08 Nov The Night My Husband and I Went to a Strip Club
After a long week, I was very excited for a date night with my husband. Something about a stress free Friday night to unwind is soothing to me. My husband picked me up from work, and we headed to a movie. We had heard some great reviews, and were glad we could see it in the theater, since it had already been out for several weeks. When we got there, the girl who sold us our tickets said we had got there just in time, that it was a few seats away from being sold out. A sold out show is typically indicative of a great movie, so we were excited.
It was definitely a comedy, and we laughed and laughed. The audience was enamored. A funny scene led to one right after another, until out of the blue the characters entered a strip club, and people were being peer pressured into drinking for the first time. Immediately I looked over and saw that my husband had looked away. I figured that the scene would quickly end, so I also looked away. As I did so I looked around the theater and saw lots of children, numerous young teenagers, and handfuls of adults all watching this risqué scene.
Each of us, no matter our age can look back and evaluate what media was like when we were kids. My great-grandparents were shocked when the movie Gone with The Wind had the first “use of profanity in its script” . My grandparents were disturbed by the introduction of what they thought was promiscuous dancing in pop culture. My parents were taken back when society began accepting television shows that were sexually suggestive and featured foul-mouthed characters. I am appalled that I see media everywhere that works to influence us to do things which we normally would never do.
What we as individuals, families and collectively as a society are willing to accept from media is increasing in its’ promiscuity and inappropriateness. Historically, we see that society is ever changing and influenced by media content. What was unacceptable even a mere thirty years ago is now the norm for our children. This can give each one of us cause to be concerned.
Some may say that we ought to be open-minded in what we view, listen to, allow in and accept. To some extent we would agree that yes, we should be cultured, but we should all draw an appropriate line as to what is and is not acceptable. This is not only for our own benefit, but also for the rising generation. “Children and adolescents spend more time with media than they do in any other activity except for sleeping—an average of [over] 7 hours [per day]” . What are our children seeing during this astronomically large portion of their time? What views, ideologies and beliefs are they being exposed to? We cannot allow the world to jostle its way in and teach our children, and ourselves ideas that are contrary to our fundamental beliefs.
“In the USA an average of 20–25 violent acts are shown in children’s television programs each hour” .Through this evidence, how can we in good conscience allow our children to be exposed to the media of today without monitoring it? The answer is that we absolutely cannot. This is a societal problem that is becoming more and more common. Children learn more from our actions than our words. If we say one thing, yet do another we can expect that they will follow suit. Sherry Turkle, a professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT stated: “those little devices in our pockets, are so psychologically powerful that they don’t only change what we do, they change who we are” . With this knowledge, we must make a strong resolve to be responsible in our media content intake.
How are we to fight against improper forms of media and what they would have us not only believe, but incorporate into our daily behavior?
It must be done on an individual level. We must make our judgments wisely as to what is and is not acceptable for our own viewing enjoyment. Questions we might ask ourselves might include:
- Does this add to or take away from my intelligence?
- Is this making me a stronger and better person?
- Am I changing my views for the worse because of this?
- Am I becoming desensitized?
Any and all of these questions will help us guide our decisions in regards to what media we will allow ourselves and our children to be exposed to.
With our eyes averted from the strip club right in front of us, I saw teenagers, children and adults all watching intently. After more than two minutes of not even watching the movie that we had paid to see, we got up and walked out of the theater. We were mocked by others in the theater as we left. This really got me thinking. I would venture to say that only a very small percentage of the people in that theater would have actually entered a real strip club in person. Yet that night we were all in one, we hadn’t set foot inside, but we were there.
Why would we ever view images, or listen to songs which depict places and events that we would never go to or engage in if it were real? Media that is taking us to places that we would never enter in “real life” is not worthy of our time. We each need to take a step back and evaluate what we are watching and what our children are watching. We cannot allow ourselves to be desensitized in the least bit. So, what will you choose? Will you stay in that Strip Club, or will you happily walk out?
The choice is yours.
Alexxus Kochel is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho studying Child Development. She is the oldest of six children and loves working with children. She has a passion for empowering families and has a great desire to help them strengthen their relationships. She plans to enter the Child Care Profession upon completion of her degree where she hopes to make a difference in the education and care of children.
 Kevin D Browne, C. H.-G. (2005, 2 19). The inﬂuence of violent media on children and adolescents:. Lancet, pp. Vol. 265, p.702-710.