Regulating for Morality

The content displayed in the media has been a controversial issue for a number of years.  The content portrayed in the media has influence over everyone who observes it, and as a society, we need to be aware of what we are being exposed to.  Do we want young children having access to inappropriate music, movies, or other forms of media? What will be the affects if they are exposed?  We also have to look at the other side of this, which is freedom of speech and censorship.  I personally don’t like censorship; I think it takes away from the ultimate goal of what the content is supposed to portray.  But then I think about the music industry, and the clean versus explicit version of songs.  For a long time, my mother would only let me purchase the clean version of songs.  Which is fine, but then parts of the music are beeped out, or substituted with milder language.  Is this considered censorship?  Does using profanity really add to the goal of a song?  There are a number of different perspectives to take from this.

Our text discusses how once presidential candidate Bob Dole gave a speech on the evil of pop culture. He stated, “One of the greatest threats to American family values is the way our popular culture ridicules them.  Our music, movies, television and advertising regularly push the limits of decency, bombarding our children with destructive messages of casual violence and even more casual sex.”  The first issue with this is that government shouldn’t regulate what a family views in terms of the media.  That decision should be up to the parents.  Another issue is that not all families are the same, and they have different values.  Dole appears to be narrow minded while generalizing typical “American values”.  Also, not every song, movie, show or piece of media ridicules family values.  I do think that adverting rides the line of indecency, sexism, and a number of other issues, in order to make money.  Dole also argues that, “we must hold Hollywood and the entire entertainment industry accountable for putting profit ahead of common decency.”  If the entertainment industry were held accountable for their actions, society would view things differently and act accordingly.  Top executives benefit from the profits, while society is constrained because they are exposed to a poor influence.  However, there is an argument that censorship constrains the artist and freedom of speech, which is something America, prides itself on.  In this case, one could argue that families benefit from censorship.  Ultimately, I don’t think there should be censorship and regulation by the government.  Nowadays, everyone has access to everything because of social media and the Internet, so attempting to regulate the media is almost impossible.  I think if parents don’t want their children to view certain things, then it’s their decision and responsibility to regulate what they view.  However, I also think that advertisers need to stop objectifying women in their ads.  Women shouldn’t be portrayed like that if men aren’t.  It’s disrespectful and widens the gender barrier, which is a problem to our society.

 

 

One thought on “Regulating for Morality”

  1. Great post Soph! I think the topic of morality is so fascinating. Generation to generation the content changes and what once was racy becomes the norm and what we crave. Because we put a high emphasis on media in our society it is only normal that it becomes more than just entertainment. It can mold our preexisting and future values. Profit is the end goal for many conglomerates but with all that power wouldn’t you want to do something good with it?

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