I don't know why I have to be so defensive when I talk about this.  Well, I know why.  Because if everyone that doesn't see it my way sees the way I see things, I'm afraid I'll be judged as a religious maniac, judgmental and hateful.  Closed-minded.  Stupid and unwilling to look out at the world. I don't really understand.  This post is really about what is age-appropriate, but it's impossible not to address what is Appropriate and Right.

Actually, none of those things are true.  If you knew me.  If you knew me.  Cuz I do understand. 

I just braved the snowstorm to take my 7-year old son and his 9-year old friend to see a local production of a play.  The play is billed as "recommended ages 4 to adult."  So this play.  One too many scenes of the cast end faced to the audience shakin it.  A lascivious female character  making like Marilyn.  A tomcat and a shecat flicking their tongues at each other.  A gender crunching queen careening and cavorting about.  There were some cute puns.  Puns, I love. Puns, I can do.  I can't do the sexual innuendos that were riddled through the play.

This is considered appropriate for all ages.

Don't give me the "they have to learn some time" thing.  Some time. Not at 7 and 9.  I am busy building a firm foundation.  A firm foundation of love and order and certainty and a world that is safe.  You can't build a healthy child whose mind says things are always akilter.  Because when they find the world IS akilter?  the foundation may crack.  Does a 7- and 9-year old need to know about all the things in this world?  or do we, as parents, have the right and responsibility to judge when the times are right?  I know people who don't see it that way.  They want to "normalize" everything for their children.  Sex.  Divorce.  Abuse.  A building's foundation shouldn't be filled with hail and mud and rodents because that's what the building will face.  No. You interlace the foundation with rods of steel so it will be as sturdy and sure as possible to withstand the storms and rats.

And clearly, this play had an attitude of normalizing certain aspects of society.  Part of the attitude is that being sexualized and homosexual is "normal."  And did you notice?  I'm as offended by the sexualization no matter what "brand."

I have spent my life.  I have spent MY LIFE.  Incalculable hours, energy being open-minded.  I went to a liberal, elitist East-coast college.  Further beyond, I read, explored, saw.  SAW.  I am not what you'd ever consider squeamish.  Spiders and worms?  Yes.  Alternative lifestyles and world views?  No.  I've spent too much energy making fun of people who blush at nudes in the museum.  Or picketed Mapplethorpe.  I've thought about many difficult issues and how they relate to my Christian world-view.  And I'm not afraid to do a face-to-face.  At a bar.  A den of inequity.

Now as I close in on 50, I think I'm allowed to have some ideas about what I believe.  I've had and have friends who are homosexual.  I understand the biology of it.  I don't believe it's a right way to behave.  Behave.  I didn't say be.  You can be, doesn't mean you have to behave.  I don't think it's a Right.  And don't even compare it to Civil Rights.  Don't even go there.  Racism is about someone standing there, not having done a thing and being negatively attributed.  Yea, negated, even.

Does that make everything I do correct and righteous?  No.
Am I threatened by it?  No.
Do I think it threatens my marriage?  No.
Do I think a homosexual is going to corrupt my son?  No.
I'm not that frail and neither is my marriage.  I just don't believe in living that out.

And I have a right to believe that.  It's America.  The United States.

Hey, you, you local production of an award-winning play, you may think normalizing sexuality and homosexuality is Good.  I don't.  So stop trying to convert me.  I hate it when people tell me what I should think.


Musings of a Housewife said...

Wow. Just. WOW.

And thank you.

. said...
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. said...

Right on the money.

We rented Happy Feet for Bridget and turned it off. I had heard it was an adorable and fun kids' movie. It was shockingly lewd. And it does make a difference. Sexual issues and feelings are aspects of reality that require maturity to be able to process correctly.

I'm sorry you've felt a need to be defensive about it before. People just need to get over you having standards for your family.

mamawhelming said...

G - You and I have different views on homosexuality and rights. I do agree with you about what's appropriate for children and especially like your thoughts about building a foundation. If you saw the play I think you did, it sounds like the director at your local theater made very definite choices that are not in the script.

I saw a community theater production of that play several years ago and it was very family friendly. Sexual orientation aside, it's inappropriate for a theater to tart up a children's play.

Donna said...

Thinking of you as you go through all that I have gone through... rough and tough road ahead but "stay the course"...

Lora said...

I abhor Happy Feet too! It was on the other day when my inlaws were over, and they didn't see what I thought was wrong with the movie. It's sensual and sexy. And it's animals. And I don't think that my kid needs to see a female penguin in that light. Ever, really, but certainly not now.

I've been sitting on this until I got to a computer to comment. And of course I went from one thing to say about this to one thousand, but I'll try to keep it short.

We've talked about how people get judged if they keep faith. Or don't. Or can't decide. It's like you can't believe in something without being retarded.

Or you aren't smart enough to "get it" if you aren't a devout Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Jedi.

Or if you haven't made your mind up and are exploring faith you aren't trying hard enough.

I don't get it. I don't understand why people think it's okay to judge someone who does not feel/believe/operate in the same way that they do as "a religious maniac, judgmental and hateful. Closed-minded. Stupid and unwilling to look out at the world. (Not) really understand(ing)." You said it best so I'll cut and paste.

Now as for the age appropriate. Sexuality, as inborn as I believe it to be, is not appropriately expressed until adolescence and beyond. I do not want my child to see any sort of shimmy shimmy tongue baring anything. Ever, really, but certainly not until he is- oh, I don't know- 16? 18? 37?.

I don't mind if my son sees nudity (in our house or in a museum. I don't want him seeing it elsewhere, or on television because TV nudity is almost always sexual). Nudity is not sexual in and of itself.

I don't want him seeing erections or anything like that, of course. That goes without saying, I think.

I don't mind him seeing my husband and I kiss. A peck here and there, nothing passionate.
I don't mind him seeing us cuddle. We all cuddle. It's what we do as a family. I don't want him seeing a man lying on top of a woman or vice versa. That image is overly present in SO many children's shows. Even if it is portrayed as an accident, where someone tumbles onto someone else. The inevitable awkwardness is also portrayed and there is no reason for that.

Homosexuality is a normal part of my son's life, in a sense, because we have several friends and family members who are homosexuals and in well established relationships. The sexuality part of it isn't expressed in front of him, and doesn't make up the bulk of these relationships. In the media, it seems that all gay couples are sex crazed flamers. Lesbian couples are either butchy or sexy. It's sick. I don't want him exposed to those stereotypes any more than I want him exposed to inappropriate and ill-espressed heterosexual sexuality.
He's three. All I want is for him to know that he is surrounded by people who love him, and who love each other.
There is no reason for bedroomy stuff to be part of his life.

You're right. It seems like there is an attempt to normalize sex the same way certain foods are normalized.
As adults, we crave both.
But it doesn't mean I let my kid know that there is a such thing as a triple cheeseburger.
Metaphorically speaking.

Or something.

I love you.
And your blog.
and your brain.

Deirdre said...

they should not have advertised that play as appropriate for ages 4 and up. I have no problem with them performing it, but they should have advertised it correctly so people can make the choice not to buy the tickets.