What Do Y'all Think About This?
Kim Ficera's new column:
If you were a tomboy in the '70s or early '80s, trying to make sense of life's challenges that were offered in prime time on your TV, you knew that something was amiss. You weren't satisfied. You might not have been able to articulate it well, but you knew on an emotional level that the “strong woman by day; weak woman by night” plots were insulting, and that the “girl meets boy, falls in love with boy” story lines were for someone else. Perhaps you thought, as I did, Jan Brady doesn't need a boyfriend, because I don't need a boyfriend! ...
Today, queer and questioning kids aren't frustrated by an absence of gay characters or sexuality on TV. If young viewers want to see lesbians and gay men having same-sex sex, all they have to do is find a cable box that isn't locked or steal their parents' Blockbuster cards. And it's been that way for quite a few years. Hell, if they want to see kids of their own age declare, “I'm gay!” on a major network, they can tune into ABC's Desperate Housewives.
What young media consumers are exposed to in the 2000s make their parents and grandparents long for the days when Lucy and Ricky Ricardo weren't allowed to sleep in the same bed. And to be completely honest, although I'm a parent to no one, current programming sometimes makes me question the means to the end.
While I believe we have to be honest with kids and show them that sex is natural, healthy and fun, not dirty or sick, I wonder if in our efforts to provide them with accurate information about sex and sexuality we're inadvertently depriving them of something even more valuable: wonder.
Read the whole thing and let me know.