What I’m about to say is extremely controversial. It might offend you. It might offend me. Hell, I don’t know. Here it is: Child abuse is bad.
I know, let the witch hunt commence. That being said though, what the hell is with people so obsessed with making everything “child-friendly”? Think back to when you were a kid. How many titties and dicks do you remember seeing? None? Maybe a couple? Would it shock you to then go back and see the kind of media you were probably exposed to as a youngin? It’s just strange that some people think nudity = sex and sex = CORRUPTION OF THE SOUL. Kids are exposed to titties and dicks and suggestive language all the freaking time. Usually, it goes right over their adorable, evil, little heads.
Show this image to a child, go on, I dare you:
A normal little girl would see this and would immediately demand to have that bottle or the picture because DOLPHINS! YAY! They don’t even see the sexy boob-groping because that just isn’t a thing they have ever thought of or experienced before, so they don’t see it. The above image is a very famous example of this.
If that isn’t enough, let me put it to you this way as well – have you ever learned a word you just never knew before? Perhaps it was a pop-culture term or a surprisingly common thing you just avoided learning for most of your life. After you learn it, you start hearing it everywhere. It’s like there’s a massive conspiracy to get you to remember the thing you just learned. Or, now that you know that it’s a thing, your brain is just registering it instead of discarding it as “don’t know, don’t care” crap.
Here’s a really neat site that explains this particular thing in terms of language and color. Basically, if you are brought up in a culture that identifies certain colors but not others, you don’t register those other colors. It’s not that you don’t see them; it’s that you see them, your brain either lumps them in with whatever it fits best under, or just tosses it out as useless garbage. Kids who grew up in a culture that didn’t have a word for “pink”, for example, would see a pink card and call it “red”. However, once they were taught the word “pink”, they could identify it. It’s like when you first learned what the hell color “teal” was. It’s also why the joke about “eggshell” and “off-white” being the same damn color are at least kind of amusing – because you need to know the word for a color before you can actually “see” it and the colors have to not be the same as some other color or so close that they are damned near impossible to tell apart.
So, as far as children are concerned – information is only corruptible if the child knows that it’s taboo. Think about it – a kid only knows that the middle finger is a mean gesture because of people’s reactions when they ask what it means. A sex scene, or worse – walking in on parents doing the deed, is traumatizing because the screaming and general motions make it look and sound like the woman is being hurt by the man. It’s not as though the act itself is necessarily traumatizing to see – a dog humping a pillow or another dog is hilarious. The idea of mommy being hurt by daddy is going to scare the Barney-loving snot out of a tyke. Seeing a tit pop out during the Super Bowl though, I’ll put my money on it not making one damned difference to a kid.
I remember when I was a teenager, I went on vacation with my best friend and her 2 sisters. Her older sister was awesome and let us go places her mother wouldn’t. My best friend’s little sister was about 9 years old and I hated her. She was the most annoying creature I have ever encountered and I own rabbits. During the trip, we learned that the older sister’s friend was shot in the head and died. This came by way of telephone call, during which, the mother kept asking what was going on. Everyone was in the room and when the older sister shared the news (obviously very shocked), the mother got angry and yelled that she was going to give the 9-year-old nightmares. The child was actually fine for a while. It was only after the mother made a huge fuss about her daughter being exposed to death (by a second-hand account and no images to accompany it) that this child then said that she was scared and started bawling. If the mother had not completely flipped her shit and had just offered her condolences, her daughter would have learned that when you hear bad things, you should be concerned about the person you’re hearing it from. Instead, she learned that the whole world revolves around her and it doesn’t matter that her oldest sister’s heart was just torn out in front of her eyes during that phone call, her “innocence” is more important than anyone’s feelings.
No one is innocent. Children are the worst perpetrators of all. Instead of shielding them from the bad things that just sometimes happen in life, maybe it’d be a good idea to focus on being kind and on coping skills so that they can pick themselves up when something bad knocks them down. It’d sure be a whole lot less exhausting than waiting at the edge of that rye field to catch the playing children to turn them around, don’t you think?