Let me start this post off by saying that I don’t believe in censoring. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a household where people never filtered their words, but I just don’t believe in it. There is a fine line between censoring out of respect, and just censoring because you think someone is going to be offended. Here’s a little pro tip: everyone is easily offended, it’s 2017. Scratch that, it’s 2018. In the 21st century, where we’ve progressed so much, we’ve also backtracked and with freedom of speech comes those who want to shout out that they are offended by everything.
By definition it is “the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.”
I don’t believe in censorship for a lot of reasons, and the main one is freedom of speech. Like I said, there’s that fine line where you watch your mouth out of respect for someone versus simply being afraid of offending someone. I don’t swear in front of my mother. I’m an adult now, I really could and she couldn’t say anything. However, it was grilled into my head as a child that swearing was taboo, and because of that, I won’t swear in front of her. Even if “fuck” is her every other word.
Did you also know that there’s some study (I’m not looking it up, but I know I’ve read this before) that links intelligence and swearing? Or something along the lines that if you swear it actually is a healthy release of anger. People who swear are happier. Or some shit like that. I don’t remember exactly what it was.
I don’t believe in censorship because I don’t think people should be kept from the truth. Or reality. People swear. I understand a parent not liking their kid surrounded by that sort of thing, but the sad reality is we live in a world where kids have access to so much at their fingertips. Sure, you could put a parental lock on it, but they’re smart kids, they’ll figure it out. Or a friend has access.
Instead of censoring kids, make them aware. I’m not saying to condone a kid swearing in your house – there should be respect. But, don’t shield them from things if they question it. There are other things that are censored. Sex, guns, violence. We don’t live in an innocent world. If your child has a question, don’t censor it. That’s the worst thing you could do. I used to be so afraid of confronting my mother about things that I thought were taboo. Her and I never had a talk about sex. I found out what I knew through accidentally reading romance novels. And then the rest I learned eventually.
Actually, let’s talk about sex. Briefly. Why does the government or whoever is in charge of running the school districts think that sex safety is about preaching abstinence? Because it doesn’t teach you a single thing, and like it or not, sex is a human factor that everyone eventually discovers. As a teen, it’s important to at least understand it. If you’re not teaching kids how to be safe, then how are they supposed to know what to do if it happens. Preaching abstinence doesn’t stop that 13 year old from being pregnant. Or that 14 year old from getting an STD because they didn’t understand what condoms were. Censoring doesn’t help, it actually hurts people in the long run.
I don’t want the truth to be censored. I don’t believe in that. I believe in monitoring when it comes to raising kids, but I don’t believe in the whole hiding and pretending thing. You can’t hide reality from your kids, the world is fucked up, they’re going to learn that eventually. Educate yourselves, don’t hide and pretend that if you do it’ll be okay. It’s why politics are so fucked up, too.
It’s also funny to me, when I think about songs on the radio. Growing up, I think the only words they blocked out were actual swear words (“fuck,” “shit,” etc.). I remember when I noticed a change, and I think it was Rihanna’s “Unfaithful,” playing on the radio, and they censored the word “gun.” Are we really at that point? This song came out quite a while ago, but the idea is still the same. Censoring words like “gun,” “weed,” and the like. They’re not taboo words, but parents don’t want their kids listening to a song that has something like that in it. Do you believe in that? Because I don’t. Not to mention the fact that censoring ruins the song.
What’s ironic to me is I think it’s my Now! That’s What I Call Music 15 CD (yes, I used to actually collect these. Now there’s like 60 and I don’t understand why they haven’t stopped…), but “Feeling This,” by blink-182 is on it. There’s a part in the beginning of the song where they go, “fuck it, it’s such a blur,” and they don’t censor it. Maybe because it’s harder to understand? I don’t know, but they never censored it, and this was the early 2000’s. And on a CD like that, those were always radio edits. I’m pretty sure they just never censored that song. If it had come out in the last 10 years, it’d be different, I’m sure.
Censorship to me is just holding you back from knowledge about the world. people want to pretend we live in this perfect world, but guess what? We really don’t. It sucks, but censoring it will not change that reality. Embrace your world, for what it really is. I don’t want my news censored, or to watch fake news (*cough* FOX). I want to know the realities of what’s going on.
Have you ever read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury? That’s what censorship will eventually lead to. Hiding our history, punishing those who seek out and keep the truth. We blindly follow a government believing they have the best intentions for us, when that’s not the case at all. It’s all about control.
What are your thoughts on censorship? Do you agree with me? That it’s good to monitor, but that ultimately it’s pointless? Or do you strongly believe in it?
I’ve seen comments on YouTube videos and on Facebook where people go, “You’re so funny, but then you swear and it makes me not want to watch your videos.” Like, really? Are some of you that offended if someone says “fuck”? I never understood that. I dunno, that’s just my opinion though.
January Writing Challenge #2