Tuesday, December 4, 2012
CENSORSHIP: Setting Limits in a Media-Based Society
I have a confession to make: I LOVE BEYONCE. That’s right, I said it. What do I like about her, let’s see… everything! It’s her sexy dance moves, the upbeat rhythms and witty lyrics to her songs, and her captivating performances that put her on another level of divadom. I even love the sexy outfits (even though I think they’d much rather be fit for a private bedroom setting). Oh yeah, if I hear a Beyoncé song off in the distance, inside my head I’m shaking and gyrating!
But if you know me even slightly, right now you have the confused look on your face. I often use her specifically as an example of everything us as women should not be. Especially black women. Especially Muslim women. I loathe the Youtube videos of little black girls wearing blonde wigs shaking their little booties to the Beyoncé beat. I detest the notion that it’s okay for parents to let their children idolize these performers who have nothing to offer young girls except self-loathing and premature sexuality.
We have to be careful. While I confess to liking a little Beyoncé while I’m at the gym or cleaning the house, I also have to realize she is not a suitable role model for me or my impressionable two little girls. Ever heard the saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” It’s so true! Playing grotesque music as well as showing inappropriate television programming is detrimental to say the least.
This post is not about bashing Beyoncé, but it is about taking control of the media in our lives. Media is everywhere. Even if you have no television, most likely you have a computer or a smartphone. Youtube.com is one of the most influential media sources in our lives today. For instance, how easy it is to go from watching a religious lecture to a risqué belly dancing contest? Only a couple clicks….
Imagine having a wonderful family who is God-conscience, values education, and practices good morals. Who could ask for anything more? But then one day for dinner you invite over a guest who is extremely attractive and charming, but they are dressed half-naked and cuss and are disrespectful; then they seductively whisper in your children’s ears that everything you have taught them is complete hogwash. Can you imagine a houseguest saying this at your dining-room table, “All I want for my birthday is a BIG BOOTY HO!” sigh… yes those are actual lyrics in a very popular song. How is this different than playing it on the radio or television?
Nowadays, you don’t even need cable to be subjected to sex, drugs, and foul language. There are advertisements for alcohol on the sides of city buses! Bottom line - We have to be proactive. We are in a war against commercialism, consumerism and an over-sexed culture: a culture that tells us being free means getting drunk and being sexually promiscuous: demeaning ourselves though scandalous dress and behavior. We are in a war to save our families and the stakes are high!
Saving ourselves and our families from the negativity will be no easy task. And guess what? No matter what we do – short of building a shack in the woods – we can’t dodge all of it. So what do we do? We medicate. What’s our medication? Spending quality time with our children and spouses, you know, an old fashioned walk around the block or board game. We gotta put good stuff in to get good stuff out. Read a book. Read one that will nourish your mind and your spirit, like these: TheHoly Qur’an, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergenceof Science and Spirituality by the Dalai Lama.
And one more thing: Don’t underestimate children, they comprehend and are far more aware than we think, even from infancy.