Violence is OK. Sex isn’t. by Stephen Newman

Here’s a hot topic, and I’d love it if some of you would share your opinions. Maybe this can spark a much deeper discussion on American culture and our society as a whole in 2018.

Let me begin by talking about our weekend movies here at ICIO. On Friday and Saturday nights, staff rents movies and plays them for the entire institution on channel 62. The movies can be Rated R, as long as they don’t contain any sex or nudity.

As such, we’ve watched an abundance of violent films. We’ve seen movies with men’s heads being blown off at point blank range. Django Unchained was an incredibly violent movie with horribly racist themes, but it was allowed. A Quentin Tarentino film showing a woman repeatedly get beaten — she may have even been beaten to death — was allowed. Had her nipple been visible during the beating, we wouldn’t have been allowed to watch it. But because she was fully clothed, it was deemed to be satisfactory for inmates to view.

Staff members have abruptly removed movies from the DVD player when they noticed nudity. Once, it was a woman’s breast, as she was taking a bath. The water almost completely covered her, but not quite. In “Incendiary,” Michelle Williams was shown in a sex scene. A C.O. noticed it as he was walking through the dayroom during count time, and immediately called to have the movie removed. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people were killed in this movie, but because Michelle Williams was having sex, it was suddenly a no-go.

So I ask you this: why is death ok, why are violent beatings and murders ok, yet sex (or even just nudity) is still so taboo? In many states, women aren’t even allowed to breast-feed in public.

Grand Theft Auto is a video game which promotes killing, racism, breaking laws, and general violence. Parents let kids play this all day and night, but those same kids won’t be allowed to watch Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” video, because she isn’t wearing any clothes. (I know this is an old example, but cut me some slack, I’ve been locked up since 2008. I’m sure you can come up with your own more recent, more relevant examples).

I watched a PBS documentary a few years back, where teens from Europe and the United States were interviewed about sex. The question: What would you think if you found out one of your female classmates carried condoms in her purse?

Americans Answered: She is a whore.
Europeans Answered: She isn’t a whore.

My question to you is: why? I’d love to hear any and all opinions, either pro-sex or anti-sex, pro-violence or anti-violence, pro-nudity or anti-nudity. This is a conversation worth having.

Stephen Newman
DOC #90843


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