Article cross-posted from my geek blog at Forbiddenpanel.com; “Janelle’s Lessons From The Mothership” – **warning; this post contains adult language, because: Deadpool.
Okay, so apparently I’m not done talking about this. Here’s the thing, guys… It’s not just about Deadpool. It’s about the bigger picture and what geek (and every other kind of) parents are doing to their kids for their own amusement, giving little thought to the tiny minds they are shaping.
I touched on this a bit at Halloween when I opened up the conversation in another article about child-appropriate costumes and how children are all too often these days, little more than dress-up dolls for their parents to reflect THEIR OWN lives and lifestyles with NO care whatsoever to the hearts and minds of that child. (Should we REALLY want to dress up our children like dead things and horror film characters to satisfy our geekery?)
This article I’m writing today started as my reply to someone’s comments left on my most recent article on the Forbidden Panel page. In that article, I openly chastised parents for sharing the Deadpool franchise with their young children. This came in response to one bold mother who created a petition asking FOX to create an edited version of the Deadpool film wherein all the sex and potty mouth is omitted so her elementary school age child could watch it. The response I received was from a reader who asked, basically, “why the big deal over something that isn’t even going to make it through petition stage to become reality?”. Well, I’ve given that a great deal of thought in the last few weeks and I realized my answer is an issue that absolutely must be talked about.
Here’s my answer to his question. Sorry it’s a long one, but it’s important.
Have you ever seen the video of the girl twerking in the infant baby’s face and all her friends are laughing it up because they think it’s hilarious that a baby has gotten his first lap dance? Have you ever seen the chick that put her baby girl in fishnets and propped her up on a stripper pole and laughed as they made the baby pretend to dance on it? I put people who bring their children to see films like Deadpool on the same level with those low-lives and the thing is, this is acceptable. Sure, lots of people are angry when parents bring their kids into movies that are rated “R”, but I believe we should be doing more than just sitting in our chairs being angry or throwing disapproving glares across the audience. I refuse to post the link to the video because I won’t give them more hits and make them think it’s okay, but here’s some images of the abuse if you need clarification;
It’s not just about the petition anymore and while yes, there is another issue with people who complain and the overall, unnecessary demonization of the industry to consider, I’m talking today specifically about parents raising terrible humans.
This issue… the parents issue… is all about their carelessness, their entitlement and their lack of consideration for who that child will grow up to become. It’s about how those parents put today’s children in a position of being dangerously exposed to subjects they have absolutely zero business even knowing about. I mean, we should all know by now that friends don’t let friends take their kids to see Deadpool, right? Well, apparently not, because everyone I know who has seen it shared the theater with some idiot parent and their underage kid and it’s clearly not getting through no matter how many times we scream “DEADPOOL IS NOT FOR KIDS!”
The thing is, this issue is so much deeper than just this one movie. I am SO sick of people pushing their children and pushing MY children while they are at it, to be exposed to excessive gore, violence, sexual and/or inappropriate situations WAY before they are ready simply to be “the cool parent” or simply because they don’t think it matters. It DOES matter.
There is nothing cool about ruining your child’s innocence just so you and your equally stupid friends can think, “wow, that kid is rad because he cusses and he throws attitude at everyone”. Or, “that kid is so cool because he’s only 6 and his favorite movie is Night of the Living Dead and he plays Call of Duty with his dad”. Or, all too common these days; “It’s awesome that this five year old plays “zombie” with his friends pretending to eat them or shooting one another in the head, yelling things like “double tap to the brain!” at school because he watches Walking Dead with his parents”. … let’s just ignore the many calls home for the behavior or the fact that this child ended up in the principle’s office repeatedly for biting, hitting and being violent with classmates in ways that directly reflected the things he saw on TV the night before.
No. This isn’t “parenting done right”. Parents are setting their kids up for failure in social and structured situations and there is nothing RIGHT about parenting that causes a young child to get in trouble for something his parents taught him. It isn’t rad at all and the only people who actually think that are the selfish people who are barely more than children, themselves and can’t bother to have their lives interrupted to create a healthy environment for their kids.
It’s not rad for a toddler to pretend to kill random people in the mall and cuss at them because he saw it in some movie he never should have seen or because daddy can’t wait till the kid is sleeping to play GTA. It’s not cute for a seven year old to throw vulgar or racially insulting slurs around because his parents don’t care and think it’s funny because their kid “is so sassy”. It’s not okay for a 10 year old to throw sexually charged insults at people because someone didn’t want to bother turning off Mad Men when the kids were in the room. It’s not fun and it’s not funny and I’m just freaking GODDAMED TIRED OF IT.
See, kids get a bad rap. They are treated like second class citizens. I’ve literally lost friends over the fact that I now have children and (god forbid) I’ve put them at the forefront of my life. Why have I lost those people? Because there is a thriving, child-hating culture, ESPECIALLY in the geek/subculture/progressive/liberal world, that says it’s funny and acceptable to hate kids, to treat them like crap or to talk badly about them, to illegally video tape them and shame them on social media, and to capitalize on every single unpleasant thing they do to make sure everyone knows how much children suck to validate their hatred.
But here’s the reality, folks… Not all children are terrible humans and adults who are “child haters” are putting all children under this blanket. It’s grossly unfair when the reality is in most cases that terrible adults have created them. When adults have a hard time coping with a situation, everyone consoles them, right? But because of this child-hating culture and because kids are kids, kids can’t have bad days or hard times. No, that’s just considered a tantrum and that kid needs to be beat. No one considers the fact that a child’s brain literally cannot handle certain situations and they have under developed coping skills. Why are good children ignored, beaten, shamed and yelled at when they can’t cope? Because nasty, asshole children have ruined it for all children, forever and the general public thinks that kids should “get theirs” for being as annoying as they are.
Now stay with me… I’m not just venting for no reason- I’m getting to how all this all ties in. See, nasty, childish adults create nasty, asshole children. That’s a stone cold fact. Sure, there are exceptional circumstances and special needs kids who have a harder time than others, but ALL children have been blanketed under this “children are terrible” rule mainly because of people who raise bad children. The children that child-hating people hate are the ones who belong to parents who don’t think it’s a big deal to let their 5 year olds watch explicit horror movies. They are the parents of pre-teen, hormonally-controlled 12 year olds who have access to films and games with excessive sexual content and violence, then wonder why they want to dress like trash, talk like sailors or end up knocked up by the age of 16. It’s not freaking fair to these kids to do that to them! They are treated like crap by society, exposed to a bunch of content they have no idea how to process and then told how terrible they are because they are reacting to that content.
It’s not just about some stupid petition that has already been forgotten by the industry. It’s about how parents continually push the envelope, shrug with an apathetic “meh” and say, “well, who cares if my 5/7/10/14 year old child watches a guy graphically and brutally get beaten to death by people who are screaming profane and/or racist insults while they are doing it? Who cares if my underage child watches a movie where a couple is having graphic sex and then they both get brutally murdered? Who cares if my kindergartener watches a movie where a ghost hides under someone’s bed or IN THEIR DREAMS while ripping them to pieces and killing all their friends? It’s just a movie, right? It won’t bother him… He knows the difference because MYchild is smart and I’m such a progressive parent.”
It’s about the parent who sees nothing wrong with allowing their elementary age children to watch graphic, gory horror films then gets angry at those children for begging to sleep with mom and dad. It’s about that parent who exposes them to terrifying images of death and anger then laughs at them and gives them spankings and time outs for refusing to go to sleep with the lights off. It’s about the parent who walks into a theater with her children under 18 to see Deadpool and then gets angry at THE KIDS when they act like little shit-heads in class the next day or grounds them for watching porn or acts completely blind-sighted when they start having sex or coming home drunk.
These irresponsible, parents think “Meh, whatever” is the right answer to the question, “should I allow my child to see Deadpool, play Call of Duty, play GTA, watch unrated horror films?”, then wonder why their precious angels are being targeted by their authority figures.
A child has no business playing a video game that throws out bad language every twelve seconds or allows her character to go rape someone or shoot random people on the side of the road. A child has no business watching Hellraiser or Boondock Saints, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones or 50 Shades of Grey and above all else, a CHILD HAS NO BUSINESS GOING TO SEE DEADPOOL and I have ZERO problem telling them this if I see anyone with a child in the theater when I go.
The parents who allow this are the parents who make life harder for parents like me. These parents are creating monsters of their tiny humans and then blaming the children for not being better at life.
So please, understand that my frustration is not just about the petition. It’s not even only about Deadpool. It’s about parents who are destroying their children for their own amusement in a way that is, in my opinion, outright abuse and sure, we can threaten to video and shame these parents on social media the way they do with “bad kids”, but it’s so much more than that and I think it’s time we acknowledge and deal with it.
Oh, and just so we are clear before anyone says it – NO, I do not blame media (comics/film/games/TV/art) for a child’s poor behavior. I absolutely do however, connect the dots and blame a child’s caregivers whenthey openly condone negative behavior in media and allow a young child’s perspectives to be skewed because it’s “cool”. It’s a parent’s job to know better.
I believe we can create a NEW culture of compassion where everyone knows it is not okay to allow children in to see rated R pictures and play rated “M” games because it really isn’t good for anyone and not just because it’s socially unacceptable. Spread the word, guys. You are not a rebel parent or the “cool mom” if you take your kid to see Deadpool… You’re just a bad mom. You’re not the rockstar dad who lets your boy have a good time when mom says no… You are just a terrible dad and a rotten human, creating more rotten humans.
So, one last time just in case my 2000 words were not clear enough…