Friday, February 15, 2008

A threat to common decency.

In case you haven't heard (and why would you?) there's some-a-cussin' going on. Television cussin', that is. Live TV + Jane Fonda = A Hell of a lot of fun.
Jane Fonda appeared on The Today Show Thursday morning talking about a play called "The Vagina Monologues". As you can see, on television you're allowed to say vagina at 9am, but not ... well, watch and learn:
She "inadvertently said" the word. Really? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, inadvertently:
1 : not focusing the mind on a matter : inattentive 2 : unintentional - in·ad·ver·tent·ly adverb. It didn't sound unintentional to me. I think she was being advertant. It didn't sound like a slip or something that was not intended to be used. Meredith made it sound like it got spewed out in the heat of the moment. Jane knew what she was saying.
A little faux pas by our old pal Jane. At 70, you'd think she would be old enough to know better. Maybe she does, which is why she said it in the first place. Really gang, it's a word.
Apparently, an action group (with a lot of free time) called Concerned Women for America wants the FCC (what's the F for?) to impose a fine on NBC for allowing Jane to use such offensive language on the air when children can hear it.
Since there are already standards in place and children do swear, where then, do they hear such language? At home, of course, where Concerned Women for America live. You can fine NBC if you want, but kids are still going to say fuck, cunt and motherfucker because they think it's fun. I was a kid once, and it was fun then, too. Since they're not hearing those words on TV, maybe the Concerned Women for America should be in living rooms, shopping centers and (God forbid) schoolyards where parents and other kids are using words like that every hour of every day. Get a life, gang.
I love groups who claim to be "concerned" and use words like America in their names to make it sound like they're looking out for your best interests. What they're actually looking out for are their own best interests, which have nothing in common with yours.
If NBC and the FCC caves under the pressure from this group - let me guess, there are probably about 10 members - then shame on them. The fact is, nobody had a stroke or died from hearing Jane say "the C word" on National television. I don't know how many people watch The Today Show, but there probably aren't enough to make up a good baseball team, let alone be offended by a word.
It's a word. It only means what you want it to mean. I don't use it, but I don't use a lot of words. I don't use words like censorship, repression and conformity either. Groups like the Concerned Women for America only want everybody to be the same, which is a really bad way to behave.


Laura said...

i will confess that i find that word to be very offensive. i once actually took the time to research the origins and discovered that it was actually used to put a man down rather than demean a woman which i find to be kind of ironic considering i have heard a number of "tough" guys use that word in reference to a woman they once loved or the mother of their children.
but having said all that i was not offended by Ms Fonda's use of it as she was discussing her monologue and, well, that is what it was titled. i think the initial apologies from Ms Viera and Ms Fonda was enough. it was bleeped here on the west coast so no one out here really can howl their offense over the slip.
get over it people is what i say.

anna said...

It's just a word. Will these uptight A-holes ever get the big giant stick outta their butts and just freaking relax?

junior alien said...

I mostly agree with what you say, because as usual, you are dead-on.
But I think that although it's just a word, being called a "c..." WOULD offend me.
Apparently, Jane Fonda didn't address anybody when she used "the C word". What she did was: she talked about her life and used a slang synonym for "vagina", which seems to be a word you are allowed to use on American television without being fined (I didn't know what the FCC is and had to google it - oh my God!).

What's so bad about using swearwords after all? As you say, nobody has a stroke or dies from hearing them. Man, they are a verbal outlet!
As a mother of two I am of course concerned about my kids using appropriate language. But from a kid's point of view, it's different: You sense that in general you aren't taken seriously, so using "forbidden" words makes you feel powerful. Just say "cocksucker", and you'll have an adult's full attention.
But kids pick up very easily when it's okay to cuss, and when it's not. MY kids at least.
Coming back to Jane: She has every right to express herself freely at her age. From my own experience I must say that I am becoming more radical the older I get. I mean, you have to deal with so much ignorance during your lifetime. Sometimes I wonder why there aren't even more crazed gunmen. I'd rather cuss than shoot people. Now, is this TOO radical?

Anonymous said...

Is her single comment any worse than adding Fellatio as an Olympic sport?

Parents who complained about Janet Jackson's 1/10th of a second boob shot will buy Bratz dolls for their prepubescent daughters.

rattln along said...

i would not have known about it if the Media (and you) had not brought it up. Who watches the Today Show anyway and how relevant is Jane Fonda anyway? I lost interest in her back in the 60's.

Let her ride off into the sunset and be forgotten as many "stars" should be.