Why is it, in our society, that it’s ok to have violence on television, but nudity is taboo? I still am searching for the answer…
Remembering that this country was mostly founded by Puritans might help. Sexual repression is part of the moralistic prudery in our culture. We never fully recovered from the Victorian era.
In Europe, you have the exact opposite, a lot of graphic sex, but little violence.
It’s because the prudes among us would have us think little Tommy might be traumatized by seeing how an unclothed adult human looks, whereas watching 43 or so axe murders a day will have no adverse affects. Pretzel logic brought to you by the folks who are ashamed of their own sexuality.
Imho, the most blatant example of this ridiculous thinking occured when NASA was sending that spaceship on a voyage into interstellar space, and they thoughtfully included a gold-anodized plaque which showed
(along with earth’s gallactic location) two nude human figures, the man holding his hand up to display our opposable thumbs… when the pictures of the plaque were published, every single picture I saw had the man’s genitals airbrushed out. Sure, go ahead, spend 2 billion dollars to send our geocentric pornography to the stars, but you’d better not let MY little Janey see that man’s pee-pee! Sheesh. Maybe that Iceland dood is right. Whatta country.
Following Lissa’s comment, an Australian friend of mine said he was glad that Australia got the convicts and America got the Puritans.
Ja, isn’t that something? We bar kids from seeing expressions of love or affection just because they show some skin, but they are freely allowed to see all the stuff under the skin as long as it’s being melted off by an A-bomb explosion or carved up by a knife wielding lunatic.
I suppose the counter-argument goes something like: I don’t want my kids “waking up” sexually until their minds & bodies are ready for it. But nudity doesn’t need to imply a sexual act, unless you’re predisposed to think that way.
I’m sure there must be some interesting relevant statistics about child behavior in other countries (where nudity is less taboo & there are fewer sex crimes), but I won’t pretend to know what they are.
If you (in general, not you personally) think Michaelangelo’s David (or insert your own example) is obscene, that’s only because your mind made the connection between skin & sex. I wish somebody had properly taught you to distinguish the two at an earlier age; it may be too late now.
Graphic sex? Lissa, I assume you are talking about European movies, not television.
In any case, even this is something of a myth. The ratios of sex and violence may be different, but don’t let anyone tell you that European films are tame compared to ours when it comes to violence. Italian horror films went way beyond our standards, in both quantity and quality.
Getting back to television, Hammer horror films of the '50s, '60s, and '70s were routinely trimmed of explicit violence for broadcast on late night television here in the U.S. In their native England, however, they ran uncut in the afternoons on BBC.
It’s not just nudity. Anything that might possibly make someone fel good is on the suspect list, and has been for a painfully long time.
Sex was a “duty,” not a pleasure, and generations of women were told that it was her job to lie there quietly until it was over with. Fat chance. I don’t think so, Tim.
It was sadly funny that there was one good thing to be said for the whole Clinton/Lewinsky deal. How else would you have been able to get people from all social groups, all ages and sexes, to be able to stand around in a group and discuss such scandalous topics as blowjobs and genital manipulation? (Cigar, anyone?) Eyes and mouths were opened, even while minds stayed closed.
Personal morality should be just that. Trying to inflict one set lifestyle or ideal on entire generations just helps the psychiatrists and sex therapists make payments on their tropical condos, which is where they’ll be hiding precisely when you need em.
Suze – what AM I doing? – anne
The Burning Begins Anew at
I was in Paris in '96, and you could switch on the TV at around 10 pm and see porn . . . full penetration included. Being American, I was shocked and then amused. The soap commercials showed women cheerfully soapng up their breasts. Hell, on several franc notes, they have a bare-breasted woman, and in the corner, a cartoon character. The have stores on nice tree and cafe-lined streets that say “Sex Shop” in giant letters. I once saw a condom machine on a wall on the street (had to stop and take a picture).
After a while, I ceased to notice it. Just as now, in the States, I will turn on my televsion, see a man decapitated and think nothing more to myself than “Pretty good special effects.”
Yeah, but they are still (last I heard) barring “The Exorcist”. Which, while it was pretty cutting edge for the time it was created, seems terribly tame by the standards of today. Pfeh
Maybe it’s because it’s easier to find actors who will fire pretend guns and blanks and so on, then it is to find attractive actresses who will take off their clothes.
Violence in tv/movies is good for the US pentagon, the biggest, best funded agency in the US government. Nudity is not.
Therefore, American kids can watch Rambo and James Bond and Die Hard on tv, but not naked people.
For similar discussion, see the War Channel thread in the GQ forum.
Prof. Joanne Cantor is a national expert on violence in the media. Her web page has pertinent info:
Opus, it was about 30 yrs ago, as an impressionable youth when I saw the Movieland Wax Museum in beautiful Orange County, CA. (don’t even knoe if it still exists). One of their main attractions was a full sized outdoor replica of Michaelangelo’s David–except they’d added a fig leaf! It was attached by…well we won’t go there. It was funny then, & it still is.
Hell, I’ve been trying to get my wife to open her mouth for years…
Live a Lush Life
>>Remembering that this country was mostly founded by Puritans might help.
It wasn't, though. Think about it, a second: defining "this country" as the original 13, we find that...what? two?...of them were Puritan, and that's stretching the definition of it quite a bit. Next, the Puritans weren't particularly puritanical, any more than the middle age's architects were Goths.
CFQWEST . . .
Swear to God. TV movies. I remember one in particular with the woman screaming out: “Oui! Oui! Oui! Ce’st bon! Ce’st bon!” We laughed 'till we cried.
>>Violence in tv/movies is good for the US pentagon, the biggest, best funded agency in the US government. Nudity is not.
Therefore, American kids can watch Rambo and James Bond and Die Hard on tv, but not naked people. For similar discussion, see the War Channel thread in the GQ forum.<<
There’s probably a lot of truth in this. I mean, I’m one of the “TV generation” types, who remembers violence in the movies from way back, and if I remember correctly, what lowered the bar (or raised it, I guess, depending on your perspective), was the Vietnam War. Does anyone else remember being like, five, and seeing the war in full color in your living room? WWII newreels were not like this.
Once such graphic real violence was broadcast, it seemed ridiculous not to show fake versions of the same thing.
Interesting side note: Kids much younger than me, who think Terminator 2 is tame, who saw Quentin Tarentino films as middle schoolers, are still deeply shocked by the final scene of Easy Rider.
Context is everything.
If my mother had been in charge of the War on Drugs, it would be "Just say 'No thank you.'"
First of all, what’s wrong with being a sex craved pervert???
Secondly, I think the big reasoning behind all of this is that people have a much harder time imagining their kid ripping someone to pieces with an icepick than sleeping with the girl down the street. Sex is just (thank god) more common than murder. But, just because we think little Johnny might be having sex, that doesn’t mean we want him to. So we need to “protect” him from what he might do.
Cave Canem. Beware the Dog.
You say “sex-crazed pervert” like it’s a bad thing.
I wonder what the king is doing tonight?