Monday, May 20, 2013

Bodacious Tatas and Bitchin' TV viewing

A few days ago a coworker told me of a story she had heard of a Grade 10 history class that was viewing the TV series The Borgias during class time. I'm not personally familiar with the series, but apparently there are a lot of breasts...and other body parts flaunted about. Not to mention girl on girl action and incest is portrayed. I don't believe there are any actual up close pussy shots, but enough content to suggest coitus is happening just out of view of the camera. Apparently, since the naughty clan produced two popes and this was a Catholic school, the teacher felt the content was relevant. A parent disagreed, raised her objections about the graphic sexual content with the principal and the curriculum was immediately discontinued.

 My coworker asked how I would feel about my 15-year-old watching something like that. I replied that historical and educational relevance aside (frankly, I'm thinking I should bone up on the series) I wouldn't have a problem with it. Especially since I routinely watch the series Game of Thrones with my 15-year-old. And I suspect the sexual content in that one might make even the a pope blush.

I did qualify my reply a bit, however. I said that I could certainly see that parents wouldn't want their kids' first exposure to that kind of sexual content to be in a classroom setting. I understand that could make a lot of teens uncomfortable and result in some demeaning jokes and inuendo. My point is that, at fifteen or sixteen, it shouldn't be the first time they're exposed to it!

My family and I watch a lot of movies. And I figured out early on that our viewing would be pretty limited if I cut out everything with an R rating. Apparently a nipple shot is all it takes to earn that rating in the American market, by the way. Thankfully Canada is a bit more progressive get my point. And I admit that the first time a bare boob made it's appearance while I was sitting beside my ten-year-old I cringed a little. I waged a little internal war. Should I cover his eyes? No. That was ridiculous, and I refused to be that mom. Should I fast forward to get past the uncomfortable part? Should I just choose more wisely next time? The answer to all those questions was a resounding NO. I write smutty books, for God's sake. What kind of hypocrite would I be if I let a little nudity scare me?

No. I wanted my boys to be comfortable with sex, and more than anything I wanted them to know that I'm comfortable with it. So that when the time came for them to have the really big issues and serious questions regarding sex, girlfriends, or their own health, I wanted to be sure they knew I wouldn't cringe over those questions. That I would be open to their questions and answer them easily and honestly. And what better opportunity to field questions, encourage discussion and have a few laughs than during a screening of American Pie?

I also told myself that it was ridiculous to be more concerned about watching a man's bare ass pumping up and down than about watching a dozen people get shot and or see body parts get blown off. Sex is usually beautiful and natural. Violence almost never is. So why is it that we seem more comfortable with blood than with semen? Could it be because of our religious culture? A culture that condones the eradication of non-believers and punishing any woman who actually enjoys having sex?

 I had made my decision. The TV was staying on during any and all sex scenes and I, as a parent, refused to cringe at the notion of my boys seeing another man's penis or a bodacious set of ta-tas.

But bodacious tatas aside...there are so many more reasons to watch Game of Thrones. Not the least of which is the character of Daenarys Stormborn. This woman is my hero and I watch every episode on pins and needles, waiting for her to appear. I love that she started out as sweet and innocent and naive. I love that she grew and learned to accept and enjoy her own sexuality, and how much power came along with that. I love that she wields her power with wisdom and without apology for who she is or what she wants. But I love that what she wants most of all is freedom and justice...for her people in general, and for women in particular.

Daenarys Stormborn is BITCHIN'! And I would encourage anyone with a teenage daughter to tune in to HBO and watch Game of Thrones with her. Young women need more heroes like the Mother of Dragons.

For more on how I deal with sexuality with my teenage boys I encourage you to read:
 It's Not About Authority--It's About Trust

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