The good old days weren’t always good for everyone
Last updated at 21:24, Thursday, 09 June 2011
I have never been a fan of the ‘good old days’ except when they happen to be my good old days.
I am prepared to think that the music I listened to was better than most and that the cowboy series on TV were better than some of the rubbish we get now.
We were fed a diet of straight fantasy and we were in at the beginning of the gritty realism of the Look Back in Anger-type movies.
This preamble has everything and nothing to do with what has got me going this week – the sexualisation of children.
What on earth has our world come to that we even have to consider such a thing?
How did we ever get to the situation where we allowed little kids to exchange their pretty party dresses for the type of clothing or hardly-any-clothing adopted by our pop stars?
Whatever happened to the continuous battles between parents and 12-year-olds objecting to the fact that they were not allowed to wear make-up or have their ears pierced before they were 16?
There’s been a programme on TV recently called Rewind the Sixties.
It was a nostalgic look back at a decade which we’re told we couldn’t have been part of if we can’t remember it.
The programme, presented by Lulu, was more than a trip down a musical memory lane. It looked at the issues of the day.
We saw mankind at its most glorious when Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon and the whole world stopped to watch.
We saw Britain at its worst with Enoch Powell spreading the message of hatred of immigration which must, surely, have helped in the rise of the British National Party.
The programme also showed how attitudes have changed and how liberated we have become.
One woman spoke about her experiences. She fell pregnant as a teenager in an era where being an unmarried mother was a huge scandal.
She spoke about seeking a back street abortionist and how traumatic that had been. My heart bled for her as I listened. It made me so glad that we are more enlightened now and that women do not need to go to those lengths.
However, by the time she needed a second abortion the laws had been changed and she was able to have it done professionally.
I cannot and try not to judge other people. I don’t know the circumstances of her pregnancies or what was in her mind when she decided to abort her babies.
But I couldn’t help thinking it was very sad that progress could be measured, by some, by the fact that it has got easier to get rid of an unborn child.
On top of this was a comment I heard at a recent dance festival.
The adjudicator told a little girl that her skirt should have been shorter, and I heard an audience member react quite strongly to that.
I think how children behave and what they wear at dance festivals is a little different. I hate the make-up but realise it is to allow their faces to be seen on stage. If they wore the same make-up on a Saturday shopping trip it would be a totally different matter.
It is the same with the costumes. Dance costumes are tight and figure-hugging and often, in another context, immodest. But is it not different when they are on stage?
I think it is different – although we should bear in mind that a couple of centuries ago dancers, singers and actors were considered to be most immoral creatures anyway!
All this other stuff was in my head when I heard that the Government was looking at ways to ban sexy advertisements near children’s schools and to find a way to stop the sale of inappropriate clothing for little girls.
I am sure there will be an outcry from those who believe that we have fought hard for our human rights and that we should hold on to them.
A person, no matter what their age, should have the right to dress as they wish.
However, I think we should choose ‘human rights’ more carefully and limit them to what is right and what is good.
Our children today are exposed to more sex and violence through TV and video games than any previous generation.
They are more knowledgeable than I or my friends ever were.
I don’t think we should go back to the days of back street abortions, but I do believe we need to get our act together before it is too late.
We need to protect our kids and protect their right to be children; we need to teach them that actions have consequences.
We should never go back to the ‘good old days’ because they weren’t all good, although perhaps we could bring some of their morals to the 21st century.
First published at 19:21, Thursday, 09 June 2011
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Wow, I have nearly always thought that Viv Paterson wrote a load of Cr&* but I find that I agree with her in this article.
Kids should be kids and now allowed to grow up to fast. Our childhood days are all about learning to enjoy ourselves and make mistakes so that we can learn to grow up. Society, or the money grabbing side side of it ( Computer game manufacturers, film makers, TV presenters some Politicians,etc. ), does not care if a child is exploited as long as they make money.
For once I enjoyed reading this column.