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You know how movies always have those G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 ratings to tell you if this movie is safe to show your kid or if they're just gonna make their eyes burn and give them nightmares for the rest of their lives?
Well, what if I told you that these ratings were actually essentially pointless and the stuff that you're stopping your kids from seeing actually doesn't offend them at all? Today, I'm gonna render these ratings useless and go in depth in each category that could push a film's rating from G to R.
Ratings are given by the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) and they essentially have four unwritten categories of what you can't show kids or else the kid will be scarred for life. Let's break it down:
Sex and Nudity
I mean, OF COURSE I was gonna start with this section. And if you're a parent, you should pay some attention to what I'm about to say.
The unwritten MPAA rule for this is — if you have subtle sex jokes or partial male nudity in a movie, it's PG. If you have some sexual sexiness in a movie, it's PG-13. And if you have some real nudity and sex in your movie, it will be R or NC-17. Now why is that?
What is wrong with a child knowing about sex? I mean, I don't have any kids of my own, but if I do, I would let them know what sex is. And I would GLADLY tell them that storks have no idea when a couple wants a child and couldn't give two s**ts.
Telling your kid what sex is just makes them more educated. It's not misleading, and what's wrong with them knowing about sex? I assure you, if you explicitly tell them, "Don't rape anyone, don't draw anyone having sex, having sex can make you sick, and you can't legally do it till you're an adult," THEY WILL LISTEN TO YOU.
I honestly don't see anything wrong with a kid knowing about sex or watching sex on TV. Their sex hormones aren't gonna start kicking in till puberty, and you know that your kid is EVENTUALLY gonna have sex. So what's the problem with that?
There's no point in the whole taboo on sex. If a kid knows what sex is, but knows the HIV risks and the criminality of rape, he will not try it, and knowing about sex will only make them smarter.
I personally was never taught about sex; it was just something I gradually found out about over my middle school years. But I would never rape someone. And I know about the HIV risks.
That's coming from someone who wasn't formally taught. So if you do formally teach your child about all this stuff at an elementary age, then they'll have these morals and this knowledge hammered in their head. They already know about love, so there shouldn't be a problem with them knowing about sex.
And for the record, in this society, we've ended up getting to the point where parents know about sex, teenagers know about sex, but we don't want to talk about something so natural.
Even I don't talk to my parents about sex, because that is all kinds of screwed up in my head. And I don't get why. But still, you know that feeling where you're watching a movie with your family and a romance scene shows up and you get all fidgety and twitchy and you act like you're not paying attention to the screen.
I mean, The Terminator is an ACTION movie, but we have this. And the thing is, I knew when this scene would show up, and you wouldn't believe the drastic measures I took to avoid watching this with my older sister, who KNOWS ABOUT SEX.
So, the point is, I don't know who decided that kids can't know about sex or watch it in movies, but it's a stupid thing.
Violence and Gore
Okay, I'll be talking about this from what I would have thought if I had watch the Die Hard movies as a little kid.
Violence is in PG movies, but the violence is usually minor and there's rarely a lot of blood in those movies. But deciding what your kid should be allowed to watch when it comes to violence does make sense. Because I would be very scared if I saw something as bloody as this:
But even though your child shouldn't be watching that much violence because it would scare them, they eventually outgrow that stuff, and they should be able to watch rated R action movies at a younger age than 17.
I watched the Die Hard movies when I was 12 or 13 (probably 13), and that's FINE. Watching action heroes like John McClane, Bryan Mills, and the T-800 did not make me want to go buy a gun and start shooting up the street. Nor did that kind of stuff scare me. Die Hard is just a genuinely good movie.
So, I think you should let your kids watch rated R action movies when they're 11 and up. You should watch it first to make sure there's not too much bad stuff in there, and when they play it on TV, they usually edit that stuff out.
And if you think something like a bloody severed hand in a bag is too gruesome for your 11 year old, I will not even deny that. But you should, as I said with these movies, know what kind of violence is in there.
Because gunshots aren't bad; but gore is.
Oh, HERE'S something to talk about.
You should know that in PG movies such as Back to the Future, they still contain words like "ass", "hell", "damn", "g*d damn", "s**t", and "b***h". But we're mainly gonna be talking about the usage of the word, "f**k", in movies and how that affects the rating of movies.
Those familiar with the MPAA ratings know that for the most part, it goes like this: in a PG-13 movie, you can only say "f**k" once in the non-sexual way. So, you can say "You're f**king stupid", but you can't say, "See what happens when you f**k a stranger in the ass?"
In rated R movies, you can pretty much throw around "f**k" as many f**king times as you want, and only in R and NC-17 movies can you use the word in the sexual context.
But the problem is, they aren't always strict with these rules, and how much they enforce it can change. For example, in the PG-13 movies Selma and The Martian, "f**k" is used twice instead of their one-f**k rule.
And in the PG-13 Live Free or Die Hard, they had to shorten John McClane's famous catchphrase, "Yippee-ki-yay, motherf**ker" to "Yippee-ki-yay, motherfu–[gunshot]" in order for the film to keep a PG-13 rating.
So, you would assume that you can never use "motherf**ker" in a PG-13 movie, right? Well, in Big Game, Samuel L. Jackson's character says "motherf**ker" and it was a PG-13 movie.
Although, I might give him a pass for that, because "You gotta cock it, motherf**ker" is an awesome one-liner that's rare in this day and age of action movies.
So, what will it be, MPAA? Are you gonna butcher one of the best lines in history by censoring it with a gunshot to keep it PG-13, or are you gonna let it fly when Samuel L. Jackson says it? How many times can you really say the F-word in a PG-13 movie, huh?
But still, why is there so much emphasis on hiding the F-word from kids?
Let me put it this way: I went to one of the best middle schools in New York City, and a lot of my friends were smart. But they always cursed. They said "f**k", "s**t", "motherf**ker", and words like that and they were still 11 or 12. Language like that DOES NOT offend even the smartest of kids.
And for the record, how is cursing bad for kids? In a world where kids in school have to worry about exams and stuff, hearing a few cuss words in a movie should be the least of their concerns.
Besides, hearing curse words in a movie doesn't ALWAYS mean that the kid's just gonna start using all the curse words said in the movie. They're just words that they don't understand, and don't care about enough to ask their parents what they mean during the movie.
For example, I watched The Green Hornet a few years ago.
When I watched that, I was pretty young, and I didn't even notice all the curse words in the movie until I watched it again last year. As a kid, I just thought the line, "He was a bit of a d**k" was "He's a bit thick". I didn't know the curse words, and I wasn't about to START cursing just from hearing that.
And I'll start saying this again: cursing doesn't offend kids. And kids can be smarter than you give them credit for.
As I said, if you explicitly tell your kid, "Don't say any curse words that you find out about and don't say it to anyone", they will listen to you. Eventually, they'll stop, but kids are usually obedient enough to listen to you until they're about 12 or 13.
Still, I don't see the problem with cursing. Cursing is only a problem when they're being used specifically to hurt someone else. THAT is a major problem. But if you're cursing to make a non-offensive joke, it doesn't matter.
So, saying "I was acting so f**king stupid" is fine. But saying "You're a f**king dumbass" is not okay. That's the point I'm trying to get at. If you're just saying a curse word in your speech, that's fine if you're not trying to offend anyone else.
And here's another point: in PG and PG-13 movies, you can say "s**t", "d**k", "ass", "hell", "damn", and "b***h" as much as you want. That means under your logic, your kid could start saying all those words from watching a movie with those words.
At that point, your kid already knows how to swear, but you're still just gonna stop them from saying "f**k"? At that point, the cursing has already started, and "f**k" is just another one of those words.
But here's more proof that the language rating is useless: non-sexual "f**k" is for PG-13. Sexual and non-sexual "f**k" is for R movies. But every time you have a movie where the sexual "f**k" is being used with an LGBT couple, it's NC-17. WHHYYYYYY?!
The MPAA can do good things, but other times, it can just be blatant censorship. If you didn't know, anyone under 17 CANNOT even enter the theater of an NC-17 movie.
And they're acting like teenagers don't already know about these LGBT issues, and given that homosexuality isn't a choice, teens should be able to watch whatever the f**k they want, even if "f**k" is used as an LGBT expletive.
Now, for our last one that actually makes some f**king sense.
Substance Abuse/Drug Usage
Movies usually don't want images of smoking or drinking in kids movies. PG movies might have some, but there's more in PG-13 and R movies.
And this is something that kids SHOULD see less of, but I still advise you that instead of just letting your kid do what they want, you TELL them the amount of people that die every year from alcohol abuse and tobacco consumption. You say this at a very young age, and they won't do anything like that for a looong time.
To wrap things up, there's nothing wrong with sex, cursing is only bad in some situations, violence doesn't encourage kids to kill people, and kids should never use drugs or abuse alcohol consumption.