I had to laugh.
The email from my 8th grader’s English teacher, which I’m pretty sure was sent because it was required of him, gave parents an opportunity to remove their child from class during the viewing of the 1968 film, Romeo and Juliet. The reason for concern: a few seconds of sexless nudity. A glimpse of Romeo’s behind; a brief peek at Juliet’s breasts. That’s all.
I almost deleted the email when I finished reading. But then I remembered that I tend to be more permissive about exposing my children to “inappropriate” things than many parents, my husband included, so I forwarded the email on to him asking his thoughts.
Now hubby is a busy man and doesn’t always reply to my emails in a timely fashion. Sometimes (like when he doesn’t want to do what I ask of him) my emails even get “lost.” But not this time. He wrote right back immediately. “Doesn’t bother me.”
So I thought that was the end of thinking about this. Until I was
talking with eavesdropping on some mothers of boys in my daughter’s class. They were concerned with how the boys would behave, with how boys and girls would feel being together while seeing these few seconds of T and A. I held my breath. Are suburban parents (myself included) living in a bubble?
Any day of the week, our children can see more skin than they would see during this movie. All they have to do is open their eyes, which they do because they can’t help it. It’s hard to get anywhere without looking where you’re going. What do they see? Women in low-cut blouses. Girls in short short skirts. It’s in the fashion magazines, on the small and big screen, in the mall and at the beach. I’m not saying I approve or disapprove of the amount of skin being shown regularly in our culture. What I’m saying is: what good does it do to prevent our teenagers from watching ten seconds of nudity in a movie that will be discussed in a classroom setting, with a teacher there? It may be awkward for the kids for a moment but that awkwardness helps them learn to manage in uncomfortable situations. It can be a teaching moment. Or at the very least, a learning moment.
I know many people don’t agree with me, but I don’t think our kids will be prepared for life if we keep protecting them from experiencing things that make them or us uncomfortable.
The other day, my sister posted this photo on Facebook. Which would you prefer your child to see in a restaurant or on TV? Which one makes you more uncomfortable?
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