Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sex vs. violence...

Sometimes the discussions in our local Facebook groups get especially interesting, particularly when they center around what's appropriate for kids.  The other day, a mother asked members of the community when she should let her daughter watch R rated movies.  Naturally, she got lots of responses from her fellow Americans.

I mostly sat by and watched, because I don't have children and my own parents pretty much didn't care what I watched on cable.  I don't think I went to my first R rated movie in a theater until I was about fifteen, but that was more about my never going to the movies than my parents forbidding it.  Case in point.  I haven't been to a movie theater in over five years; that was to see Midnight In Paris in Portland, Maine.

One thing I did notice in most of the responses I saw was that many Americans were more concerned about their kids seeing sex scenes than hearing filthy language or gratuitous violence.  In Europe, it seems that parents have the opposite concern.  They'd rather their kids see people having sex than blowing each other away.

For the past several weeks, I've been making myself busy watching episodes of Wonder Woman.  That show was rife with kink, but there wasn't a lot of sex.  Yeah, we'd see Lynda Carter running around half naked in her "satin tights".  Her character Diana Prince was regularly tied up and gagged, which no doubt fueled the fantasies of many who watched faithfully (and watching faithfully is a struggle, since it really went downhill in the third season).  But you never saw her with a boyfriend.

Violence, on the other hand, was more prevalent in Wonder Woman.  The superheroine would often by shot at and she would deflect the bullets with her magic bracelets.  Guys would grab her and she'd throw them into a heap.  Steve Trevor would get in fist fights with the bad guys.  This was considered pretty clean entertainment back in the day.  Compared to now, it's still pretty damn clean.

If you think about it, violence probably ought to disturb us much more than nudity does.  Everyone is born nude.  Most of us got here because two people engaged in sexual intercourse.  While not all sex is loving, I can't say that violence is ever loving.  So why aren't parents more worried about their kids seeing someone being shot, beaten up, or thrown off a cliff than they are two people fucking?  Is it because people who are brutalized in film usually aren't left to linger in agony, showing children what happens after they've been shot or beaten?

I think in Europe, most parents would rather expose their kids to sex than violence.  One lady in the local group said that she was listening to a song on a local radio station and there was a line in it about someone bringing a gun to school.  The word "gun" was edited out, but the rest of the song, which was full of what many Americans would deem "objectionable language" was left intact.  Also, it's not uncommon to see naked people on European television.  I remember being in Spain a few years ago and seeing a commercial that featured a naked man running.  I don't remember if his genitals were blurred because I was in a bar at the time, but I do remember the ad and being surprised by it.

Naturally, due to the nature of the work most Americans in this part of Germany are doing, it makes sense that parents would be less bothered by violence.  Military service requires some tolerance for violence.  Family members who love someone serving in the military often adopt the same or a similar mindset to the servicemember.  Perhaps if I were watching a different Facebook group full of crunchy Americans, I might come away with a different impression.

Anyway... I just thought that was an interesting thing.  For more reading on this subject, have a look at this article from Time Magazine, which was published just last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on older posts will be moderated until further notice.