It's time for change, not by laws alone, but from within the places of the heart, our families.
Slowly, with growing unease over
the past 16 months, I've watched a sea change in American
television. As with all truly insidious changes, this began much
earlier in media history with the use of profanity during prime time
viewing. And gradually, it's grown into a feeding frenzy of
hypersexualised imagery and very inappropriate ad campaigns.
We have always had a
preoccupation with bodily perfection and valued looks above
substance. That is an illness in our culture, and now it's impacting
our youth as never before. Fascinated, youngsters watch Tyra Banks
Model Show and think that every thing they are seeing is truth and
therefore acceptable. If there is no parental input into shows like
this, our children soon begin to percieve that things like nudity,
sexual promiscuity and backstabbing to get ahead are ok.
Men and boys love
wrestling shows like RAW and Smackdown, spending millions of dollars
on tickets and merchandise. And sit there swallowing some of the
most racist, sexist and demeaning behaviours seen on American T.V.
The female "Divas", are scantily dressed sexual toys for the
wrestlers, and often end up being punching bags when a male wrestler
gets upset. One Diva in her "role" as an unwed mother, tells Kane, a
nightmare is waking up and not knowing who your baby's father is.
Other Divas, use sexual innuendo, offering lotions and other
enticements to the current man of the hour. All this for a targeted
audience of preteen to post adolescent would be males.
All races perform
shameful stereotypcal roles, acting stupid while some pseudo
American jerk, hurls racial epithets, to the roar of the approving
crowd. Then there's "Eugene", who is supposedly mentally retarded,
yet he wrestles. This character shames and demeans all special
needs individuals, when he pretends to flop around, tongue hanging
out and acting like a witless puppet. It is an outrage that this
type of behaviour is allowed to even be aired.
Daytime television is
currently populated by tell all shows, where entire families air
their dirty secrets in front of millions, and ads that have no place
during these hours proliferate. Ads for KY Warming Gel, viagra like
products, complete with leering couples, pop up at every turn. I've
had a few uncomfortable moments with my boys as they asked what is
that? I'm very frank and honest with my children about sexuality,
but.. I prefer not to have certain things introduced without my
input. Commercials such as these or for intimate care products are
in bad taste, and should be relegated to adult programming.
The rampant sexuality
in the media is affecting us as a society. HIV infections are again
on the increase, and new antibiotic resistant strains of syphilis
and gonorrhea are on the rise. This is in direct proportion to the
increased sexual activity seen here. Our children are highly sexual
creatures by nature, but traditionally, good values and parental
influence helped guide our children. That parental right, like so
many others, has been largely diluted by media input. Children now
use sexually explicit talk as casually as they used to discuss the
latest songs or fads. It's very difficult to countermand such tidal
trends. Yes, we can turn off T.V., but to me, that's simply running
away from a very difficult situation, rather than hitting it head on.
The rise in female
infidelity is another troubling phenomenon. Women are now spending
all day in adult chats, cybering with strangers, who often they go
on to meet offline. Or, they go out in groups and pick up strangers
for a "quickie", hoping no one will be the wiser. Sex has become the
cure all for everything from restlessness to curiosity. And.. it's
dangerous. Many women now lead double lives, and suddenly end up
disappearing or murdered, and initially no one seems to know why,
this happy wife and mother, ended up a statistic. If she has
children, her behaviour is NOT unnoticed by her children, who see
far more then they let on. And it's devestating to a child when
either parent, but especially a mother, behaves in this way. A
daughter may get the message that it's acceptable to use your body
to gain favours or instant gratification. A son may begin to see
women as untrustworthy or basically things to be exploited.
pornography/sexual abuse is rising. And I believe firmly it is a
direct result of both media input and "jading" If you have too much
of a thing, your taste for it dulls, and you seek newer more
dangerous ways to fulfill needs. And for many people, children
become a prime target. A young untouched body, combined with a
childs precious innocence, is just too appealing to the
individual who has sampled too many other more adult fare. Children
are turning to prostitution as a means to get the "things" they
think they are entitled to. Again, media input has so much to do
with this. They see glitzy homes, big cars, designer clothes and an
amoral lifestyle and believe it right and good.
We as a society need to rexamine our own shallow value system, that places
the acquisition of "things" over humanity. We must stop placing such
stress on body image, looks and sex, and start emphasing character
traits like integrity, honesty and inner strength. Until we speak
out to the media and the FCC, nothing will change. It's up to us to
decide enough is enough, and begin reinstilling the core values that
made this nation great. We are our own worst enemy in so many ways.
Through our apathetic indifference and yet voracious appetites for
the types of things discussed here, we are slowly helping destroy
the greatest nation on earth, without any outside help. It's time
for change, not by laws alone, but from within the places of the
heart, our families.