June 21, 2012

Protect the Squeamish Ageist Adults!

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Idiot Box,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 3:20 pm

Nothing like sitting through an R-rated movie being played on basic cable, with half the dialogue either changed or silenced because of “offensive language”. When I think about it, it’s really offensive to me that it’s censored at all. How stupid do you think I am, that I can’t handle the word fuck? That you need to protect my gentle ears from hearing it.

Oh, what’s that? I’m 29 so I’m not one of the people being protected by this? Well, I must be, because it’s still censored. I’d have to either watch this movie on a premium movie channel (which I don’t get) or rent or buy it. Hmm. Maybe it’s a marketing move in that way. Even though I have no real interest in buying the movie anyway.

Ah, but the official reason is that the censorship is to “protect the children” from hearing these naughty words.

First of all, as I say frequently, so what if they hear (or say) these words?

Second of all, it’s interesting what words are and aren’t okay. Watch Forrest Gump on TNT. They have to blur out the “Shit Happens” bumper sticker, yet in a few scenes the N-word is said and is visibly written in the background, totally uncensored. An almost meaningless word for feces is unacceptable, yet they greenlight a racial slur? Um, racial slurs are the ACTUAL bad offensive words! Should they be censored? No. But if censoring offensive things is the idea, you’d think that’d be the first thing!

Third of all, my 8-year-old brother and I were watching Family Guy recently, and there was one line where a word was bleeped. He promptly turned to me and said “I know what he said! He said fuck!” Yeah, even the people you’re hiding the words from totally know what words go there. So… fail.

And… how many children do you know who have been contacting the FCC complaining that something on the TV was too mature for their fragile little minds? Oh, there are children who buy into the “bad words are bad for kids” thing. Hell, I grudgingly admit that when I was 11 I was sort of one of them. The reason wasn’t that I actually believed that, though. I only held the idea because I knew such a belief was pleasing to the adults around me. It was prior to my realization that my age kept the adults from respecting me no matter what I did, that beliefs like this just made them happy I was being their lap dog. And so many kids buy into that at their peers’ expense. But that’s what it comes down to. The desire to please adults is why some kids are against “swear words”, not that they have some personal conviction (well, some might).

No, the people who scream back and forth over appropriateness of media content is entirely adults. It is the supposedly mature adults who can’t handle the idea of kids hearing someone say “bullshit” or seeing an accidental half-time show nipple slip. You know who can handle it just fine? The kids themselves!

Seriously, that nipple thing. Everybody has nipples! Half of them have the dreaded baby-feeding female nipples! They need only look down to see nipples. Children are only a few years past being the ones feeding from those nipples, and I hope somebody told the little girls they’ll be growing those things before too long. Censoring body parts? Do these complaining people not shower, because they might realize they have these evil parts? And the ones who are parents, how did that happen, as that happens through having sex which involves – gasp! – being naked!

Conveniently, it seems it’s only adult nudity they’re (usually) all that pissy about. Interesting.

Let’s be honest. There is no censorship that protects children. It only protects adults. Or, no, not really. It protects no one.

And the “protect the children” thing is just an excuse anyway. They only say that because “hide words and things that make squeamish adults cry” sounds less noble. Maybe we should stick to calling it what it is.

In other news, a Michigan legislator just recently got in trouble for saying “vagina” on the House floor. And people think teens aren’t mature enough to vote?!

This has been Day 29 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 12.

1 Comment

  1. I had just read an article in the newspaper a couple of days ago covering a dispute between the FCC and television broadcasters. It appears that many broadcasters have grown extensively frustrated with the FCC’s current efforts to censor content on television. The article quoted the FCC responding to these complaints by claiming that their primary objective was to protect the children from content that could be deemed potentially offensive to younger viewers. Facepalms ensued, I can assure you. So I’m pleasantly surprised to see a new post from you covering this very issue.

    Comment by wedway — June 23, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

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