Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Have We Become Desensitized?

I love watching old movies and by "old" I mean from the 1930's, 40's, 50's and 60's.  I like them because they usually depict old standards of morals, values, modesty and respect.  The good guy or gal wins because they have taken the right path even if it was full of challenges.  They win because they are supported emotionally or physically by family and friends.  They are given support because they are doing their best to right a wrong, make order out of chaos, clean up what has been soiled, heal the sick, tend to the wounded in body, mind or spirit and save the good people from the evil ones.  If a character is an evil person it is shown at the end of the movie how that person didn't win because the good guys and gals stuck to their morals and values and things turned out right.

Movies are usually works of fiction not documentaries.  In the past the only movies with guns were depicting cowboys or wars stories.  Hollywood excelled in movie making during the Great Depression and World War II that helped people get through the hardships of their daily lives.  The movies made after the attack of Pearl Harbor were meant promote patriotic feelings. Americans were busy supporting  the war effort through rationing and needed an emotional boost from time to time.

There was a change in the way Hollywood made movies in the following decades.  At a time when women were struggling with equality, the movie producers began to depict them in less than flattering ways.  Instead of women's costumes being modest they began to show more and more skin.  Some female movie stars refused these costumes and insisted on modest clothing.  They knew they were role models for women and didn't want to depict a woman who had loose morals.  A woman's body should be sacred and not be used to entertain others.  How will young men learn to respect their female peers if all they see are scantily clad women and how they are used and abused by the male characters?

We have become so desensitized that we no longer notice when girls and women are depicted in the media as "things" rather than human beings.  I'm paying more attention now and when I feel uncomfortable watching the way a woman's character is being played I pay attention to the advertisers that sponsor the show.  I vow not to purchase whatever they are selling.  My husband and I have walked out of movies due to the violent content and refuse to see movies that are full of gratuitous violence, especially violence against women.  We will not support movies and TV shows that try to desensitize us into accepting whatever is put on a screen.

I've noticed a lot of low cut women's clothing on the racks.  I've seen women in the workplace wearing these garments.  They have to adjust their tops frequently to cover their cleavage which is never appropriate in the work place.  It's difficult to dress appropriately when the clothing is of such poor design.  The fabrics are too thin and cling to the body in an unflattering way.  Women, especially plus size women, are frustrated by the lack of good quality, conservative clothing for the workplace.  We need to stop buying inferior garments so the stores will have a surplus at the end of a season.  Maybe then their buyers will get the message.

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