A friend of mine just shared this article about Mark Millar, Kick-Ass 2 and rape culture and it was in perfect timing with a discussion I had with my son in the car yesterday. According to Mr. Millar, he uses rape scenes to impress upon the reader how ‘bad’ the bad guy is. He is not alone in this as brutality towards women is being depicted more and more and that isn’t even counting the music and music videos that seem to condone rape and other female focused violence and loathing.
We are so numb to what a bad guy looks like that we have to show RAPE to prove it. And what is next when that isn’t enough…what next?
The conversation I had with my son about this was around the game Saints Row 3. He had borrowed this game from a friend and I told him to return it as I would not allow him to play it. This was a while ago and he was revisiting his request to play it again.
This will surely explain why I don’t like the game right here:
We are fairly liberal and open about the types of games and films that the kids watch. Usually because we are fully aware of what is in the game or show and can discuss the issues with the kids. EVERYTHING should be a conversation starter when it comes to raising your children.
So instead of just saying NO THIS IS A BAD GAME again, I asked him if he understood or at least knew why I didn’t want him playing this type of game.
This led into a discussion about why it is wrong to use violence against women and exploitation of women as entertainment. I explained that HE might understand the right and wrong way to not only treat a woman but to respect a woman as an equal in all things, but others may not. Monkey See Monkey Do, seems to be the mantra for many these days.
I explained to the kids that a world of culture that shows women being demeaned not only made boys think that was not only okay but FUN ways to talk about and treat women, but that young women might think that is okay too. For a boy with two younger sisters, I said, I hope he would never want them treated in this manner.
I told him that I didn’t want companies that made money from such forms of entertainment to get a dollar from me and that if they had any brains they would be able to think beyond the usual and come up with games that were genuinely GOOD.
In my opinion ADULT should not mean okay to show rape, violence and objectification. That is no good for any age. Kids, especially boys are drawn to games that the ratings say they shouldn’t play. Therefore lets make sure those games are not continuing the mindset of rape culture…this is not good for anyone.
We talk about protecting our girls from being princesses, but what on earth are we doing to protect our boys from becoming rapists? Our children are being bombarded right now with the music, video games and so on…perhaps I am lucky that the kids are not into comics like their parents were.
This is another game that I stopped in its tracks, when I found out that you have to KILL animals to obtain items or points.
Perhaps one day we will have games and comics written by people with some imagination that goes beyond the thrill of hurting innocent creatures…..but I ain’t holding my breath.
What about you? How do we eliminate the rape culture that permeates our society right now? How do we teach those who ‘entertain’ us what is acceptable and what is not and how do we help our kids change the world for better?