Our children’s grasp of moral standards begins at home

2010-03-15 09:11

MULTICHOICE has caved in to public pressure from a minority of subscribers and decided it will not launch a pornography channel on DStv.

The conservative right predictably reacted with righteous

indignation at the prospect, for fear of their children turning into craven sex

monsters. That smacks of deep hypocrisy when there is no righteous indignation

at the levels of violence in TV shows or movies, where a gun culture is

celebrated and machismo lauded. Surely there is a disconnection in the value of

what is right and wrong if we are so willing to damn the one but not the other.

It also seems naïve to jump on the bandwagon of disapproval when

there are far more complex and subtle forms of sexual manipulation that thread

through everything that we watch, from fashion to soapies.

There are some very complex arguments on the effects of exposure to

pornography. Does it inspire men to rape and abuse women and children? Do

children who are exposed to pornography try and mimic what they see?

I’m no

expert, but I would surmise that rape has very little to do with sex. Rape is

fundamentally about fear and loathing. It is about a power relationship and the

expression of that relationship in the most heinous and violent way. It is

inexcusable and unforgivable.

For the naysayers to be so simply reductionist prevents a more

significant and detailed understanding of this type of behaviour.

The 41?000 or so signatories of a petition against such a channel

may not be aware that the decision to bar it amounts to censorship and the

­denial of the freedom to choose.

To subtly encroach on the expression of one right can easily lead

to a slippery slope for others. What will be next? That we can’t read Karl Marx

or Steve Biko? That we can’t be exposed to revolutionary ideas? Are we to be

treated as simpletons who do not have the intellectual wherewithal to discern

what is ­acceptable and what is not?

I have two children and I also have DStv with a parental lock

mechanism. If I don’t want my children to have access to movies or a channel

which I deem to be of an offensive nature then I lock it with a pin code they

have no access to and that solves that problem.

At the same time I have an

obligation to enlighten my children in terms of what ­society regards as

acceptable in the way that they treat people. Their moral foundation begins at

home.


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