Pornographication of society – BTT meme

Booking Through Thursday

Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin)

It’s funny this question came up because I have been pondering the pornification of our culture lately. I have trouble, for example, finding ‘clean’ popular songs that my grade 8 students can play for their dances or their physical education program. My current favorite bands, such as Red Hot Chili Peppers or Black Eyed Peas, use profanity or unacceptable concepts (drugs, prostitution, sex) in just about every song. That said, I wouldn’t change the music or its content. I just don’t bring it to school.

The same applies for books. I am against censorship of any kind but I do think below a certain age, children should be protected from obscenity. I wish, in North American culture, we would give more thought to protecting our kids and teens from violence in the media. I’m sure it does more harm than scenes of consensual sex.

Do I read books for the sexual content? Not really. Do I avoid a book because it has too much sexual content? Yes, if it’s a romance novel, chick flick or straight-up porn. Although…. I have skimmed an anthology of Victorian erotica. Fascinating people, the Victorians.

Happy reading.

10 Replies to “Pornographication of society – BTT meme”

  1. I think you are absolutely right that we should make much more effort to protect young children from violence in the media. You don’t need censorship for that, but more care about how and when things are shown.

  2. Victorian porn?! Now there’s a fascinating concept!

    Anyway, I figure, I’m an adult, and a married adult at that, so sex scenes and profanity are very much a “to each his own” thing at that level. I do think that a wide variety of material should be made available, and labeled clearly as to the kind of sexual and violent content, so people can explore the things they want to and avoid the things they don’t want in their houses (whether because of their own tastes or their kids).

  3. @ marianne arkins:

    Yeah, it’s funny. It’s not the sex I object to so much as the banality. I guess we’re agreeed.

    @ chris:

    I guess my views come from too much exposure to culture in the Southwest of France. The beaches are clothing optional, the people happily change into their suits on the beach or in the parking lot and everyone is ‘mature’ enough not to make it a big deal. Bodies are natural, right? The other thing so sweet about that part of France is the friendly, small town atmosphere in some of the smaller places. There’s less hyper-violent TV on the (limited) French stations, but I can’t say the same for films. The range is pretty big and includes all the American/ International thrillers, dubbed into French.


    I also think parents have to be very careful about some of the online games and online chatting their kids do. I guess part of me wants to protect, even if it means a bit of censorship for them.

  4. @ geraniumcat

    Everyone has a right to their likes and dislikes. Be proud to be prudish, if that’s who you are. I only pretend to be prudish, for the sake of the kids in my class and their ‘community values.’ They get far more exposure to sex and illegal activities in the media than I could ever expose them to, even if I thought it would be okay.

    @ heather

    The Victorians were cold on the outside, naughty on the inside — like a box of chocolates somebody put in the freezer.

  5. It’s really sad that so much popular music is littered with cursing. I take in songs from my youth for the classroom. It’s very often something new for my students and almost always children friendly.

  6. I think the introduction to Greek and Latin roots would be perfect for a GT group. I worked with a 5-8th grade GT teacher once who had each student create a file card box of advanced vocabulary. I’m not big on drilling students on vocabulary but I think memorizing prefixes, suffixes, and roots would be perfect. She called the boxes their “scholarship fund” given they would be more likely to have exceptionally high scores on college placement tests.

    She had her own version of a middle ages/renaissance fair each year. Something like that would fit well with the Greek and Latin.

    Here are the books I’ve been using:

    Lundquist, Joegil K. English from the Roots Up: Help for Reading, Writing, Spelling, and S.A.T. Scores (Vol I and II). Literacy Unlimited, Medina Washington.
    ISBN: 0-9643210-3-3

    Fifer, Norma and Flowers, Nancy. Vocabulary from the Classical Roots. Educators Publishing Service, Toronto.
    ISBN: 0-8388-2268-4

    I know these are in-stock in one of our local bookstores that services both public school and home school teachers. There’s most likely someone closer to home that will order these for you. If not, I would guess the publishers would sell to you as well. Let me know if you have a problem getting them and I’ll look for a way to get you in touch with someone here.

    —– Original Message —-
    From: Cereal Girl
    I’ve been a teacher-librarian too. I’m currently teaching grade 8 (gifted program) Any idea where I could get my hands on the vocabulary expanding materials you mention? Is it something I could do with my kids?

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