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How To Outwit Your Teenager

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Should I Be Allowing My 15-y-o To View An Erect Penis At The Movies?

July 11th, 2009 · No Comments

@ Yahoo!7 Video


Above: Sacha Baron Cohen as Bruno

My 15-year-old son and his mates went to see Bruno yesterday. His review? “Cruder than Borat and not as funny. But still very funny.”

An erect penis and bare breasts apparently attracted a lot of laughs. A twenty-something colleague described it as “soft porn”. Bruno is rated MA, which means moviegoers need to be aged 15 and over to be able to see it.

Bruno’s alter ego Sacha Baron Cohen trades in a shock brand of humour via a mockumentary format. It’s mostly hysterical, especially when you are adult enough to get the nuances necessary for the expose. But when does humour cross the line and become not okay for impressionable teenagers who are in the process of discovering their sexuality? Should I really be allowing my teenage son to see a movie like this? Well of course it’s near impossible to stop him when the rating is age-appropriate.

It’s not just the naked bodies, it’s the movie’s message. Are my son and his peers mature enough to get the satire? Do they see that by portraying a gay Austrian fashion reporter in a number of homophobic situations, he is exposing homophobia as an issue? Or do they just think he’s making fun of gays? And if it’s the latter, shouldn’t we have cause for concern?

I don’t want to be seen as a prude, especially by my son who currently thinks that on the subject of freedom I’m pretty cool. So where to from here for parents who don’t want their teenagers to see this movie but are almost powerless to prevent it, providing their child has ID?

It’s too late to petition the Office of Film and Literature Classification with the hope of a result. The movie’s out there. Teenagers are seeing it in droves and discussing it on Facebook and MySpace.

The only thing left to do is go see it yourself and then discuss it with your teenager to ensure that the message that homophobia is a bad thing gets through to them. I don’t think you need to mention the erect dancing penis. There was no lingering message in that.


Tags: Culture · Media · Prejudices · sex

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