Monday, July 27, 2009

Today's parenting FAIL

Now this one might ruffle a few feathers, but I just gotta say it.

A sculpture by Itzik Asher in Delray Beach FL has provoked the ire of parents whose kids attend a nearby elementary school.

Here's the sculpture. Brace yourself:

It's a ... family.  Mom, dad, sister, and baby.  Pretty abstract.  Uhh, what the hell is the problem, here?
"Jamie Garroway, Morikami Park PTA president, said she found it distasteful and e-mailed parents, asking them to file complaints with Caster and with Palm Beach County Code Enforcement.

“Everybody has a different idea of what art is,” said Garroway. “If this piece was at a museum I would not have a problem with it.”"

OK, PTA president epic FAIL. This prudish, narrow-minded cow would have an Evil Genius up in her face at the next PTA meeting. Number one; how dare you try to whip people into a frenzy over YOUR twisted beliefs. That's just wrong. Number two; how sad is it that you think art is OK so long as it's safely inside a museum.  The implication being that you can then keep your poor impressionable kids out of said museums. Number three; it's true, art is subjective, but there just plain isn't anything offensive about this piece. It's just four people. They're not engaged in sex, drinking, drug use, animal abuse, or addictive online role playing. They're a family. Walking.

The human body in repose is not distasteful. If you think this you are not just repressed, I think you may be a little sick. You may need to see a head doctor.

I don't think that anyone should be forced to view real people nude if that makes you uncomfortable, or even photographs, but this is ART, for Pete's sake!  It's not pornography.  It's just biology expressed artistically. 

If you refuse to expose your child to art for fear of her seeing a naked human, what insanity is next?  What do you do if your child sees two people making out on a park bench? Throw a rod? Freak out?  What if your little girl sees a potty-training toddler in a public restroom and his mom is helping him back into his underpants? Do you gasp in shock and cover her eyes?  What about a woman feeding her child?

Scandelous! That's a *gasp* human nipple!  Complain immediately!  You'll have to email the pope, though. This is a painting of Jesus and Mary in the Vatican.
Or is it a penis thing?  Hmmm?  I've been puzzled my whole life about the disparity in treatment of genetalia. Even in films it's still fine to show boobs and pudendae (is that a word?) but naughty to flash a glimpse of a willy.  Why is that?  It's just a penis. Your dad has one, you husband has one, your son has one, David Beckham definately has one, as does Daniel Radcliffe.  Even Barack Obama has one, people.
My point is that, displayed in repose in art, it's just a thing. Like an ear or a nipple or a belly button.
This is my favourite David, the one by Donatello.
It's just bloody sad that people who can't let go of their fears and insecurities want to try to force all of us to bend to their whims. It's also tragic that these people are raising another generation of close-minded, neurotic people. This is shocking and sad:
"“My daughter has been joking about it,” said Jeffrey Cohen, whose six-year-old daughter attends summer camp there. “She shouldn’t be talking to me about this.”"
*jaw hits floor*
WHAT?  Jeffrey Cohen, your little girl shouldn't be talking to you about something?  Way to go dad!  Fatherhood FAIL. Stick your fingers in your ears and go "la, la, la I can't hear youuuuu" if your own child tries to seek knowledge and guidence from you?  UNbelievable!
My own husband, Bodog, father of 3 boys and 2 girls, was gobsmacked at this dad's attitude.  Bodog's version of fatherhood is a bit different from Cohens just as my version of motherhood differs vastly from hysterical PTA president Garroway.  It's called stepping up to the plate, not hiding your head in a hole, letting your kids know they can talk to you about anything, exposing them to life and science and art, and telling them the truth.
Readers, what is your opinion? Do you find fine art that shows nudity to be offensive?  Do you purposely avoid museums and books that might allow your kids to see the human body?  Or is your approach more liberal? Or middle-of-the-road?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:57 am   5 comments


At 8:04 am, Anonymous Barbara said...

Are people really this silly? My gawd, I was prepared to see massive breasts and penises from the description of the sculpture. How could you possibly be offended by this?

It's a gorgeous sculpture, in which the subjects just happen to be naked. Not lewd naked; they're completely de-sexualized (I'm not sure if that's a word, but it sounds right to me :) ) These people need to get a grip.

By the way, my favorite David is Bernini's David. You can see it here It's a pity he's clothed. :)


At 6:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find nothing offensive in those art pieces nor in the paintings! Considering the age of the paintings hanging out with the Pope, I can't see where folks would get all up in arms now if people back then didn't riot about them!

I think the only issue I might have with "parts" being displayed would be if someone were being completely raunchy in public (i.e., park, playground.)

Otherwise - art is art and if you don't like what you see, don't look at it!!!

At 9:06 pm, Blogger The SCD girl said...

I think people need to find something else to get their knickers in a twist about. :P I myself would LOVE it if my child asked me about the sculptures, because he's got autism and that kind of thinking is difficult for him at times.

But I don't know how much my opinion counts -- I'm a pretty hard core parent who has taken away my kid's dinner for misbehaving. :)

So perhaps my attitude is just different in MANY ways. :P

At 3:54 pm, Blogger Brenda Boo said...

This is a fantastic post!

At 4:00 am, Blogger Primal Mama said...

Such a refreshing post! I have 6 year old nieces who have already been taught that the human body is something to hide and whose parents made sure that they didn't shower the sand off their bodies with their 4 year old male cousin after a day on the beach. I often wonder what leads parents to teach their children to be ashamed of their own bodies and appalled of the bodies of others.

I've lived in Europe for the past 11 years and my family stateside has always been amazed at the everyday nudity we see on commercials, at the beach, etc. You never see that in the States. But who remembers the Janet Jackson fiasco at the Superbowl several years back? God forbid she flash a nipple, burn her at the stake, why didn't they? Anyone remember how many hits the pics got online from viewers in the US. Quite ironic I'd say.


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