Monday, February 04, 2013

This is the one where I rant a bit.

Like millions of other people, I watched the Super Bowl last night, and like many, I came across Facebook posts, tweets and blog postings about it today.  There was one in particular that I came across this morning that annoyed me to the point where I thought about it off and on all day today.  (I guess that's the Obsessive part of OCD huh?) This woman was complaining about how the commercials aired during the game were inappropriate for her children to watch when the game was billed as a family friendly event.

Um...

Since when is an event that brings together grown men who physically beat the crap out of each other trying to get a ball while another man who is in charge of them shouts obscenities and periodically throws stuff family friendly?  Since when is an event that inspires people to get together for the purpose of drinking alcohol, gambling, and shouting obscenities at the television family friendly? Since when is an event that is touted as much for the advertising as for the event itself family friendly?

Did I miss something?

Now, the blog post mentioned two commercials specifically.  The first was the Gildan ad about the favorite tee shirt, which you can see here.  The blogger said her nine year old asked her why the guy was trying to undress the sleeping lady, and she was upset that advertisers made her have to explain this to her child.

Here's my thought on what I would have told my child:  "Oh, she took his favorite tee shirt while he was asleep and he's trying to get it back.  It probably would have been nicer if he waited until she woke up, wouldn't it?"

And I would have left it at that.  That nine year old probably has no idea what a "one night stand" is, nor should he have to learn.  What he probably does know is that sometimes men have girlfriends.  He probably knows that sometimes people borrow things without asking.  Heck, he's probably done it himself, or has siblings that have borrowed his stuff without asking.  He probably can identify with wanting to take your stuff back, especially if it's your "favorite" anything, and wanting it back NOW.  My answer takes all that into consideration without having to go into "one night stands" and "walks of shame."

See, we as a society tend to talk down to kids and act like they're dumb.  That is, of course, until they wander off into some area that we deem "too adult."  Then we like to forget that they don't have all the wisdom and knowledge and experience of the world that we do, and we overreact.  They've demonstrated a bit of awareness and therefore they must be fully aware of all the things!!!  I'm reminded of a time when I was a teacher's aide and a six year old brought us her journal to read.  The entry that for that day mentioned her brother having "big p*nis."  The teacher and I kinda looked at each other like, HOLY CRAP!!! initially, but then the wise teacher asked the girl to read the entry to us.

Turns out, her brother had BIG PENNIES - you know, the foil covered chocolate ones like you can get at World Market in the novelty candy section?  Phonetic spelling can be pretty dang tricky to read! I learned a valuable lesson that day.  Not only are kids smarter than we give them credit for, they're also still pretty innocent.  You don't assign your preconceived, worldly notions to them.  Give them the benefit of the doubt!

Back to this blog post though.  The second ad that was mentioned was this year's Go Daddy ad.  Come on.  You're really surprised that Go Daddy had a gross ad?  I'm not disagreeing here - all that smacking was gross.  It was a pretty inappropriate commercial, but you know what?  That's what Go Daddy does.  That's what they've done every Super Bowl for the past few years.  That's how they roll.  If you're shocked that Go Daddy had a gross ad, well then, you're just not paying attention.  If I had kids old enough to where I was concerned about this sort of thing, then either we'd be watching the game online with no commercials, or I'd be flipping the channel as soon as I saw Danica Patrick on my screen.

So here I'm mildly annoyed after reading this post, and then I read the freaking comments. DUDE.  Never read the comments on the Internet.  I should know this by now!  I think that's what pushed me over the edge and stuck this crap in my mind all day.  I'll pick the two that stuck out to me in the interest of keeping it short.

First off?  All the comments complaining about Beyonce.  Come on, people.  I don't even hardly watch tv.  All my tv watching is on video or online and even I have known for weeks that she was the performer for the halftime show. If you have a problem with her style of clothing or dance, why is it so hard to change the channel when the halftime show comes on?  It's not like they go straight from the game into the show.  The broadcasters talk about the game for a bit first so they have a chance to set up the stage.

One woman complained in the comments that her kid asked her why Beyonce kept shaking her butt, and felt that said rump wiggling was too much for her kids to have to see.  Come on lady.  This is a woman who is famous for singing "I don't think you're ready for this jelly" and you're not only surprised that she's shaking her rear end, you're upset about it?  That's how she made her money.  If you don't want to watch it, CHANGE THE EFFING CHANNEL BEFORE THE SHOW STARTS.

Others said her outfit was too skimpy.  WELL DUH.  She was dancing, and that was basically a fancy leotard.  Sure, it was a skimpy leotard to be sure, but no more revealing than what your kids would see at the beach or pool.  I hate to break it to you, but your kids are going to see legs... and arms... and cleavage even (!!!) while out on the street.  I see girls in junior high wearing shorts in public that are smaller than some underwear I own, and it makes me cringe much more than a performer wearing a performing costume in a performance setting on television.

But the best, absolute BEST comment?  It contained the following line (and I'm probably paraphrasing because I read it this morning and now it's twelve hours later):

"I am a WARRIOR MAMA and I FIGHT to keep my sons SAFE from THE WORLD."

Sorry lady, but you are not a warrior.  You are a stay at home mom who has nothing better to do than define your entire being by your children.  Have you seen that Capri Sun Super V commercial on tv lately?  You are the mom they were thinking of when they made this, at least based on that comment.  (Of course, I'm making an assumption based on one comment, which isn't very fair, but to be fair, she is the one painting that portrait with her words.)  You can't keep your kids safe from the world without doing them a complete disservice.  Our job as parents is to prepare our children for the world so that when they enter it they have a fighting chance on their own.  You spend eighteen years keeping them "safe" and sheltering them from everything you deem unsavory, they're going to have no idea how to deal with stuff when you're not around to deal with it for them.  How is that keeping your kids safe?

All the people complaining about how the world isn't Christian enough - well I have one thing to say to you.  There's a reason why we use the term "worldly" with a negative connotation.  The world isn't Christian!  As Christians we have to teach our children to be strong in their faith and values so  that when they're confronted with "worldliness" they will have something from which to fall back on and draw the strength to make the right choices and do the right thing.  We can't just keep them in a bubble and expect them to all of a sudden be functioning adults on their eighteenth birthday.

I would never want to protect my children from every bad thing in the world, because how else would they ever have the chance to learn?  If you're always good because you've had other people making those good choices for you all your life, can you ever really say that you're truly good?

Yeah.  Sorry, but I had to get that off my chest!  When stuff like that starts to stick it's best to just journal it all out.  :)

Edited to add:  

I googled that blog post this morning (because I couldn't remember where I saw it) and read that the boy in question was five, not nine.  Since I have a four and a half year old, this make it even more close to home and I stand by what I would have said if it were my kid that had asked about it.

s

4 Comments:

Blogger Felicia said...

AMEN!!!

7:42 AM  
Blogger Amanda Romine said...

Love it! I am so annoyed by "warrior mamas." That very phrase is just so darn condescending to the rest of us. I work. I let my children watch TV. I answer any questions they might have as honestly as possible. What they learn from other children is far worse than the half time commercials during the super bowl. Apparently the countless hours I spend caring for my children and being open and honest with them about the world don't qualify me as a warrior mama in the eyes of women like that. It's like she thinks I am less of a mother because I don't have a problem with Beyonce's outfit. What I do have a problem with is condemning difference.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Oh goodness, I so totally agree! Reminds me of this past election we just had! :/ Yeah, I'm NOT going there!

2:05 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Woolley said...

Totally and utterly true!!!

11:58 AM  

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