F***in\’ Brilliant

The headline on Yahoo! News read: “Mass. mom mixed on FCC indecency ruling.” If you hadn’t heard, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC\’s indecency policy on \”fleeting expletives\” was unconstitutional. The writer of this article is a journalist (Pam Gaulin) who is also the mother of a 4-year-old child. She writes that she is pleased with the ruling as a journalist, but has mixed feelings as a parent. What got me riled up about this article were the following two sentences: I was disturbed at the number of people who were downright angry that parents want to protect their children from offensive language, stating parents should \”get over it\” and stop \”mollycoddling\” children because cursing is a part of life. Cursing is not a regular part of our life and, as a parent, I absolutely want to protect my children. That protection includes inappropriate language on TV. Party of my annoyance stems from the author’s “must protect the children at all costs” mentality. It is a prevalent thought in modern culture which I believe is doing all children a disservice. Contrary to her belief, swearing *is* a regular part of life. All human languages contain swear words. Research has shown that nearly 1% of all spoken words are swear words; on par with first person plural pronouns (we, us, our). It is a natural reaction to pain, and one study showed that swearing after hurting oneself acted as a pain reliever. I may disagree with how this woman wants to raise her child, but I can understand her concern with exposing young children to swearing. I’m sure there is nothing more embarrassing for a parent than to have their pre-school child drop an F-bomb in pleasant company. However, it’s up to you to guide your child through life, not a government entity. Do your job as a parent. The author states that she does monitor her young child’s TV habits very closely, but she has two older (11 & 16) stepchildren that have TVs in their rooms and can what whatever they want. But the author is concerned that the older kids might hear more swearing on TV, due to the ruling, and they may think swearing is acceptable. Again, if you are doing your job as a parent, they should be aware of your position on swearing. If you are that concerned, perhaps they shouldn’t have TVs in their room! Even after all this 21st century parent whining I was willing to cut the author some slack. That is until I read this: “[her young son] is not allowed to watch Boomerang. It shows old-school cartoons, and the characters wield guns and use violence to solve problems. The shows I don\’t let him watch include ‘Tom and Jerry,’ ‘The Perils of Penelope Pitstop’ or ‘Wacky Races.’ Alex isn\’t happy I\’ve barred this channel because his father once let him watch, and he likes ‘Scooby-Doo,’ which is on Boomerang” I wonder what her views are on video games like Grand Theft Auto? And if that wasn’t enough she closes with the age-old: “What\’s most disappointing about curse words on TV is that the writers, if they tried to be more creative, could write better dialogue.” Really? You’re going to go with the old “swearing is the lazy writer’s crutch” thing? I hate to break this to her, but swearing is out there, and it always will be. At some point your child is going to hear it, and is going to say it. How you respond will define how your child views swearing. If it’s

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your personal moral view that swearing is inappropriate then it’s up to you to instill that in your children. And it’s up to them to embrace or ignore your guidance. What you call “protecting” your child is you doing your child an injustice. Don’t protect them, prepare them. And quit your fuckin’ whining!







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