Sex and violence are often linked together as “adult” realities. Responsible adults don’t let children see such things.
As a pro-life kinda guy, I find it troubling that society conventionally links these two things together. Violence results in suffering and death. Sex results in pleasure and new life.
Violence is an evil (even if sometimes, arguably, it is a necessary evil); sex is a good (even if sometimes it leads to mistakes and regrets).
Yes, I understand why we shield children from things sexual. Children are relatively innocent, and that state of innocence passes all too quickly. We don’t want to rush children headlong toward a knowledge of adult matters.
As a wise woman once instructed me, we should enjoy each experience in life for what it is. We shouldn’t be always longing for and rushing on toward some other experience, around the next corner or over the next hill. Be. Here. Now.
Nonetheless, I insist that sex and violence are not morally equivalent realities. I think society should be more concerned than we are about not exposing children to violence and less concerned than we are about not exposing children to sex.
OK, let me clarify that: I agree that graphic sex should be out of sight of children. But society could stand to ease up a little about nudity and sexually suggestive situations.
Children are exposed to enormous levels of violence on TV and in the movies. But my God, just let Janet Jackson’s nipple be exposed on TV for a fraction of a section and people react as if America’s children will be scarred for life. The horror! The horror!
You might be wondering what has started me down the path of this rant. Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction”, and the ludicrous overreaction to it, is old news. So here’s my story.
I was scrolling through the channels on my TV a few days ago, and I saw that one of the channels was broadcasting The Godfather. I watched it for a while: I think it’s one of the best movies ever made, notwithstanding the scenes of graphic violence.
I was stunned to see that the broadcast skipped over the one scene of brief nudity in the movie. Viewers were exposed to all of the violence, but Apollonia’s bare breasts were deemed offensive!
For example: The photo on the left shows a corrupt police officer just after he has been shot in the head and the throat. That scene was shown, uncut and unpixellated, on TV. But just a little later, when Apollonia takes a step back from Michael Corleone to remove her slip — that scene was cut out of this broadcast.
Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that the censored scene takes place on the couple’s wedding night. The courtship was entirely chaste — Apollonia and Michael have never been left alone together — in accordance with Sicilian mores. So the scene hints at sex in the approved Christian context: chastity ’til marriage and a loss of virginity (at least for Apollonia) on the wedding night.
Moreover, the photo tells the whole story. That’s as graphic as the scene ever gets.
But my God, we can’t show that on TV! What if children are watching (even if it is approximately 11:00 p.m.)?
I know, there’s lots of nudity on TV these days — this example is a weird exception to the general trend. But it’s the second time I’ve seen this censored version of The Godfather on TV. Presumably the studio makes the version available to squeamish TV executives.
It illustrates my point. Society is more invested in protecting children and young teens from nudity than it is in protecting them from violence.
And that’s a symptom of how mixed up we are, as a society. IMHO.