Samstag, 26. Januar 2013

Rape Culture, children's edition

Or, heeeeelp, people are nekkid under their clothes.
I miss the 80's. No, not the weird haircuts and neon colours. I miss the relaxed atmosphere around kids and bodies that was prevalent when I grew up.
Like many adults I love and still cherish some of the TV series and movies I watched back then and since they're often still running now, I enjoy them with my kids. And, of course, there's a lot of new stuff on TV we watch, too.
No, I'm not getting into a "good old times" rant. It's not like everything was better back then, especially not animations, we're talking about the 80's.
But one thing was totally different: There was no panic about naked bodies.
One of the series every kid loved was Vicky the Viking, and when Vicky went for a swim, he was naked. A small boy with a wee tiny boy penis. And well, you'd see kids up to his age run around naked at the public swimming pool, because, you know, small kids.
And then there was Ronia, the robber's daughter. I swear that's 10 billion times better than Twilight. And in the film there's the scene when the chieftain's wife decides that all the robbers need to get clean and their clothes need to get washed, so she chases them out into the snow. Naked. Grown men, on screen, naked, full frontal shots. For kids of 7 years and upwards. Because yeah, it fits the damn plot. The 80's...
Fast forward to 2013 where animations are really much better. Stories, sadly, didn't keep up. And what happens now if there's somebody naked? Either there's always some leaf or piece of furniture in front of the uuhhh, genitals or worse, they're pixeled out. In an animation. Pixeled. Out.
Now, why did I call this "rape culture, kid's edition" and not just "Giliell's little rant about how fabulous the 80's were"?
Because it IS rape culture. From their first contact with media (and on average high school kids nowadays consume about 8h of media), they get told that their bodies are bad and shameful. Never ever look at genitals, even those of a cartoon kid. Never. Ever.
Now, there's only one group of people I can imagine who'll profit from this and it's predators. Because shame is such a powerful lever. Make the kids believe that they did something wrong. You wouldn't want mummy to know that you saw a penis, would you? Because since they're out of their diapers they've been told that you must never ever see one.
Ironically, this hypersexualization of children is the result of people being aware that there are evil bastards out there who rape children. And that's the rape culture I'm talking about. Instead of targeting rapists, society targets children. Hide their genitals, even in drawn cartoon characters, hide them away, teach them stranger danger.
And this doesn't stop once they grow. The idoctrination into "your body and genitals are evil things that need to be hidden away" will be with them when they navigate their own sexuality, their own first encounters. And the rape culture goes on, because hey you wouldn't want anybody to know what a slut you are?

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