograde that was…


  2. I had the exact same thought about “marriage equality” the other day! It’s the first and last time we were good at branding. Usually we come up with gems like “gun control.”


    1. \ Usually we come up with gems like “gun control.”

      Thinking about what guns represent to some men, “religion and guns” crowd, using Obama’s phrase, probably feels rage since they’re afraid Liberals are planning to emasculate them.


  3. “Choice” was created as a euphemism for legal abortion, when abortion was illegal (much of my life). You had to suggest you yourself wouldn’t necessarily have an abortion, but supported the right of everyone to make that decision for themselves, depending on their situations, etc. Reproductive freedom was always my preference, but pro-woman isn’t bad (except that the right says pro-life is saving women from being subjected to abortions … that, again, is why the word choice was chosen back then)


    1. The real danger of “pro-woman” is that the pro-lifers would change to “pro-baby” which is pretty much a game ender….

      But pro-choice is pretty thin sauce… reproductive freedom is good but too long.

      The problem is that human reproduction working as it has for all these thousands of years has sexual inequality (different inequality for each sex) baked into the system in ways that are incredibly difficult to change….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And abortion on demand will never be understood, because the same people who claim abortion is always major trauma ALSO think that if it’s available, women will spend all their time having unprotected sex and just go get an abortion if they have an unwanted pregnancy. It is SO unrealistic. I actually had some bloke ask me why I bothered with birth control if I didn’t think having an abortion would mean going to Hell.


  4. Something very similar happened with marriage equality in Germany. For a long time, the debate surrounding marriage equality was conducted under the cringe-worthy label “Homo-Ehe” (homo-marriage). And while “Homo” doesn’t have all of the derogatory baggage in German that it does in English, it’s still not a great label for the issue. Not too long before the recent (successful) push for marriage equality in the German parliament, the label shifted to the much better “Ehe für Alle” (marriage for everyone). I don’t think the relabeling alone is responsible for that success, but I think it helped.


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