February 6, 2012
Mamamia had an interesting post from Mia Freedman today talking about the proliferation of soft porn images in public places and spaces. Mia had attended a Hog’s Breath restaurant with a group of young people and was shocked to find a large screen showing music videos which were less than appropriate for viewing by children.
We should all be able to attend a family restaurant without having very sexual images pushed in our faces. In the family home we have the choice to change the channel or turn the TV off, but in public places this is much harder, if not impossible to control. We can, of course, speak to the manager of the establishment and make our feelings known; this can be harder if it is a big screen in a space such as Federation Square. It is startling that many of us now accept this type of media in our daily lives; we seem to not even notice it most of the time unless someone such as Mia draws our attention to it. I find it disturbing and a little embarassing when I am faced with these types of images when in the company of either my small grandchildren, or my parents.
I find it quite sad that female performers are constantly portraying themselves (and women in general, in my opinion) as sex objects. Women are so much more than the sum of their (body) parts! We are smart, funny, generous, talented, caring; all things that we continue to be long after the glow of youth has left us. We need to empower our daughters with the knowledge that they do not need to use their looks and sexual wiles to make their way in the world, and their self esteem should not be tied to the way they look. I want my daughters and granddaughters to believe their worth is tied to who they are as people, their abilities and talents, their attitude and personality; I want them to know their beauty is contained within them and that they are empowered by knowing that.
I have been having a conversation with my 21 year old daughter tonight about this story and below are some of our comments:
Lauren: The video isn’t actually as bad as she makes it out to be. At least they promote fit healthy bodies, vigorous exercise through dance and strong self-esteem :):)
Me: The video itself is not the problem. It is the fact these types of videos are shown in public spaces such as restaurants where families attend with their children. They are not appropriate images for young children as they verge on being soft porn. In the home you can change channels; in public places you can’t. Rhianna’s video is definitely not about strong self esteem!
Lauren: I think that a woman being sexually liberated is a positive thing. Nothing wrong with sex. It’s perfectly natural and healthy. One of, if not, the most natural thing in the world.
In saying that, I don’t appreciate a 6 year old going home from school of all places and singing about “passion in her pants” :-\
The key word here is “woman”, and public places shouldn’t be filled with it. Just because they bleep out the swear words, doesn’t make the lyrics and images child-friendly.
I agree that women today enjoy a much more liberated view of the world and are able to express their sexuality much more freely; I just don’t want young women to think that this is where all their power comes from. And I don’t like seeing very young girls being sexualised via dress, dancing and behaviour. They grow up way too fast as it is. And equally, I don’t want to see young boys viewing women in a purely sexual way. They need to see the person underneath that outer layer and appreciate ALL the things that make her who she is.
And who knows, if we all start to speak out about this and seek change, it might just happen.
Here is the link to Mia’s original post http://www.mamamia.com.au/social/strippers-turned-popstars/
I would love to hear your opinions on this. Do we need to see these images wherever we go? Do our children?
Thank you, Lauren for allowing me use part of our conversation on this subject.
Quote of the Day: Taught from infancy that beauty is woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison. ~Mary Wollstonecraft