Where image is everything

Posted in Debate, Opinion by Adele Todd on March 12, 2008

Most recently a lively debate has been brewing on sexypink about erotic content and access to children. An early awareness of sex, not in art but in film happened to me as a child on of all things, an ELAL flight with my parents to London. That sounds colourful in itself. The airline showed a movie and there were adult scenes. By todays standards, these scenes are nothing, just a woman in her underwear walking around before getting into bed with a man before the scene is cut away.

I remember finding the moment strange, and wondering why this scene had to be captured in the story. The adults around me looked either interested or bored, and no one said that children could not see this movie.

Later, as lyrics to songs, moments in films,books and magazines helped shape my ideas of sex and sexuality, I came to realise that in some unexpected way, my childhood protected me and let out just enough information for me to handle what the mystery was all about.

Those first teenage  awkward kisses would send one backward, as fears of all kinds kept your curiosity in check.

This isn’t an easy question however. There are images, lots of images out in the world that truely offend and enrage. There is no doubt whatsoever that at this very moment, some young person’s views are being shaped by media that holds no responsibility for its presentations.

Who is responsible?To whom do we ilicit blame? Can any one body be blamed?

A number of years ago, out of curiosity, I did some research on violence on television and other media in light of the Iraq war. I found that violence was being packaged as an inevitable consequence of life itself. In fact, to my horror, it was being represented as a ‘soft’ sell. What I mean specifically is that there was so much of it to see, that it had a veneer of respectability. This is something I must write on in greater depth later. I also observed sex in media, and I found that there was less sex than expected. This trend is shifting back to more, and will always be a cycle.

Perhaps what media is telling us is that sex and violence are the standards that we the consumers set for ourselves. Whether we let it overwhelm us or not is really up to us. However, no matter how relaxed we become with information technology, we are inevitably impacted by it in some way. Less will always be more in the end.


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