Category Archives: Philosophy

Sexualisation Of Children – Who Is To Blame? (Via The Guardian)

Music, magazines or merchandise? Tell us who you think bears most responsibility for exposing children to sexualised images

Are children too exposed to overtly sexualised images? Flesh and flirting are cheap but ever more common currencies with which to try to flog anything from push-up bras to magazines. It’s an easy decision to make a quick buck, but far harder to question the ethics of feeding children’s natural curiosity for things that make them feel grown up, a curiosity that is instinctively moderated by attentive parents.

Men's magazines

Celebrity and entertainment arguably have more responsibility than retailers for desensitising parents to the sexualisation of music, magazines, television and merchandise, and perhaps our own benchmarks have shifted as a consequence.

There is an understandable tendency to reject any attempt to restrict or impede our access to content, or even our experience of access to that content. But it is not about prudishness, English sexual inhibition orcensorship. It’s about sensitivity, restoring some level of dignity, of rationality, and a space where the images of women that children see every day are not semi-naked or prone.

In Hamley’s not so long ago I was horrified to see the role-playing toyssection: the boys’ shelf has a doctor’s kit and a builder’s kit while the girls’ shelf had what I can best describe as a Paris Hilton kit, with a tiara, mobile phone and stilettos. If we set our children up with such shallow expectations, can we really be surprised when they follow them?

The July edition of GQ is the latest of the mainstream men’s magazines to push the boundaries of acceptability with its choice of cover photo, showing a reclining Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in a slit dress that just about covers her crotch, though not without revealing the inner curve of her buttock. For adult males, that kind of titillation is so commonplace it probably doesn’t even feel like titillation anymore. But it’s not just men’s magazines; I still boycott T3 gadget magazine, which insists on putting a chick in a bikini on the cover with some token gadget. Or is that a token chick? Once when I described Page 3 as “soft porn”, a Sun editor phoned to complain.

Are magazines the biggest culprit or is it the popstars? Have you found bizarrely inappropriate clothing in children’s stores? And what about mainstream TV? Tell us all your horror stories…


How To Become A Super Human

A response to MozBar’s post:I have to say that people like Quentin Tarantino make it worthwhile watching movies once in a while. I recently watched Kill Bill 1&2. The movies are quite entertaining but the last dialog between Bill and Kiddo grabbed my attention, where Bill says:

“Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman.When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kent’s found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us.Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He’s weak… he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.”

This is so true; we are all born as super-humans and are made to wear costumes that make us weak, unsure and coward. If we just dare to get out of them, undo the programming of this society, we can realise who we really are under the costumes. We may not be able to fly, but our worries will certainly fly away. We may not be able to move mountains, but the mountains of responsibility will certainly be removed from our shoulders. I think if we can live without fear we are super-human. That’s it; it’s that simple.

Where do I fit in the big picture? (via Ande ke Funde)

Again, one has to question what relevance we – as one human being in a world of millions – have to the overall ‘events-chain’; this Great Chain of Being; this cause-to-consequence ordering.

Are we – as individuals, as families, as countries, continents or even the world in itself – really significant in a universe of such an unimaginable scale?

..or is life but solipsism? Is anything apart from myself really true?

I am sure if you are reading this post under the “Philosophy” tag on wordpress you have confronted this question and would like to see if I know what I am talking about. But today I want to take a scientific look at this question instead of the typical philosophical approach. So, this is approximately who I am (margin of error in these number could be in the range of 1-100B): Part of the Human species which has the population of 6.7B Living on a … Read More

via Ande ke Funde

What’s Wrong With Materialism?

ma·te·ri·al·ism  Noun  /məˈti(ə)rēəˌlizəm/

1. A tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.
Materialism; the need for concrete properties over that of abstract ones; to gain physical items – such as money – and possessions of
“materialistic value”, instead of inner feelings. For centuries, religious texts such as the Bible and Milton’s Paradise Lost haveinstructed readers to reject materialism; to turn ourselves away from the ‘forbidden fruit’, and instead harness things that are less tangible – feelings and emotions.

Some works of literature – in particularly, Anton DeVey’s ‘Satanic Bible’ – encourage the readers to become materialistic, and indulge in their desires. LaVey states clearly that he believes that man should always tend towards indulgence, not abstinence.
 Whereas other religions seek to dictate what man should abstain from (which according to LaVey, are most of man’s natural urges), his religion of Satanism seeks to encourage man to indulge all his carnal desires, so long as they fall within the bounds of Satanic ethics. Satanism, as an atheistic religion, holds that as there is no afterlife and therefore no paradise or Heaven or Hell, all happiness and satisfaction must be attained here, on earth. LaVey therefore advises that you indulge to the greatest extent possible, how that your days on earth may be best spent.
However, LaVey also cautions against failure to exercise self-control, and especially engaging in self-destructive behavior masked as “indulgence”.
This is commonly used as a Satanic argument against such things as drug use. LaVey also points out that religionist guilt preventing them from enjoying themselves is in fact only compulsion masked as religious piety, a compulsion to self-denial.

Should we truly deny materialism? What is wrong with ambition, and the need to push oneself forward to purchase a new car, for instance? Should workers and people who want to show a sense of social power be universally stigmatised for wanting more than they already have?