My post about Hillary Swank being nude around her boyfriend’s child sparked some interesting discussions, one of which took place on Twitter. “Nudity is natural. Violence isn't," one person wrote. Others shared stories about parents who covered their kids' eyes during a brief nude scene but let the same kids watch the hours of violence that preceded the kissing.
Which got me thinking about Halloween and all of the slasher movies and tortureporn (like the Saw series) out there... how come that stuff is acceptable in the mainstream, but nudity isn’t?
The violence-is-acceptable theme isn't limited to older audiences. Hey, Disney: What’s with the whole killing-off-of-the-parents thing? (Think Nemo, Bambi, The Lion King for starters.) Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny cartoons -- my childhood favorites -- are so violent that I cringed when I saw them recently, and was reluctant to let my preschooler watch them.
On his blog, C.S. Daley points out: “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has a man's beating heart removed from his chest and gets a PG-13. If it had been a woman and her chest had been bared, automatic R.” (Edited to add: Tim Nasson of Wild About Movies emailed to tell me that the Indiana Jones movie was actually rated PG; it was the catalyst for creating the PG-13 rating though, he says.)
Parents of older kids, weigh in, please! Which are you more likely to let your child watch and why: a movie that shows nudity (male or female, doesn’t matter) or one that’s explicitly violent?
Lylah M. Alphonse is a Globe staff member and mom and stepmom to five kids. She writes about juggling career and parenthood at The 36-Hour Day and blogs at Write. Edit. Repeat. E-mail her at email@example.com.
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