Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sandra Parsons worries about the filth we're flinging at our kids

The Daily Mail - a website which basically drives traffic by printing pictures of women in bikinis - also runs content from the newspaper of the same name, which means you sometimes get to read Sandra Parsons worrying about 'pornification' alongside links to see Amanda Holden naked save for diamonds, Chantelle Houghton naked except for lettuce leaves, and this:

"Honest, guv, I thought she looked loads older than 15" being the sort of line that the Mail is meant to be objecting to, rather than using as a strapline, surely?

Anyway, in the midst of all this pornified content, there's Sandra Parsons, worrying about Rihanna.
On the cover of the latest issue of American Vogue is a sultry shot of the pop singer Rihanna, posing in a skin-tight, transparent chiffon and lace dress.
Phwooaarr. Just in case you can't imagine this, the Mail helpfully runs a photo of the cover.

But only so you can see how terrible it all is, you understand.

There's also S&M. Parsons doesn't like that, either. Youngsters sing it:
In the ordinary course of life, young teenagers would have no need whatsoever to know about sadomasochism. But thanks to the increasingly revolting music industry, they are now all too familiar with almost every permutation of the sex act.
Yes, young people never knew about sadomasochism at all. Not without pop music. Why, before The Beatles you never learned about bondage until retirement.

Parsons worries that what kids listen to now will have an effect in the future:
What children see, hear and do before adulthood can have far-reaching consequences.
She doesn't say what these "far-reaching consequences" are, or offer anything to back up this claim; nor does she really suggest what should be done about it, beyond a vague suggestion that 'something must be done'.
Rihanna is estimated to be worth £70 million already. She, Jessie J, Skepta and their ilk rely on people like me feeling outrage. They want to be seen as treading on forbidden ground because there’s nothing like it for boosting sales.
Hmm. So you think that music only gets sexualised because the kneejerk reactions to it drive sales, and so you think the best thing to do is, erm, write a kneejerk reaction to it?

There is much sexist and dispiriting in the music industry, that's undeniable. But it seems odd to complain about a circus when you've driven into the ring in a falling-apart car. If Parsons really wants to stop normalising porny images for kids, perhaps she should ask her employer why a "family" newspaper runs so many acres of bikini-and-bum shots on its website?