I don’t like pedophilia. I don’t even like typing the word.

I also don’t like:

  • abuse of any variety
  • bullying
  • rape
  • incest
  • harassment
  • gaslighting
  • cheating
  • emotional blackmail
  • regular blackmail
  • misogyny
  • embezzlement
  • burglary
  • mugging
  • shoplifting
  • smoking
  • drugs
  • drug abuse
  • alcoholism
  • over doses
  • suicide
  • parents who skip out on children
  • racism
  • sexism
  • xenophobia
  • homophobia
  • anything that means someone is going to be hurt physically or emotionally

Does this mean that none of these subjects should ever be addressed in movies. television, books. music, podcasts, whatever?

A few months ago Netflix had on it’s rotation a movie that involved teenage prostitutes, I believe. To be honest, I didn’t even look at this show enough to want to watch it, and I didn’t even want to click on it because I didn’t want to be counted as someone interested in the subject.

But boy did I hear about the controversy.

My daughter told me we had to get rid of netflix because they shouldn’t show a movie that is pro pedophile

So then we began a conversation about censorship.

Who determines which subjects can be shown, and which ones can’t?

My daughter argued that we don’t ever want to give pedophiles a voice. And I agree with that statement. Pedophilia is wrong. Always.

Personally, I am really worried about the current addiction crisis. I think the amount of people we are losing to drug overdoses is ridiculous.

Do you think they should stop making movies. TV, books etc. that show drug use as being a thing that people do?

I have a whole list of things that I don’t like. A whole list of things that I don’t think people should do. Things that are bad for all involved.

Should we not ever discuss any of these things?

How do we determine a taboo topic? Do we elect a jury to decide what is decent and what is not?

We have a ratings system for movies, and warnings on songs and TV shows. Yet, the very people that these warning are supposed to protect are very often the group that is targeted for those songs, books and shows.

When I was a kid, Porky’s was a really raunchy popular movie. I remember seeing it, and I don’t believe that I was 17 yet. Nor were the vast majority of kids in the theater.

When I was twelve my Mother told me that I wasn’t allowed to read “Forever” by Judy Blume because it was about premarital s-e-x…

How quickly do you think I got my hands on that book and read it?

What about WAP?

Does censorship work?

If we stop producing things with those taboo topics, will people stop doing these bad things?

Is it better to try to have conversations about these topics?

Do you think that there are certain things that should not be discussed in books, movies, music and/0r any form of art?

102 thoughts on “No. No. Yes. No. No. Yes.

  1. I don’t think so, but each movie could be judged on its own. and I would prefer trigger warnings in my books and movies. so that on my vulnerable days I don’t read or see such things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m n the fence about trigger warnings. I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to read certain things at certain times (I read a lot of beach reads the past few months) and I don’t look forward to next years pandemic books, but I don’t know if trigger warnings will work. I’m still thinking that one over

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      1. I got a lot of flak from authors and if I get it on your blog, kindly delete my comment as even when I speak about my personal desires, people react when I don’t comment on their wishes. A request.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Got it. We should be able to speak freely without being attacked. But I will warn you that I will be busy from 11-3 this afternoon and not monitoring my post but I will do my best to keep in top of it

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  2. I never saw that movie either but like you I heard about it. I definitely feel that all of these difficult topics need to be discussed and I’m not really a fan of censorship. Having said that I can also appreciate that a movie or another art form could portray something in a way that is potentially harmful to people – especially maybe young people. I’m not sure what the best way is to discuss these topics without glamorising them. A great discussion topic though. Looking forward to seeing what people’s thoughts are.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi LA
    I choose not to watch TV or movies, because I find that they contain the topics that you list.
    Since I know that choosing to watch these things will never benefit me, I stay away.

    I like reading WordPress Blogs instead. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fiction is a place to explore situations and themes that we might otherwise not encounter in real life. However that being said there should be a way the material is presented so not to cross the boundary of exploration into exploitation. Do I want to read a book on pedophilia? Absolutely NOT but there people out there that have experienced such things and would like to share their stories with others to provide comfort, if we never bring up the dark topics we risk isolating them further. Context is everything and censoring something that is exploitative is welcomed however censoring something that is uncomfortable could keep someone silent.

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      1. I think it’s up to the subjection matter and age. Comprehension and emotional maternity to understand “this thing is wrong and this is why it’s wrong.” It’s definitely a tricky balance to strike.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Another thoughtful post. I feel that boundaries are important but appreciate that they are a subjective and rather fluid line in the sand. I am unsure whether censorship has ever really worked as the reasons behind it are often so diverse and whose sense censors the Censors 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am with you 100%. BUT, I am very pro freedom of speech. Even if it’s something I don’t agree with. Otherwise, is it really free speech? I would hope the majority of folks would refrain from promoting crap full of hate etc., but apparently we have a lot (billions) of stupid people who would rather cause controversy than take the high-road. PS..I loved Porky’s .lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The more conversation the better. But it’s not that simple.

    There was a drunk driver that killed 3 children under the age of 10, their grandfather and seriously injured the two grandmothers, all in the same car and of the same family. The mom and dad are now left without their children, her dad, and two still-injured moms (mom and mil). I help her re-tweet things sometimes, since this family is local to Toronto.

    I try not to use his name. I don’t want to give him a voice. But sometimes it’s necessary (he just got day parole after only 5 years in prison).

    Bottom line – it depends. There are ways to craft a positive/supportive message without naming the perp or giving him/her a voice…but it depends on context. It’s not black and white simple.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed about the money. But, for example. Y friend thinks the Harry potter franchise should be banned because it deals with wizardry which she feels is immoral. (FYI this person doesn’t actively practice any religion) how do we determine what is and isn’t moral and what should and shouldn’t be discussed? We all have different opinions on this

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  8. Gaslighting is one that annoys me the most at the moment. The best way to prevent it is to not allow oneself to be deceived. The victim needs to stop it by not giving it any credibility exposing it in the process. The victim needs to stop consuming it. That might be easier said than done, but if it can be done it morally strengthens the potential victim.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t think you should ever avoid the hard subjects or cut them out. I do think they shouldn’t EVER be glorified or presented in a way that is good or acceptable or justifiable. Some of the harshest reviews I’ve left on books have been over things like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I vote with my dollars–if I don’t like something–I won’t pay to see the movie. I am aware of the Netflix controversy—would have to see the movie to know how I really feel and I choose not to.

    When my children were still in the children’s library phase I thought the librarians made interesting choices on what books they really wanted to promote—like they were doing their own sort of censorship—not sure if that make sense. If you want boys to read you have to promote some titles they will find interesting—which the librarians seem to avoid promoting. Some people might find that controversial.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s something I hadn’t thought of…do some librarians have an agenda with what they do and don’t recommend? I hadn’t thought of that, it is that a form of censorship?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I can add to your list that I do not like censorship. I agree with your daughter that we shouldn’t give these subjects a voice, but they also highlight these subjects and bring them into the light of day so they won’t prosper. Think of Law and Order SVU, this has helped a lot of people, by bringing it to the forefront.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. While there are likely some sick people who glorify the worst of human behaviors, to decree that those behaviors can never be portrayed through books, TV, or movies, would not put an end to them, but would regress us to the times when spousal abuse, or incest, or pedophilia were deeply hidden family secrets. Secrets that proliferate in darkness. When these topics are thoughtfully presented, people learn, and more importantly, victims are often empowered to escape their abuser. It’s the responsibility of publishers, producers, and consumers to deny support or attention to those few who seek to normalize or exalt vile behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent comment about the reality of the situation. When something is made or shown it must be done responsibly. Things shouldn’t be glorified, but, as you stated thoughtfully presented

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  13. I think censorship works as well as it always has, which is to say, it hardly works at all. If people continued to read banned books in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia– where doing so could get you imprisoned or killed– then it’s hardly going to work in the age of the internet.

    I don’t think any topic should be off the table completely. If we decide to ignore it in culture, then we risk becoming blind to the reality of it in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We are in the same generation. Porky’s and Forever were dead give always.

    I don’t know the answer to your question. I am thinking about how the storyline of an adult man with a young girl is presented in our cultural and how it may be something that is ingrained in a certain type of man. It is natural that the fantasy would bleed into mainstream mass media. Netflix did not break new ground, IMBD calls these nymphet movies. The most acclaimed are Lolita, Oscar winner American Beauty, Pretty Baby and Oscar nominated Taxi Driver. I’ve seen this theme in books and in the news. I don’t know the answer, but something creepy is being reflected back to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely creepy. And it’s gross whether it’s an adult man or woman and anyone under 18. I’m also thinking the movie, I think Nicole a Kidman, about the teacher and her student. I don’t condone the behavior. But then do we sexualize children to begin with? But that’s a whole other blog. We do glorify bad behavior, but it’s the whole when is it art and when is it not? I think we have to tread carefully

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I think that shows and books with disturbing subject matter should have explicit notices so people could make an informed decision about whether to read/watch. I would not care to read or watch something that glorifies bad behavior. If it’s depicted realistically and gives people insight, then it’s better. But it comes down to having a choice, not censorship.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Censorship is a word I really dislike. It’s also a tough line considering the instances in which something seems to venture outside the boundaries. I remember when Robert Mapplethorpe was a hot button topic. There were calls to ban his works from galleries and bookstores. Or the cross in urine that was on public display at an art gallery in Brooklyn. The conversation became about “art” being highjacked by perversity and worse, and it’s not an easy conversation to have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband and I were at MOMA on Sunday. We were in the gallery of somewhat newer works, and my husband kept saying, how is this art? About a bunch of pieces. I think what we are seeing now is that art is strictly for making a statement. What I don’t like is that now, if I don’t read up on each piece I’m looking at, I may not figure out the underlying meaning. There was a piece we saw recently that was all about communism in China, but nothing in the mainly blank canvas would have led me to that conclusion

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re absolutely right. And it’s why I love going to the Met. The thinking required of me in that venue is of the aesthetics, the genius and the timeless quality of the pieces. Not to say they didn’t make statements as well, but it’s not the same thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I think as long as there are appropriate trigger warnings/parental warnings before films, series, books, music, podcasts etc are seen/heard, then nothing should be off limits. Although, like yourself, I don’t agree/condone these types of behaviours, unfortunately we live in a world where this is all real and happens on a day to day basis. People learn in all different ways, and some may be through entertainment. Something as terrible as pedophilia is hard to discuss, but at the same time, if this opens someone’s eyes and can show warning signs then it can be of some benefit. We see and hear such awful events on the news everyday, sometimes reading/hearing about it in other forms with more information can shed light on it and the outcome

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mmm. A good question. I think censorship is a slippery slope, and yet do agree that there needs to be warnings on content when it is explicit or explores a sensitive topic. Very important, as some of these movies, televisions shows, music, etc., can retrigger previous trauma. Not helpful and extremely painful. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t believe in censorship, just because you haven’t seen/read/heard that thing doesn’t make it disappear. I believe everything should be out there in the open, that way it can be addressed. Imagine if domestic abuse had never been written about or shown in films, a vast amount of people would never know it happen. Out there people can now stop it, talk about and most importantly take action against it. Knowledge is after all power.

    I have just had this conversation with a younger relative, BBC 1 are not going to play ‘Fairy Tale Of New York’ on the radio this year because the language may upset younger people. My relative agreed with this, when I asked why he said there are some nasty words in there. I said yes but the song was of it’s time, I asked if he knew the back story, he admitted he didn’t. He later rang me and said he had research the song/group and now understood the song, he still didn’t like it, but he understood it, that’s all asked.

    We then went on to talk about ‘Sticks and stones’ showing my age now, when I was a kid name calling was the norm, we chanted back Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.

    Now I know I will be shot down for this next comment, I feel we are making people to soft when words can offend, (yes I know what it’s like to be bulled, I was bulled all of my school life).

    Bright blessing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll politely disagree with you in this one because I don’t want anyone to have that much power about what I do or don’t read. I think those that want to read something will find it anyway

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      1. Yes, and no. This always raises the question for me of why we even bother. Why have standards at all, like no nudity in public? No sex in public?

        Many people have many varied opinions about what constitutes ‘art’ and what is ‘free speech,’ and it ranges from a mud drawing to orgy. Why do we not allow it where everyone can see?

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      2. One of my favorite paintings, Portrait of Madame X was controversial when it came out. Who decided that? I read a book recently that had almost no plot, but was practically soft core porn. I hated it. But, if another person likes it, who am I to judge? Artists do things to shock. If we ignore these things, will they go away quietly, does protesting something draw attention to it? Lots of ways to look at it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t want anyone to have the power to say that something isn’t moral or just. I’m also anti dress codes for students. My friend won’t let her kids read Harry Potter because she thinks wizardry is immoral. People are now complaining about Harry styles being in a dress on the cover of Vogue. I don’t like anyone saying what is and isn’t right in art. Now, whether public funds should be used is another story.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ok. Here’s my opinion. I don’t want to walk to the park and see people having sex. I don’t want to see people walking the streets naked. Do I think that nudes can be part of an art show in an enclosed location where people know what’s inside and have been warned? Yes. I’m not going to pay money to see it. I don’t want it funded from my tax dollars. But does an artist have a right to do it? Sure. I’ll use the musical Hair as an example. I hate gratuitous sex in things because it rarely advances the story. I don’t want to watch people having sex ever. It’s not my thing. I don’t like porn. But if an adult likes it I’m not going to stop it. Are nude statues wrong? Nude paintings wrong?

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      5. Oh, I agree. It’s fine for adults paying to see something and knowing what they’re seeing. I believe that public censorship for books or dress (and so forth) are that way because it’s not a closed art show. It’s a public venue that an unwitting (underage) viewer might see.

        To bring that out further to include a show like “Cuties,” though, I wonder if you’d be okay with a closed, adult art show where the cast members were mutilating women or showing slavery as an acceptable thing or having underage sex. Everyone participating says it’s art and those attending know what’s there. Would you be okay with that?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. If that happens, show me the ad and I’ll tell you what I think. If we go that far and do that in the name of art, then I’ll admit that society has gone crazy. And I would totally commit the parent that let their child take part in something like that. You know I am mortified by that song WAP and I don’t understand at all how that’s supposed to be female empowerment.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I thought you’d said that. I did not watch “Cuties” but did read a few opinions from people who had (both perspectives). The show concerned people because it fell in that category of subjecting underage girls to sex.

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      8. My protest was to not even read about it because I didn’t want to give anyone the thought that I thought the show itself was acceptable. But there are so many movies/shows that I think are ridiculous for so many reasons

        Liked by 1 person

  20. My Mom forbid me to read Forever too and I know I read it as soon as one of my friends finished reading it. A bunch of us shared the same book because we weren’t allowed to read it. As for the P word that I don’t even want to type either, I have no interest in watching something like that and I’m like you, I don’t want to be counted for looking at something in that genre because it doesn’t interest me at all. As for allowing it via censors, it’s such a hard question. Maybe you need to do another of those vote questionnaires.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. When my children were little I made it my job to find out about paedophilia because I needed to know if and how I could protect them from abuse. This process involved watching documentaries and following high-profile cases (remember the Wonderworld ring, it extended around the world). I couldn’t bring myself to watch what they were watching, or read about what they did, the documentaries were enough to make me shout and swear at the television. To bury our heads in the sand and ignore evil, I believe will perpetuate it.

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