Monday, November 21, 2005

iRant: Sex vs. Violence

There are so many discussions about the dwindling moral fibre of Western culture that I don't want to get too deep into that in general. However, an area that always gets my goat is our double-standard when it comes to sex (specifically nudity) vs. violence.

One of the most shocking yet effective quotes I have ever heard is (I'll have to paraphrase here, as I can't find the source online): "The only way you'll see a nipple on network television is if there's a bullet passing through it". Not very pleasant imagery, but I think that quote says a lot. We are subjected to such insane amounts of violence in the course of an evening of television (this includes everything from an episode of CSI, which I love, to the news, which I mostly get online now) that it just seems bizarre to me that there is such a dearth of nudity. Oh sure, we get very, very, oh so very titillatingly (I couldn't resist :-) ) close all over the place - scantily clad women and men and all manner of sexual innuendo - but god forbid we see a booby. An episode of a gritty cop drama keeps it to head shots when the female victim exits the shower, but then in the next scene we watch as a gun fires through her head, splattering brains and flesh all over the room, resulting in her blood-soaked body displayed lifeless on the floor. I think I'd rather see the naked outsides and skip the gory innards.

Don't get me wrong, though, my argument is not about reducing the violence on television (it would be nice, but that bird has flown). What I want to point out is the crazy double standard and hypocrisy in depicting extremely violent behaviour and declaring it okay, even as we rant on about violent crimes and wars being so horrible, when it's not okay to show a naked person. There are some areas where the Europeans just have stuff figured out far better than we in the New World (although Canada is more lenient than the States in this respect) and this is certainly one of them. It's nudity, people - you see it when you get in and out of the shower, in fact, everyone sees it over their whole life - the only place I see heads blown off and disembodied limbs is (thankfully) on TV.
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11/21/2005 07:37:00 p.m.  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff,
I like what you had to say here...very true and definitely puts things in perspective. I'd love to read more of your other blog postings...however after reading the white type on your black background, I'm seeing psychedelic. It looks cool...but oh so hard to read...just a thought to ponder....Vicki

November 22, 2005 7:01 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

As much as I think of seeing psychedelic as a good thing, I have indeed changed my colour scheme as per your request :-) . A couple of other people mentioned this to me too, Vicki, so thanks for putting your comments up!

Web Rule: Usability trumps look if you wish to retain users.

December 15, 2005 1:47 p.m.  

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