Sunday, April 12, 2009

Britain's Got Talent Shame - When did stripping become mainstream family entertainment?

I know that I can usually be trusted to watch every reality show known to man, but I've never quite got Britain's Got Talent. My daughter loves it, though, especially the acts that, predictably, involve cute animals.

What I wasn't prepared for in last night's opening show of the new series was the final act they showed. Effectively, the woman gyrating on the stage in red stockings, suspenders and basque with strategically placed Union Jacks round her bum and bosom was a stripper. For all that people use the term "burlesque" to make this sort of activity sound exotic, in the end of the say, it still represents a massive disrespect to women.

I want my daughter to grow up with an idea that there are no barriers to what she can achieve based on her gender. It makes it all the more difficult if her future male partners or employers are being raised on the idea that women are merely there to be men's sexual playthings.

I am halfway through watching a series channel 4 did last week on the effects of pornography on secondary school students' perception of sex. It's very, very scary stuff although it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to work out the effects of the almost universal access to porn on the internet.

Predictably, girls felt pressure to have come up to the image and behaviour of female porn stars. Given that the entire porn industry pretty much is targetted at straight men, then a whole generation of boys is being taught that women are there to perform a subjugated rather than an equal role in a sexual relationship.

Not only that, but the boys who are watching porn will presumably go to work one day. How are they going to respect their female colleagues as equals if they have been brought up to see them as subservient architects of their sexual gratification?

When I was a student, and first got interested in these issues, porn was limited to some dodgy under the counter videos and top shelf magazines and to get anything really explicit you had to go to a sex shop. Now, for most of our kids, it's a few clicks away.

The inclusion of these acts in a family entertainment show brings the seedy world of the lapdancing club into our living rooms. I leave you with some thoughts on why that is not a good idea. If you haven't got time to look at those links, then the edited version is that reports of rape in the vicinity of lapdancing clubs are up by a third and of indecent assault are up by over 50%.

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3 comments:

Costigan Quist said...

The claims on increasing sex attacks in the vicinity of lap-dancing clubs don't appear to have stood up to much scrutiny. Seems that there was some fiddling of the figures, and that's before the whole correlation/causation thing.

Didn't watch Britain's Got Talent, so I can't comment on the stripping.

Aaron said...

I watched britains got talent, I was disappointed the censored the dancer, it was after the watershed, and she was wearing pasties.

It was clearly a burlesque dance, rather than a strip tease, and I think it was perfectly healthy.

I saw a mature adult who could dance, wasn't ashamed of her figure, and was even glad to show it off on national television. Shame it doesn't happen more often.

I'd sooner watch that than the gratuitous nudity-for-ratings faux-historical costume drama with the interchangable skinny girls getting their kit for full frontals (that are obviously so vital to the plot) while the blokes might expose a pectoral muscle or a bum cheek at a push.

If you want women as sexual objects you're looking in the wrong place - See the recent Henry Tudor for some real modern sexism - why did you never see a male member, let alone an erect penis.

As for the channel 4 program - I've been watching it too. Talk about sensationalist rubbish.

She makes a couple of valid points, but mostly it's exageration and hyperbole - the problem is a lack of good sex education to put pornography and the sex industry into context - just trying to prevent kids from thinking about or looking for sex or sexual imagery is idiocy. Oh and of course they could show labia minora and clitoris, but not show an erect penis or put comdons on a realistic representation of a penis.. which is just silly. It's a shame that an otherwise good programme chooses to focus on being "good TV" rather than sticking to science and being grown up.

Instead of focusing on STDs, shaving body parts and fake boobs she should have been focussing on healthy relationships, mutual respect, being able to understand sexual urges, experimenting alone or with a partner, etc.

Fairy network work from home - Butterfly Lullaby said...

Nice to see a Mother who cares about her child's future. When I complain about Britain's got talent no one takes any notice I am shocked the Queen of England has said nothing about this show and how it makes women look cheap and nasty. How are our little girls ever going to grow up and meet a decent man that respects them as a human being and not a piece of meat? I have been fighting against adult trash for 11 years on my own because of the dangers it puts children and women in. So if you know anyone that wants to join this fight please get in contact. We can win if we fight verbally together and un-brainwash British women into thinking do you know something men are not allowed to treat us this way and make their little girls proud! This trash has been allowed to destroy my on line business and no justice because our world is run by selfish men.

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