Sunday, March 11, 2007

Repression Obsession

Remember the good ol’ days when you could see a gratuitous butt shot on network television ala "NYPD Blue", or the day that ‘ass’ could finally be uttered in prime time? It seemed at one point the United States was maturing and joining much of the rest of the world in developing a healthy matter of fact attitude toward the human body and sexuality.

But at some point over the last few years it began to turn around. Those things once again are being stuffed under America's mattresses. Was it Janet Jackson’s notorious wardrobe ‘malfunction’ (though she was wearing a pastie), the rising power of sexually repressed conservative groups, or parents claiming to ‘protect’ their children when they really just wish to avoid parental responsibility and educate and talk about human anatomy and sexuality with their own kids.

Whatever the cause, the crusade to eradicate knowledge of genitalia from existence is approaching ridiculous. There is a commercial, (I forget what for), which shows some tourists in Italy viewing Michelangelo’s “David”. The woman is carefully positioned so her head blocks the full view of the statues butt, yes a statue - a work of art! On “Survivor” the slightest hint of ass cleavage is blurred by the censor. In New York three girls were suspended for saying the word ‘vagina’ during a performance at school. Just the other day the “Today” show used a paw print (the equivalent of a blue dot) to mask certain parts of a canine during a segment on dogs.

At the same time the country seems preoccupied with sex, and internet porn is booming. While some would argue that pornography is the problem it really is just a byproduct. It’s been so ingrained in the national psyche that sex is ‘dirty’, ‘forbidden’ and ‘taboo’ and the human body (nude) is shameful, it’s no wonder that it is an obsession. Repression breeds obsession. Hopefully the cycle will turn once again and someday people will have a healthier perception of sex, and a better appreciation of the human body in all its glory.

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