Sue on her soapbox !
Posted by: Sue Atkins
Yesterday I was angered and indignant about the new survey highlighting the disgraceful state of children’s ability to read independently throughout London.
Today I really agree with the new inquiry into the sexualisation of children.
Growing up really is more complicated than it was in earlier generations as there are so many other influences on kids other than just their Mum and Dad, grandparents and peers.
Seeing 5 year olds watching music videos of Lady Gaga or Lily Allen that have totally inappropriate images or lyrics going on really troubles me as children learn from observing, and listening .
They learn how to speak kindly to others, be tolerant, hold their knife and fork, by listening and watching you, they learn their values from listening and watching you, so what exactly are they learning from watching and listening to Rihanna, the award-winning R&B singer, which shows her character shooting dead a rapist on her latest video?
I don’t see myself as a fuddy duddy ( with my hair?) or a Mary Whitehouse but I think David Cameron was right to be protective of his young 5 year old listening to Lily Allen as her songs contain a lot of explicit swear words. I remember being mortified when I was happily singing along to one of her songs “It’s not Fair” in the car with my own daughter and the words on the CD were totally different from the one played on the radio.
I love Lady Gaga’s music and Rhianna’s music and my kids are 16 and 18 now but I have always monitored what they watch, how much they watch and where they watch their TV, videos or DVDs.
I felt it was my duty to care enough about the messages that they were receiving to be in charge of their viewing as it is hugely influential.
I also talked a lot about the subjects that came up in the music to teach, guide and nurture my kids as I passed on my values to them but not every parent does.
Here is the article in The London Evening Standard about the proposals which I welcome
“Today Music videos look likely to be subjected to tighter regulation after an inquiry into the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood.
The independent review, commissioned by David Cameron, is expected to demand an age-rating system like that used for films, to restrict the times when raunchy videos can be shown.
The report, to be published on Monday, is expected to call for parents to be given a single online portal to make it easier for them to complain about products for children, such as clothing, which they consider to be sexualised.
It is also set to call for adverts with sexual imagery to be banned from sites near schools. Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers’ Union, was asked by the Prime Minister to look into the issues. His report follows concerns about the sexual content of videos by pop stars such as Rihanna and Lady Gaga, who have many pre-teen fans.
Mr Bailey is expected to recommend that the retail, advertising and video industries get 18 months to clean up their acts or face tougher regulation.
Mr Cameron has said children should not be subjected to “unnecessary and inappropriate commercialisation and sexualisation”.
So what are your thoughts I’d love to hear them ?