PG13 – In what Universe?

No not the article, this commentary is rated PG, based on current movie standards.

During the summer and during the winter break, while school was out, it was MALL, MALL, MALL, Movies, Movies, Movies. Your Children were going to the movies with their friends. So, you ask them about the rating and send them on their way. Right? MAYBE. 

Over the last few months, while watching movies with my children, I find myself walking out of the room, more and more often. Not that I am getting older and more conservative but, I am uncomfortable sitting in a room with my daughters watching movies that find a need to continually make sexual innuendos. This was the case in one movie I recently watched with my kids. When the main character alluded to the fact that if the female in front of him stopped too quickly he would end up in her “endo”. Then the character stated that, the comment was an “Innuendo”. As this movie progressed, we learned how real breasts are hard find because so many women have fake breasts. He goes on to elaborate that real ones jiggle a little more than fake ones. All this while sitting with my 14-year-old daughter.  Who decides this stuff? And what is age appropriate for whom? Here is where it gets good.

The Rating System?

G – General Audience. All ages admitted. This signifies that the film rated contains nothing most parents will consider offensive for even their youngest children to see or hear. Nudity, sex scenes, and scenes of drug use are absent; violence is minimal; snippets of dialogue may go beyond polite conversation but do not go beyond common everyday expressions.  Who’s common everyday expressions?. My family doesn’t emulate “The Cleaver” household but we don’t use a lot of the language that they nowadays call common everyday expressions. However this rating is usually acceptable.

PG – Parental Guidance Suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. This signifies that the film rated may contain some material parents might not like to expose to their young children – Explicit sex scenes and scenes of drug use are absent; nudity, if present, is seen only briefly, horror and violence do not exceed moderate levels. This is a good one. Nudity is seen only briefly. Remember, we are still on PG. How many young boys wouldn’t notice a brief nude scene? And how are most portrayed? Usually in a somewhat sexual setting.

PG13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. This signifies that the film rated may be inappropriate for pre-teens. Parents should be especially careful about letting their younger children attend. Rough or persistent violence is absent; sexually-oriented nudity is generally absent; some scenes of drug use may be seen; one use of the harsher sexually derived words may be heard. I ask, How early do we want our kids to be curious about sex? The recent movie CHICAGO was PG13 if you didn’t know that was all about sex, you didn’t see it. What’s amazing is that we cannot print in the newspaper some of the verbiage and innuendos they are approving for PG-13 films.

R and above I should think are obvious. I usually check out the R rated movies to see why they were given the rating whether it be for violence or sexual content and then make my decision from there.

It’s confusing to think that the movie raters have decided that it more desirable for my young children to learn about the many ways to talk about sex, see it performed under the covers, or view non-sexually-oriented nudity (PG13). A recent study showed that the PG13 rating of today is equivalent to an R rating just 10 years ago. I guess we are becoming more evolved. BUT, the “Passion of the Christ” gets an R rating and is called too violent. Maybe if there was some sexual innuendo and some partial female nudity it may have received a PG13 rating.

Here is my question and my curiosity. Are we getting more permissive with what we think is acceptable to expose our children to? Are we just numb by what is thrown at us on a daily basis? Or is it that we want to fit in with “society” and have decided to go with the flow? We are “dumbing down” our values. Not just mine. Studies show that parents depend on the rating system and Hollywood to let them know what our kids will be exposed to. Our children are so precious yet we spend more time protecting our money and investments than our children. We know more about where and what our precious money is doing and how it’s working for us than what our children are watching and doing. And I haven’t even started with TV yet, that’s next.

I wrote this piece in 2004, I was called an old white prude.. Well this issue has reared its ugly head and we are still doing nothing about it, America, Get engaged, Get involved or Lose it!

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